Working nights with a new baby - page 2

Hi everyone - I may be faced with the prospect of changing to nights (7p-7a). I'll have a newborn soon and am trying to conceive of life on the night shift while newly returned from maternity leave. I've read the advice on... Read More

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    I'll be working weekend nights after the baby comes. My husband is a paramedic so he works rotating shifts and every other weekend. We're going to hire a babysitter to sleep over with the baby the weekends he works and figure out the finer details as we go along. The benefits of my job are only working two days but getting the weekend program AND night shift bonuses: I'll make more working two nights a week than I'd make working ft without committing to work every weekend. There are a ton of moms at workwho do night shift. Some have partners that work M-F 9-5, but some also have shift working partners or are single moms. It must work out for them because they're all long term night shifters.

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    Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all the input. My use of the "undue hardship" phrase was overstated - that's how I'm thinking it might feel to me, but I wouldn't use that phrase with an employer. One of my primary concerns is that my support system needs some bolstering: mother died, no family near enough to help on a regular basis and husband travels extensively. I have concerns about what working weekends and evenings would do to my marriage, given those would be the only times we'd have to see one another. I just have a hard time seeing how that schedule would work in my life, not that others don't manage it successfully. Regardless, I greatly appreciate the input and will have to give this more thought. Thank you!!
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    When I worked night shift, I was out of sync for days. Nothing flowed right in my system. I would work a 12, sleep for 6, get up and lay around, sleep a little more, and then return to work. Most over nurses were envious I could sleep for 6 straight hours a day. This was with a newborn and two small other children and on weekend option. My husband ( also a nurse) worked days so we didn't need daycare. My parents also helped out greatly. Honestly though, I couldn't get my biorhythm down to adjust to night shift. I would frequently pick up 8s during the week on 3rd for extra $. Despite adequate sleep, overwhelmingly helpful support system, and a family schedule flow, I simply couldn't do night shift. I worked nights 10 years prior, but I was much younger. I attempted the aforementioned schedule for 8 moths with no relief. I eventually switched to second shift, 3-4 days per week. That was much better. We rearranged schedules and just tolerated not seeing each other much.
    So, I know I'm rambling and not directly answering your question. I would encourage you to break out a pen and paper with all the pros and cons for an "off" schedule. It works for some nurses and not for others. The greatest lesson I learned was my career and family must work together.
    Best wishes and Congrats! on the baby.


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