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Single mother working 12 hours night shift

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by NolaBCbabeRN NolaBCbabeRN (New Member) New Member Nurse

95 Visitors; 5 Posts

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I just passed my NCLEX and will be starting work soon. I got the usually shift for a new grad 12 hour night shifts. I’m a single mom I somewhat have help but kind of uneasy about having to depend on someone to get my child ready for school because I would more than likely not get back on time to take him to school on time. I have somewhat figured out after school. Would really appreciate to hear what others are doing or have done. Thank you! 

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1 Follower; 44,651 Visitors; 3,075 Posts

I had help so I've not dealt with your exact situation

If you're working 3 twelve hour shifts out of a week including every other weekend, it seems the issue of getting child to school won't happen that often.

How old is the child? Who will be staying at night?

What are you worried about on the few occasions someone else will be sending child off to school?

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95 Visitors; 5 Posts

I mean I do have help at night my mother will be with her overnight but she’s older and wouldn't be as reliable in the morning to get up early and get her ready for school. My child is full time kindergarten. For the time being another family member will be doing that but for how long I’m not sure. I guess I wanted to see what others may have done. Also We recently moved so I don’t anyone really that would be able to help. I basically have it covered right now but trying to be proactive about the future. 

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1 Follower; 44,651 Visitors; 3,075 Posts

Good to be proactive. If when, the babysitting arrangements fall apart it's a mess!

No great ideas here.

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158 Visitors; 85 Posts

For starters, congratulations to you and your son!  Passing your NCLEX, and starting Kindergarten are both wonderful milestones.

I haven't been in the exact same situation, but we also manage complex schedules and use family members as caregivers.  Sometimes I need to remind myself that I chose family members as caregivers for a reason, and that those reasons still apply even if it means compromising a little bit on things that I probably wouldn't in a paid caregiver.   For example, the grandparent who watches two of my kids after school doesn't drive anymore , and isn't much help with homework.  But he's also loves my kids intensely, is great at reinforcing our values, and he earns a little money to help out in his retirement.  I admit that sometimes when I have to tell my kids that they can't do an activity because no one can drive them, or I come home at 7:30 p.m., exhausted, and learn that one needs help before he can start his homework,  and the other needs me to make brownies for the bake sale, I need to remind myself that we made the choices we did for a reason!  

Also, keep in mind that your son is growing and learning fast and that it won't be long before he's motivated to make the school bus and not be late, which will make a big difference in how smoothly the mornings go.  My youngest is 9, and is 100% independent in the a.m..   About the only thing he needs from me is a kiss goodbye.  When I think back to Kindergarten when I was laying out clothes, and supervising tooth brushing, and packing the backpack, and serving breakfast, it's so much easier now.   Similarly you'll be learning and growing as a nurse and if you find you don't love nights you'll have other options.   

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 170,455 Visitors; 13,938 Posts

6 hours ago, NolaBCbabeRN said:

I mean I do have help at night my mother will be with her overnight but she’s older and wouldn't be as reliable in the morning to get up early and get her ready for school. My child is full time kindergarten. For the time being another family member will be doing that but for how long I’m not sure. I guess I wanted to see what others may have done. Also We recently moved so I don’t anyone really that would be able to help. I basically have it covered right now but trying to be proactive about the future. 

Overnight is the worst time to find child care, so you're lucky to have that covered!  

Can you hire a high-schooler or college kid to come over and get your child ready for school in the mornings?  Is there a message board at your hospital where you might be able to match up with another single Mom or two and alternate child care?  Is there someone at your church who might be able to help out?  

If your mother isn't reliable in the morning, are you sure she's reliable overnight?  Do you have backup plans and backups for your backups?  Is there a neighbor with whom you can leave your child overnight who might be able to get her ready for school?  A parent of your child's friend?  Is your schedule going to be relatively fixed or all over the place?  If you know, for example, that you're working every Friday-Sunday night, you're only going to need to get your child ready for school on Monday mornings.  Yeah, it's a crappy schedule but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  

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95 Visitors; 5 Posts

Thank you everyone for your responses just questions I’ve wondered about and just wanted feedback  

nursenmom3 Thank you for your kind words and you’re right I think I’m just unsure how things will work out when I’m not around since I’ve been doing it all myself even while in school. Having family that love your kids care for them is an advantage in its own way. I just need to start working and figure things out as we go 

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3,029 Visitors; 571 Posts

I used to pack my children's lunch in the evening before work (when they had to take a lunch), bathe them and put in PJs, get their clothes ready for the next day, you have a daughter so do her hair the night before and cover up or braid it so your mom or whomever won't have to worry about it, and call in the morning to make sure they're up so they can get your child to school on time, even better if your child catches a school bus. It's not a daily thing but on the days I had to work, that was the program.

As for backup, network with teens in your neighborhood or other parents at your child's school looking for extra income. I relocated and had no family so I found a reputable home care provider and paid them, with the arrangement being they took my children to school in the mornings and on time. I did the same as I would if a family member were watching them. All I will say to any of these options is be ready to bargain a decent wage as it's not easy being responsible for someone's child overnight. Spare no expense when it comes to safety of your child but also don't be so desperate you allow yourself to be taken advantage of due to your need.

Good luck!

Edited by NurseBlaq

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6,229 Visitors; 344 Posts

OP, I'm glad you have your mom to help.  Try it for a while, and see how it works out.  The suggestions for affordable help are good, but unfortunately, high schools usually have much earlier start times than elementary schools.  Teens can make great after-school child care, but typically aren't available in the mornings at the times you'd need them to get a kindergartener ready and on the bus.

PP are right to advise you to get everything ready the night before, and if you're worried about people oversleeping, place a wake-up call to grandma in the morning.  There are days I have to have all three of my children out of the house by 6:10am, so they can be the first ones through the door at daycare/before school care at 6:30, so I can hopefully make it to work by 7.  Some days my kids choose to lay out their clothes the night before, but other times they just sleep in their chosen outfits for the next day.  I get lunches, snacks, and breakfast packed and ready the night before.

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1 minute ago, turtlesRcool said:

other times they just sleep in their chosen outfits for the next day. .

Just chiming in to say that this strategy was super helpful once my kids were past the stage where they might wet the bed.   

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95 Visitors; 5 Posts

I mean I do have help at night my mother will be with her overnight but she’s older and wouldn't be as reliable in the morning to get up early and get her ready for school. My child is full time kindergarten. For the time being another family member will be doing that but for how long I’m not sure. I guess I wanted to see what others may have done. Also We recently moved so I don’t anyone really that would be able to help. I basically have it covered right now but trying to be proactive about the future. 

 

I really appreciate everyone’s feedback!!

Thank you nurseblaq! What you did was exactly what I was planning! Before I go to work at night I plan to get her fed, bathed, hair done, cuddled, everything ready for the morning, and ready for bed. 

 

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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My SO and I both worked nights (in the ICU together) and homeschooled our son. Our approach was as follows:

1. We hired an "over night" child support person and also had a "day shift" child support person.  We found that by allowing them to bring their own children (or pets) that we were able to get more people interested for the meager wages we paid (about $50.00 per day per person).  It helped that we rent a six bedroom house and only use three bedrooms (thus they always had their own bedroom if they needed it). We also used Khanacademy, Scouting, and local homeschool groups to further enrich his education.

 

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