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to ask anyone who's DP works night how they cope

(44 Posts)
pouncehill Thu 02-Jun-16 22:25:06

DP has got a new job working nights. It's been really difficult for him trying to find a new job after he had to leave his old one (due to a tragic accident).
We have a DS who will be a year old in two weeks.
I'm living at my mums right now but we are a matter of weeks from moving into our new home together.
I'm totally fine doing the night shifts with DS and having him so DP can sleep during the day.

My biggest problem is my complete irrational fear of being left on my own at night time.
Because I'm living at my mums for the time being there is always someone here. There have been a few occasions where I have been on my own (with DS) during the evening and into the night a bit and it completely scares me. I always end up in a big mess and someone has to come home.
I do suffer from anxiety so I can see how this will effect the way I feel.
I'm so scared about DP working nights and me having to be on my own from 10pm until he gets home in the early hours. Just the thought of it makes me feel so sick.
DP knows how bad I get but I've encouraged him to take on the job as he's getting down in the dumps not being able to work.

How do you cope if your DP works night shifts? And AIBU to be getting so worked up over this?

wheresthel1ght Thu 02-Jun-16 22:38:32

My dp works nights too and I also hate being in the House alone, especially as the town we moved to to be near my Dsc school is a bit rough.

Honestly though you do get used to it! I find that by the time I have done bath time, stories, bedtime, washes the pits, sorted washing and tidied the toys away I am that knackered (rap as I work all day) that I fall into bed.

I find the discovery type channels on the tv in the bedroom ease my anxieties. I set the sleep timer, turn away from the screen and it helps me settle.

What sort of night shift is he working? Will it be 12 hours or 8?

MrsBB1982 Thu 02-Jun-16 22:48:05

My DH has worked nights for the last 5 weeks. I won't lie - it's rough - but you get used to it. I find that y the time I've done the bits I need to I'm so tired I just fall asleep. Although I understand your worries - I still do a double check the doors are locked. I find listening to some music, reading a book, or MN of course distracts me until I doze off.

Congrats on the new job btw

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 22:49:11

Dh worked nights for years , I was never scared. Not sure why as I'm a nervous Nelly about a million other things!

Scaredycat3000 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:02:53

I enjoy it! I get the remote to watch and flick however many boring history programs I like and not get disturbed when OH comes to bed. I try not to think about it as being by myself or I that feeling can start to grow. I've started to check I've looked the back door a few to many times, so I'm really taking note when I do lock it to try and remember doing it. I wonder why night is unnerving when daytime is fine, it's just the same really. OH is about to stop nights after 10 years, it will be odd, it's me time gone.

FortyFacedFuckers Thu 02-Jun-16 23:07:03

My DP worked away Monday - Friday for 10 years and I was incredibly anxious but you do get used to it and find things that help you.
Things that helped me were.
Going up stairs & putting lights & tv on an hour before bed as I hated putting lights & tv off and going up stairs in the dark.
Reading/watching tv until I fell asleep so I had no time to think/let my anxiety get too bad.
Working out what exactly I was scared of & having a plan of what I would do in they situations. (Do this in the day time, try not to think at all at night)
Keeping keys/phone by the bed so I could get help/get out ASAP
it's not for everyone but I co slept with DS I definitely felt less anxious knowing he was right next to me.
I also had an amazing friend who would come to keep me company until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open, she even stayed when I felt really bad.
Having someone at the end of the phone you can chat to to keep your mind busy is helpful.
And a few glasses of wine definitely helped me relax although that isn't the greatest habit to get into.

FortyFacedFuckers Thu 02-Jun-16 23:07:40

My DP worked away Monday - Friday for 10 years and I was incredibly anxious but you do get used to it and find things that help you.
Things that helped me were.
Going up stairs & putting lights & tv on an hour before bed as I hated putting lights & tv off and going up stairs in the dark.
Reading/watching tv until I fell asleep so I had no time to think/let my anxiety get too bad.
Working out what exactly I was scared of & having a plan of what I would do in they situations. (Do this in the day time, try not to think at all at night)
Keeping keys/phone by the bed so I could get help/get out ASAP
it's not for everyone but I co slept with DS I definitely felt less anxious knowing he was right next to me.
I also had an amazing friend who would come to keep me company until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open, she even stayed when I felt really bad.
Having someone at the end of the phone you can chat to to keep your mind busy is helpful.
And a few glasses of wine definitely helped me relax although that isn't the greatest habit to get into.

Shakey15000 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:10:36

It wasn't the nights I found hard, I quite liked having a lazy bath then pissing about on here watching what I liked on the box instead of DH ranting about politics during question time <glares at DH>

It was the daytime I found difficult! Trying to entertain a toddler quietly while DH slept. Yes, we left the house but there's only so many pissing ducks that need sodding feeding etc hmm

RubbleBubble00 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:11:56

Dh works away during week. It's quite nice tbh once u get used to it. You set your own routine. Watch whatever tv I want. Go to bed anu time I like and have huge bed to myself.

By 10pm you will be prob thinking about bed anyway. If your super nervous get an alarm system. Mil activates her downstairs every night so she super safe.

Shakey15000 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:12:29

Sorry, meant to say that yes, you get used to it.

2nds Thu 02-Jun-16 23:14:54

This is going to sound so daft but when I lived alone I always had a torch beside my bed. This was in case the electric was ever to go out and I didn't have to go hokinh around the house for a torch! I know the electric not coming on is unlikely, but it is a bit of peace of mind.

