Quote from Lizfuf7
I worked nightshift for 1.2 years full time (that was all i could take). Im glad I did because it was a great start to learning my hands on skills and opened doirs in the future for me. I agree sleep is crucial. It took a bit to figure out a good sleeping pattern, but this is what worked for me:
Slept four hours before My first 12 hr shift started > worked a 12 hr night shift > came home and slept until next shift > worked 12 hr > slept until next shift > after all my shifts were worked and My last shift ended, I pulled and all "nighter" (more like all "day-er) and stayed awake until the following night > slept 12 hours and got back to a day routine.
This may not be helpful with children, but it was a great sleep pattern for me and i hope it can help.My grandmother had 3 kids and worked night shift for decades. My grandfather watched them overnight, then she somehow took over when she came home. I know it was stressful for them, but they made it work.
If anything, maybe you can get a year or two experience then move in to a more family friendly nursing career path.
That's what I did over the summer (I worked FT as a tech but I'm prn) and lately I've had a hard time adjusting. I just graduated and will be FT nights starting in 2 weeks. I can't seem to sleep since I passed NCLEX last week. I'm trying to re-figure out a routine that'll work for me without constant exhaustion. I've worked nights for a little over a year already and I'm noticing some of those "issues" that people say turn them off to night shifts (I've had lots of tummy troubles lately). I signed a bonus contract that said I'd agree to nights for 3 years and I truly love nights, but I'm hoping full time nights will help with my tummy troubles and insomnia issues. Either way, I'm super excited to start working! Main thing people don't seem to realize or think about with nights is that SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT! Your car can go to the shop on your off day. You don't HAVE to go grocery shopping at noon between your 2nd and 3rd night. I never understand people who purposely plan stuff during the day between shifts (unless it's early AM or later PM) and I'll be honest and say if you constantly ask to swap shifts because you didn't sleep, I will say something about how you need to prioritize your sleep.
Anyways, kinda went off on a tangent. My advice for mstaurus2016 is to just figure out what works. Black out curtains, ear plugs, music, white noise, warning signs, telling family to do quiet activities far away from your room during the days you NEED sleep, enjoy time on your off days with your kiddos. As far as daycare, I know some people who use the hospital daycare during the day when they try to sleep, but our daycare isn't 24/7. I know some people have coworkers babysit their kids and they just kinda alternate. Who's a better babysitter than a trained nurse? lol