How do you juggle nights and kids?

  1. I will be switching to 12 hr nights 3x/week (don't think I would be a ble to do 3 in a row. Possibly 2 on, 2 off, 1 on). I have 2 year old and a 7 year old. The reason I decided to go to nights was to be able to pick them up from school, do homework, attend activities. But I'm afraid I will be sleeping through it all. How do you do it? What is your work schedule and sleep schedule like? Any input will be greatly appreciated.
    Natalie
  2. Visit NatalieGRN profile page

    About NatalieGRN

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 9
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience

    6 Comments

  3. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from NatalieGRN
    I will be switching to 12 hr nights 3x/week (don't think I would be a ble to do 3 in a row. Possibly 2 on, 2 off, 1 on). I have 2 year old and a 7 year old. The reason I decided to go to nights was to be able to pick them up from school, do homework, attend activities. But I'm afraid I will be sleeping through it all. How do you do it? What is your work schedule and sleep schedule like? Any input will be greatly appreciated.
    Natalie
    The first thing you need to do is make a sleep schedule for yourself. If you try to cut corners on your sleep, you automatically make yourself less efficient and more error prone. Everyone around you will suffer from your depression and bad temper. Also, people with a sleep deficit have a tendency toward excess snacking and that's practically guaranteed to pile on the extra weight.

    Get an answering machine for your telephone, and let it pick up ALL calls for you. Nobody needs to think they can call you at any time of the day whenever it's convenient for them and ignore the fact that you might be asleep.

    Decide on how many hours per week you can work, and learn to say, "NO," in a firm, no-nonsense tone of voice when asked to work more. You don't have to give any reasons. What part of "NO" is so difficult to understand if you don't give any clues that it might be translated as "Well, maybe..."?

    Remember that you have to take care of yourself because nobody else will. It's YOUR life, YOUR health, and YOUR professional license that you are risking if you refuse to get enough sleep. Sleeping pills are NOT an answer for long-term use. If you simply can't adjust to working nights, switch back to days and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your decision. The night shift is not for everyone, and you are the best judge of what you can safely handle.

    Best wishes! Nights are a wonderful shift for those of us who thrive on it.
  4. by   SitcomNurse
    I work nights, 12 hour shifts, and have a 7 year old and a 22 month old..hey, we're twins.
    I get home, send one off to school, take some time with the little one, and then put her in for a nap. Ahhhhh... nap time.... I get 2 hours of sleep, and then we get up and have lunch. clean/laundry/play, and pick up her brother from school. Homework, soccer practice, religion class.....dinner. at 730, I change them into 'jammas, kiss my hubby and go to sleep by 8 pm. Up by 930, and getting ready for work. On the days I report to work at 7pm, I have off the night before, so Im rested from that....and we all rest when we get home from school. Usually 4 pm to 530.(get a crock pot). Hubby assists with dinner fixins, or we eat out those days. You will find a system, you will find a nap time. All of my sleep is broken. All of my dreams happen on my nights off, and my 2 kiddos are lovin' that I am there. Watch your temper. Watch your fluid intake(we tend to not drink as much) and enjoy the kids.
    Other options: kid switch with another adult in your neighborhood..she needs to shop.. you get them, you need to sleep, she gets them. get it?
    Gramma if she dosent work, is a valuable resource for 3 hours uninterrupted sleep..
    good luck, Ive been doing it for almost 2 years now.
  5. by   paccookie
    I basically do the same as the other posters. My husband works days, but he's usually home a little after lunch time. I lay down at around 9 and my 2 year old sleeps with me or lays in the bed watching tv until dh gets home. My 6 yr old is in school during the day, so I don't have to worry about her. I usually sleep until around 4 pm and then I'm up for the day/night/whatever you want to call it. I have a very strange schedule though since I'm still in school. I work Thurs-Sun, 8 hr shifts, have class Mon and Wed 6-10 pm, class Tues and Thurs 9:30-12:15 and lab on Tues 1-3 pm. I keep a "day" schedule for about half the week and a "night" schedule the rest of the week. I nap in the afternoons frequently. Don't scrimp on sleep or you will feel like a zombie all the time. I've gotten to the point where I can fall asleep pretty quickly and I can almost sleep anywhere. LOL It works pretty well for us.

    CG
  6. by   mercytech
    I'm now a single mom with a 19 month old daughter...I do 3 12's/week. When I had the benefit of a husband, I could work three in a row and he would drop her at the sitter so I could sleep for about five hours a day. Now, I'm having to work either every other day (it's almost harder than three in a row) or one on/one off/two on so that I can get some sleep while still providing my daughter with a safe environment at home and providing safe care at work.

    Retired R.N. is right-say no when you need to, and don't feel guilty about it.

    Good luck to you!
  7. by   am17sg05
    it is really hard.i work 8 hr nights(1115pm-0715am) and my husband works 8 hr evening(0230pm-1030pm).i got an 8 yr old and a 4 yr old.when i get home from work before 8 am, i am the one bringing the kids to school.my husband would pick up the 4 yr old from the preschool at 1230pm and he's gonna wake me up at 2pm to pick up the 8 yr old at 0230pm and he's gone for work.i will be able to sleep again around 4pm after feeding them.i have to wake up at 6pm to prepare dinner for the 3 of us then try to get a little more sleep at 9pm.tell them to sleep around 0930pm(my big kid always beg for the sleeping time because of some tv shows).husband goes home around 1045pm and bang,i'm running for work.i may have long hours to sleep but they are not quality because it's interrupted and i don't sleep as in sleep.i have to listen to my kids if they're ok.can you imagine that?
  8. by   adrienurse
    I've can't manage to take care of MYSELF and work nights, I can't imagine having to take care of KIDS as well.

close