Help me help him- night shifts?(29 Posts)
May be long- I want to make sure I post our situation properly iyswim. If I miss anything out, feel free to ask.
DH has been put on night shifts at work. These are temporary for a fortnight, but he's struggling.
Our routine atm is as follows:
6.15 am, he gets home. I wake the kids ready for school.
8am. He drives the DC to GPs (this is an ongoing thing. He's usually in work at 8am, so drops off at 7.15. It's not safe for me to either do the drop off or the school run)
12pm. I leave for work. (3hrs, and not every day). He apparantly needs to be awake then (?) as he worries I won't get back in time (I rely on public transport) and not waking him is not an option- he's a VERY light sleeper, and a flushed toilet
or dropped plate which was today would wake him. Thrn once he's awake, he's awake.
3pm, he does the school run. At the same time, I'm leaving work, and on a 45-90 min commute home depending on the busses.
4-4.45pm, I get home and take over.
5.15pm, he leaves for work.
He struggles to sleep when I or anyone else is awake/here. I'm a noisy fucker anyway, and we live in a tiny apartment, with our bedroom opposite the kitchen!
He's looking like shit, snappy, and just not him atm.
How can I help? Does anyone have experience of night shifts who can give me advice on body clocks/helping him get some decent sleep, etc?
Hope all this made sense.
Oh that sound tough but it sounds like he's got to try and suck it up and sleep whilst the children are at school/GPS. There's not anything else you can do is there? It's his choice to stay away during the day and if you're noisy maybe he should try ear plugs and background music
Ear plugs? Surely you can be quiet enough in the mornings to let him sleep or go out? Why does he want to wake up at 12?
I don't see why he needs to be away at 12? Can't he slepe until 2.30 then go and do school run at 3.00?
Why are you being noisy? Can you be quiet - don't flush the toilet. Do't do noisy things in the house. It is only 2 weeks. Can't you go out (park, library, cafe, friends, whatever) and let him have a quiet house to sleep in?
Shit! I'm not drip feesing, I promise- but I wfh in the mornings, so I need to be here.
Take the kids to GPs at 7.15 rather than 8 like he usually does? Then he can get to bed earlier.
When I did nights and husband and kids were at home, I used ear plugs and an eye mask, it definitely helped.
I'm a very light sleeper too and always felt like shit on nights but I found the more I did in a row the better I slept as I think it takes a while for your body clock to adjust.
I have NO clue why he has to be awake at 12. We actually argued about it this morning, as he was setting his alarm for midday!
I wfh in the mornings, so I need to be here.
But do you need to work noisily?
Can you pay for a co-work desk somewhere or use cafe/library to work for these two weeks
7.15 actually sounds like a plan. You know those days when you can't see the wood for the trees?
Four and a bit years into them now and honestly, the only reason I haven’t murdered either a neighbour or a member of my family is the fact that I can literally sleep on a washing line.
Your DH needs earplugs (and possibly an eye mask) he also needs to sleep for the amount he needs, whether that’s 6,8 or 10 hours a night. Is there any way he could not do the school run? I always find the broken sleep days are the worst and generally function best if I come home and go straight to bed. Then I get up when DH and DS are home and spend the evening with them then go to work (it’s like my day is reversed so I have my “evening” before work)
OTOH if it’s only for two weeks he could just binge sleep at the weekends and knuckle down during the week. It really is a labour of will power and organisation to do night shifts effectively <yawns sadly>
He takes the children to GPs 7.15 as usual. Then he comes home and goes to bed. If he wakes up later, he stays in bed. Use white noise/radio to muffle any sounds from the rest of the house. Ear plugs if need be. He could read a book or listen to radio/podcast, but keep the room as dark as possible, definitely no screens. At least he’s resting then, even if not asleep. He doesn’t need to worry about you coming & going to work, I’m sure you manage it by yourself when he’s at work usually. He then gets up and does school run (who does this usually when he’s at work?), and can spend some time with you & dc, eat a meal before heading off to work. It’s ok to use caffeine in the first half of his shift, but no later.
Can you elaborate on why you can't do school run so that he can drop straight into bed when he gets in? Can grandparents pick up the kids just for 2 weeks?
Ear plugs - silicon ones - defo worth a go.
And he needs to keep sleeping after you leave at 12.
Right two weeks it may be but he can't function on that amount of sleep. Can I ask why its not safe for you to do drop off/pick ups? Is there a work around? Could GPs pick up kids either in the morning or from school?
As suggested, is there a cafe you can go to? Set yourself up in the lounge with no cleaning/flushing of the loo permitted?
Can you recommend a decent brand of earplugs?
The noisyness (noisiness?) I talk of is just normal walking about etc. However, there's a park nearby I could work from (I crochet, and have a fsir few Christmas orders...involves me spreading myself about so not ideal for the library etc).
I'm seriously thinking of sending him to the PILS with the kids! They have an upstairs, which may be better for him to sleep in!
Sorry- bear with me while I catch up. My screen is set to size 24 font, and I don't always see replies. 😁
Can he go and sleep at grandparents house if it’s more quiet
Happy to elaborate. I'm blind, and the school run is a walk which involves a horrible country lane, on ehich I actually got knocked down last year. GPs live on the street of the school- they can see it from their house.I had reservations when applying for the school, as no bus routes etc, but the GPs were happy to help out. (I do give back- their house has never been cleaner etc).
They usually do the pick ups too, and either wait until DH picks the DC at 5.15, or, if it's not convenient, I'll jump in a cab or whatever, or DH will book the day off as a holiday.
The best fitting blackout blinds you can find (I use the ones for babies that stick to the window pane)
Anti histamine tablets
You keep super quiet in the house while you're in
I'd also recommend that if possible he gets a bit of out door exercise after he gets up and before he goes to work
Using a light box after he gets up (to kid his brain that it's morning) might also be helpful.
Ilovegin that idea struck me too, literally when I was typing the post before last! Would it make sense if I said our apartments are alao very "frontal"? As in, on a main road, trucks/shouting etc going on all the time... their house isn't.
It sounds really pants when I type it, but we rarely argue- so this has got to me.
I don't really understand why you're waking the kids at 6.15 if you're not taking them to GP until 8. So take them at normal time. Perhaps he could take half a nytol for a couple of shifts to help with the wakefulness? ( I used this for my first night duty because I wouldn't sleep and then again when I returned to day duty ) Setting an alarm for 12 seems crazy and I'm not sure what he's doing that for? . Is anyone else available to collect the kids for a play date or could they go to an after school club for a hour just a couple of times.? At the weekend he should stay up quite late and get up quite late so he doesn't mess himself up for the shifts the following week.... keeping in the groove is a lot easier that chopping & changing.
Forgive me- 7.15.
We USUALLY wake them at 6.15 (when he's on days) because he drops them off at 7.15.
Typo. I'm a sod for them!
Is there a spare room at GPs? Can he drop the kids there; and go straight to their spare room with earplugs abd an eye mask and sleep there? He can then sleep through til the kids c9me back from school and bring them home.
DH does shift work. He uses an eye mask and white noise machine to sleep in the day time, but has been struggling with insomnia since a cancer diagnosis so the consultant has recommended a dawn simulator - haven't bought it yet though. Earplugs are a good suggestion, I work from home too when he's in bed and make sure the doors are all closed and I keep the noise down as much as I can. Some noise is unavoidable though, but he has got used to sleeping through - it takes time if it's a new shift pattern.
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