Single Mom on Nightshift? Tips? Advice?


Any of you working nightshift while being a single mom? I was offered a position in a nurse residency program that starts in September, but I'd be starting on nightshift (I can put my name right immediately on the list to switch to day shift, though, and I think I'm going to have to do that).

I LOVE the idea of night shift for the pay differential and getting to learn when things are "slower" with less people around, especially since I have never worked in health care before and I'm definitely on the introverted side. My previous job was a 3-11pm, and if I didn't have kids, or had more support, night shift would be my 100% preference.

However, I'm a single mom to a 2 year old. I moved to the US to marry my now-ex husband, so I do not have family here. Or even friends. My ex-husband may or may not be able to keep her, depends if he finds somewhere to live that she can stay with him within the next couple months.

Not really sure how I'm going to make night shift work. I also realized that this would essentially work out to me just getting a 2-day weekend with my daughter since I will be sleeping during the day before and after my 3 shifts. And this is especially what makes me sad since one of the appeals of working three 12s for me was more days with my daughter. Plus, this means she's potentially sleeping at a babysitter's house overnight while I work, and then during the day while I sleep...

What does your schedule look like if you're a mom? Do you sleep the full day before you start your shift? Or just take a nap before? Do you schedule all your shifts in a row? How do you maximize your time to be with your kids and what does your childcare situation look like?

Thank you

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Any pay differential will be eaten up by child care costs for your work time.. plus sleep time. Your employer will not allow you to schedule all your shifts in a row.

Night shift is not slower. There is less ancillary staff.. that you have to pick up the slack for and patients crash at night as well. Your sleep schedule will be all over the place.

Consider 3-11, if you can get it. You would only need a sitter for those hours, be home at night and have the daytime hours with your daughter.

good luck

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, CNA, LPN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

On 7/5/2020 at 6:11 PM, shycat said:

I would suggest looking for a day shift job like a 7-3 or 8-4. And putting the baby in day care considering that you do not have any family. Also since you are unsure if your ex-husband can babysit it may not be a good idea take on a night shift job. I am a single mother myself and unfortunately sometimes we have to miss out on opportunities to acclimate to our current situation.