What are the best shifts if you have kids?

  1. I guess my title said it best. If you have kids in school, is it better to work nights, and sleep when there in school?
    Or, is it easier to work 7-3, and get before school care? If so, then what do you do during the summers, or vacations or snow days?
    If you work weekends (2 12's or something) do you feel bad missing sports, family outings, taking them to bday parties etc? I know there has to be a sacrifice somewhere, I'm just wondering what's the easiest to juggle.

    I know 3-11 would never work for me as my kids get home at 3:30, and go to bed before 9. I'd never see them.

    How do you prioritize kids and work, and how does it work out for you?

    Thanks!
    ~Amy
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    About hamlj

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 24

    16 Comments

  3. by   GooeyRN
    I too am wondering the same thing... You beat me to it. Hopefully someone will share their experiences.
  4. by   user9876
    i, too, would like to hear the replies....from what i've heard, when it comes to nursing, there's really no such thing as a 7-3 (or even 8-5) job with "desirable" hours (unless you have a desk job, but you have to get your floor experience first).... sucks!!! i have an infant daughter and hate the idea of 12's, but it's the only option at any of the hospitals near my house. 7-7, or 7-7.... wow, lots of options..
    Last edit by user9876 on Aug 17, '06
  5. by   htrn
    I have 4 kids, 9-16 years. I have worked nocs for four years (since graduation) and it has really worked quite well for my family. I also commute an hour each way, so the routine is usually: 9am home, 10am bed, 6pm up-dinner-play-shower, 9pm nap/veg, 10pm leave.

    This only works because I have an amazing husband that worked nocs at one time himself. It leaves me available to do doctor, dentist, school meetings, after school programs - and because I have a special needs kid, leaves me available to run to school when she melts down, social services, long-term support, etc...

    But... I guard my sleep fiercly and my kids know better than to wake me up EVERYONE knows that I work nocs and they understand not to call me unless they REALLY need too. I usually sleep with just my cell phone and leave the house phone in downstairs (and only those that I don't mind waking up for have my cell phone number).

    But that's how it works for me - good luck.
  6. by   santhony44
    When mine were younger I worked nights (11-7). I usually got home in the AM before they left and got up in the late afternoon so that we had the evening.

    Of course their dad was there all night and got them up in the AM. I also had family members who would get them from school and keep them for a couple of hours so I could get enough sleep.

    8 hour nights was best, but I know that not everyone has that option. 12 hour shifts usually do mean you work fewer total days, but I always felt as if all I did was work and sleep. My employer required you to be there for 12 1/2 hours (to account for the lunch most of us never took) and then you consider drive time, well, work and sleep.

    If it's financially feasible, I would encourage moms of younger kids to work part-time so that you have more time with them. Unfortunately that's not possible for everyone either, but with part time it's easier to schedule work around the rest of your life instead of vice-versa.
  7. by   scizzerin
    My daughter just started kindergarten (today!) and I will be working 12's on Thursday, Friday & Saturday's days. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who will be working day/evening shift M-F (2-11p) and he will be able to get her to and from school, then our awesome sitter will have her only Thurs & Fri from 1 to 7:30p, and my school nights Tues & Wed 6-9p. He will have "daddy-daughter day" on Sat. while I'm working. I can study for school when she's in school, and we'll have Sunday together as a family, go to church & see grandparents.

    Also, the position I have is in a hospital as a clinical tech (cna) and they have benefits out the wazoo. If daughter is sick, I take her with me, and they will keep her in the pediatric unit while I work my unit! How awesome is that?! And they are even paying the majority of my education as well.

    When my daughter is in 1st grade, the school can bus her to my babysitter's house, which she loves going there anyway, since she has a little boy.

    Good Luck!!

  8. by   fantasie
    I worked 7p to 7a three nights a week while my 6 kids were little. That seemed to work out best for me. I also worked on a unit where you self-scheduled, so that helped out a bunch when it came to kids sports, school programs, conferences, etc. I usually worked F, Sa, Sun nocs, though sometimes I would switch it up just to have a weekend with my family. I have to say that my husband was very supportive as well and now he is the one working nights. Now I am down to 2 teenagers left at home, and work days outside of the hospital (actually I just interviewed for a school nursing job, should hear any day now). Anyway, if you can be flexible you will find the best schedule for you.
  9. by   vamedic4
    I have 2 boys, ages 10 and 4. I've worked nights (7p-7a) since 1996, when my oldest was born. I get home in time to take them both to school and sleep for a little while when they're gone. Pick them up and sleep like normal at night. I DO NOT work 2 days back to back, rather, I do Sunday, Tuesday, Friday.


    It's doable, it just requires major restructuring. The nice thing is...I don't miss out on normal things that happen during the day BECAUSE I'M HOME, NOT AT WORK!!
    It's like I tell others...I can BE up at 0500, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna WAKE up at 0500. Yuck.

    vamedic4
    playing on computer with Austin
  10. by   nursecher
    I hope to work 12 hour nights when I am out of school. I have 2 young children and I think that it works out good once they are in school. I can still be room/party Mom at school during the day if I work nights. I can get them on the bus and off the bus and make them breakfast and dinner.
    I also would not want to do it 3 days in a row. Maybe every other night so I could catch up on sleep, and pick up an extra shift here and there for overtime.

    I also have a supportive, awesome husband that would take care of the kids when I go to work.


    ** I also wanted to add that I am a night person by nature. I will have no problem sleeping during the day while everyone is at school/work. I think if you are a day person it would not work as well.
    Last edit by nursecher on Aug 17, '06
  11. by   KarryRN
    I'm glad to see that working nights and sleeping while the kids are in school works well for some here. That is my plan. I'm going to take a refresher course and I'll hopefully start working again in the spring or next summer. I want to work 2 12 hr night shifts a week and not back to back. My kids are 7, 5 and 2.5. My older two are in school until 3:30, and I just need to find a sitter for my youngest so I can sleep. I'm hoping this schedule will work for me.
  12. by   twinmommy+2
    I have 4 kids ages 5, 4, 4, and 6 months. I am loving this weekend option. I work 12 hour days Friday, Saturday and Sunday and dh works Monday through Thursday 10 hr day shifts. Then some weeks we have a babysitter come on a Friday or Saturday if dh wants to work overtime. It works out for me really good. We don't need regular childcare and I can still send the oldest three off to school almost every day.
  13. by   doris66
    If you work nights and work close to home you can get the kids to school and then get some sleep.
  14. by   HisTreasure
    I have young children as well. This is what I am doing: I had to go back to work a little prematurely because I lost my income unexpectedly. I work agency and I am picking up night shifts mostly so the kids can be home with DH, and evening/night doubles on the weekends when my parents are available to babysit. I also work a private duty case which is around the corner from my parents and they watch them then as well. Because it is agency I will be required to work some evenings, and in those instances I may have to drop the children at my parents house, drive to DH's job to trade vehicles (I have the carseats in my van) and he will pick them up. Once school starts next month I plan to work mostly nights, days or day/night doubles. My private duty requires some evenings, and those will be more difficult to work around but that's where faith comes in. For the most part, though, I work nights and plan to continue that. I also try to get as much done in as few days as possible. If I can do two doubles and an eight hour I would rather do that. My children are enrolled in a program that receives some government funding. Because of that, attendence is mandatory. So basically, since they HAVE to attend every day anyway, I will probably work as many nights as possible and sleep during the day.

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