You will be OK, and like someone else said you will get used to it. It may be a good thing, it may help with the anxiety.

WorraLiberty Thu 02-Jun-16 23:16:56

My DH works a week of nights every 3 weeks and I love it. The only problems I've ever had, was keeping the kids quiet during the day when they were off school (open plan house, so noise carries).

I do always lock the front door from the inside though. I find that helps me feel secure, so that might help as long as you don't mind getting up to let him in the next morning.

Also, we have a dog so that's an extra pair of ears when I'm asleep.

teacher54321 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:17:54

Dh works nights and has done since before Ds was born. Tbh being at home alone at night doesn't bother me, even though I suffer from anxiety about all sorts of other things! It was tough going when Ds was a baby dealing with night wakings alone etc and we often go away at the weekends when he's on nights as its difficult keeping Ds quiet during the day. Dh goes out around 8.30pm so after bedtime and dinner. I usually watch one more episode of whatever box set I'm currently on and then lock up and take a cup of tea up to bed and read until I'm tired enough to fall asleep (doesn't take long, early rising Ds, long commute and full time stressful job means that I'm usually too knackered to not sleep well!)
I always have my phone on me, and sleep with my bedroom door open so I can hear Ds if necessary. It does get easier and becomes the new normal smile

Griphook Thu 02-Jun-16 23:21:06

Always leave a light on, and the tv is on in the background o sleeper,
Draw curtains so you don't look out in darkness. I keep my phone by me al the time.
You will be fine, you can spread out in the bed. As someone else mentioned keeping the dcs quite is the biggest challenge

pouncehill Thu 02-Jun-16 23:24:28

I have been planning for the first few nights to keep myself really busy so when it's time for bed I just fall fast asleep. I think I'll ask DP if we can look into some home security system
Thankyou everyone! It's nice to know I'm not just being really dramatic here

Shakey15000 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:31:40

As an aside, do you have blackout blinds and soft ear plugs (for DH)? It can be really hard trying to sleep during the day what with cars/lawnmowers/binmen etc

moonbabyandthebeast Thu 02-Jun-16 23:32:59

My DP has always worked very regular 12 hour night shifts. You honestly just get used to it. I do tend to 'overcheck' the house is secure but then I am in the house with a 2.5 yr old and 4 month old. Tis lovely having a kingsize bed to myself (though a certain toddler usually ends up sneaking in at some point because they miss daddy) plus makes u appreciate the nights you and DP do have together.

tibbawyrots Thu 02-Jun-16 23:39:11

My ex worked shifts. I loved it. I could slommock on the sofa and eat crap without judgement.

Going home to an empty house so you can relax, feed the cats, have dinner, lazy bath and then think about OH coming home was great. He got home about 11pm so a good evening alone.

blackheartsgirl Fri 03-Jun-16 00:02:46

My dp works nights in a supermarket 5 night a week and had done for the past 3 years. We have 6 dcs between us and I work pt time too.
I hate how many nights a week he does, it's ridiculous, it's the same nights every week no weekends of unless he book them. I found it very hard at first but u do get used it.

I've been in my own before with 2 dc so I was used to having no one there at night but it was still strange with dp as i had been used to him being there at night. I love it now, can spread out in bed,watch crap in bed. I just make sure the house is extra secure at night before I go to bed

Dp will sleep during the day but finds school hols difficult. Black out curtains important. We sleep in the back so he's less disturbed by bin men etc. I don't keep the kids particularly quiet but musical instruments and banging and shrieking are banned until he's awake. Normal house hold noises like the telly and washing machine don't bother him.

We have a dog too. Well 2. One sleeps with me. Huge comfort

houseeveryweekend Fri 03-Jun-16 00:09:21

Try to get into a comforting routine. Once your child is in bed maybe have a nice bath and a hot drink and put the radio on and then watch a funny film. Keep yourself distracted and occupied until you are tired enough to sleep and leave lamps on throughout the house so it looks warm and friendly. Youll get used to it after a while. I do hate it when my DP does nights but i always make sure i do something nice like get some ice cream in or a film i want to watch so that theres something to look forward to about it. xx

987flowers Fri 03-Jun-16 00:27:54

Another one here with a DP that works nights. I don't like it, I'm now in bed watching crap on t.v. and being on mumsnet!

You do get used to it, a tv in the bedroom has really helped me to get to sleep.

TFletchersWife Fri 03-Jun-16 16:52:52

Same here. DP works 4 nights on then gets 4 days and nights off.

I actually enjoy it. TV to myself, nice long bath and starfisshing in bed!

I also watch those discovery channels in bed! Like others have said you will get used to it, there's no need to be scared

Joystir58 Fri 03-Jun-16 18:42:12

my wife works nights as well and to begin with I really hated it, and felt uneasy in the house even though I'm not alone- her 83 year old mum lives with us, but is totally dependant and no support or company. Gradually I got used to it and now even enjoy it a little bit- have a bit of time to myself. What I find helpful is to get the house all ship shape and locked up and then make sure I go to bed at a normal time and resist the urge to stay up watching TV til late, I have a nice shower and settle into bed with a good book. I do ask my wife to send me a text msg to let me know she's arrived at work, cos I'm a bit anxious and that helps me settle. It gets easier in time, honestly.

Joystir58 Fri 03-Jun-16 18:44:23

I also make sure my phone is on and charged and with me. I like starfishing in the bed too!

Jelliedeels Fri 03-Jun-16 18:47:12

Same here and mine is also one.

I love it, I get to watch what I want and eat what I want.

Charge mobile phone and take that to bed.

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