1. I am considering taking a 12 hour night (7P-730A) I have 3 children 5,7,9. Anyone else doing this shift with small kids? How do you balance your family (Esp. Husband) and work? How is it on your body on your days off as far as sleep?
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    About NYNurseRN

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 34; Likes: 18
    Staff Nurse
    Specialty: Cardiology


  3. by   angel337
    some people love noc shift. i personally could not handle the sleep aspect. no matter how much sleep i got it seem like it was never enough. i was always tired, even on my days off. as far as family goes, some nurses say it works great for kids because you are able to take them to school and pick them up. I am a day person, i like to sleep at noc so it just depends on the person. good luck with your decision.
  4. by   vamedic4
    It's hard, but it's much easier now that I've been doing it for awhile. I work 7p- 7a and...have for 12+ years. I get to sleep when the kids are at school, and I make it a point not to work more than 2 in a row so that I don't "have" to sleep all day.
    It's a lifestyle choice, some can't handle it, but the rewards are great. My differential pay alone is enough to keep from my wife having to get a job, and that's a good thing. So we're both at home during the day - she watches the kids while I sleep, or we go out and do things as a family if I don't have to.
  5. by   2006RNCS

    I worked this shift for two years, and it was a struggle for me for all of those two years. Some people's bodies adjust to night shift better than others. My body fought it the entire time. I stayed sick, tired, irritable, and unhappy.

    Now, I have a 6:30A-3P job, and I am so happy. I make less money, but I mainly work M-F, with no holidays or weekends. I am Wellness Director/Healthcare Coordinator for an assisted living facility, and I LOVE it. I am very independent, and I love the elderly with all of my heart.

    You are young, so maybe your body will adjust better than mine did working night shift. Just remember it may only be 3 nights a week, but if you work 3 in a row, the next day will be devoted to sleep. You will need a full day to recover, or your body will let you know about it. Also, you will need to stay on your same schedule on your days off, or your sleep/wake cycle will be so confused, that you will suffer ill effects. It helps to have a support SO also.

    Good luck to you. I hope it works out well for your family.heartbeat:heartbeat
  6. by   crunchymomx3
    I have 3 small kids (3, 8, and 10) and I'll be starting nights when I'm off orientation. I think you have to know how you body works in regards to sleep. I've been doing days right now for orientation (7A to 730P) and I am dying. I was not made to wake up at 5am and go to work. I'm a night owl for sure. I can go all night and be fine with falling asleep in the morning.

    As far as the kids, my plan will be to have DH drop the kids off at school/preschool before I get home in the AM so I can go right to bed for a few hours. Hopefully it will all work out because the pay is killer!
  7. by   rn-jane
    I did it for 6 years while my kids were school aged. It can be tough on your body. I was always tired and the only time I felt I got enough sleep is when I took some extra days off or vacation time to catch up. It worked great with not having to worry about sitters. I slept while the kids were at school and woke up just in time to meet their bus. I would make a weeks worth of dinners on my days off and just reheat before hubby came home and I had to leave for work because I was just to tired to eat let alone cook. Some people function great on it, some others just don't.
  8. by   paacollins
    I worked 7P to 7A for many years in a factory and did ok but that was many years ago. I am now 44 and have fibro (I did then too but it is worse now) and I seriously doubt night shift would agree with me. I've considered it though, partly for the extra money and partly because it would work out better for child care. I just think I'd feel awful though. Like other posters have said, it works great for some and terribly for others. Totally depends on the person.
  9. by   suzanne4
    I am actually working 12 hour nights right now and love it. Had not done them in years, and hated them before.

    But I do stay up very late on my nights off, to at least 0300 and then stay on my routine. As long as you are not flip-flopping back and forth with sleep patterns, it can be a great shift to work.

    But the key is not to vary your sleep patterns back and forth. It is amazing what you can get done at night when you have the time off.
  10. by   racing-mom4
    I am doing it now with a 5 year old,10 year old and 2 teens who drive---but I cant count on them as they work and play sports and I really only see them when they bless us with thier presense at dinner time!!!

    But I LOVE nights...I feel as I have more time wtih my family by working nights vs days. I am home if a sick kid is home, I can get day time dentist/dr appointments--how can you take your kids to the dentist/dr if you work 7a-7p? I can adjust my sleep and go on feild trips or volunteer for thier class parties.

    I can take them to school in the morning and am home when they get off the bus.

    When I worked days I didnt get home till 7:30pm and still had to help with homework, pack book bags, do laundry etc etc etc my time with them was rushed.

    Now I can sleep till 2 get up pick up the house and be waiting for them to get home at 3:30. WE can eat a real dinner togather, do some homework and by the time I leave they are going to bed in a few hours anways.

    My suggestion, get a set sched. No matter what the days, keep them the same from week to week and you will soon settle into a nice routine.
  11. by   NYNurseRN
    Thanks so much!
  12. by   ernrs2b
    I did it for 6 years, and wished that I hadnt...I am a single parent, though...so, on my days off, Im wide awake at night and tired during the day, it was really hard to keep my kids on a schedule..I do know alot of parents who can do it though, even with little toddlers! Maybe, youll have better luck
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    I was fine with it but my husband was a real PITA. It is hard, I think, unless you're single or have a partner who truly understands that no, you did not sleep enough and while waking up to a huge plate of pork chops is a sweet gesture it's breakdfast time for me!
  14. by   JerseyGirlLA
    Hi. I have worked 12 hour nights for years...but that is because I actually hate waking up so early for day shift. I am a dyed in the wool night shift person who never realized it. Some friends with childen as young as yours do well with the younger kids in daycare, and when the older ones are in school...that way, they sleep well till the kids come home. The night shift differential is wonderful..it covers my car payment. If you are planning 3 shifts in a row, you will need a day to recover...and some people (like me), don't have a problem with adgusting to a day schedule on my days off. Good Luck !!!!