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Night shift then sahm in the day?

(35 Posts)
Woodyhels Mon 29-Oct-12 09:58:40

Basically looking for reassurance, found my perfect job (based on hours) and am starting my first proper shift tonight.

I am going to be working 3 nights (10 til 6) and then looking after dd during the day.

I have it all planned out with naps when dd (13 months) naps and reduced household tasks, but now, I'm crapping myself that I won't cope.

I'm sure other people do this and cope? How do you do it? What do you do to stay awake?

DameEnidsOrange Mon 29-Oct-12 10:01:04

I've done it, but my DCs are older, so were at school in the day - which was when I slept, or if they were off school I would nap on the sofa while they played quietly / watched tv.

My friend did it from when she went back after mat leave, so it is do-able but she was really tired.

Are your nights all together?

DameEnidsOrange Mon 29-Oct-12 10:01:26

Forgot to say good luck

FreddieMercuryforQueen Mon 29-Oct-12 10:05:08

You'll be exhausted. You need good quality sleep after a nightshift if you're to be even remotely productive at work. If all 3 are in a row I'd be saying it's impossible to do without some form of childcare.

Woodyhels Mon 29-Oct-12 10:12:11

All three are in a row this week, I am not sure about next week as the shifts are always going to change.

I'm hoping to get around 6 hours sleep between shifts and praying that will be enough

merlottits Mon 29-Oct-12 10:16:23

Ive done it many times over the years and it is bloody brutal. It will nearly kill you. It WILL adversely affect your health, your parenting and your relationship. But I always chose it over benefits.

I wouldn't advise anyone to do it. It's bad, really bad.


merlottits Mon 29-Oct-12 10:17:36

Impossible doing them together. Impossible.

MrClaypole Mon 29-Oct-12 10:20:33

No way could I have functioned at all the day after a night shift.

You will need to get childcare for the daytime so you can sleep.

hazelnutlatte Mon 29-Oct-12 10:24:36

How are you going to get 6 hours sleep between shifts? It doesn't sound doable to me. I do occasional night shifts and my dd is the same age. I get very little sleep in the day when I do this so the agreement with my work is that if I do nights, they are not together, and usually one of the nights would be at the weekend so dp can look after dd in the day time. Even so, I still find it exhausting!

hlipop Mon 29-Oct-12 10:34:22

its not impossible i do 5 day night shifts in a row and look after my dd's during the day, i generally sleep on the sofa while they play, i get up for preschool run, lunch, tea etc but it is do-able...I am very tired by the last day but i do ALL my jobs then have a nice lie in day 6 and im ready to go to my weekend day job

Woodyhels Mon 29-Oct-12 10:36:41

I'm now more worried, great, dd will sleep 2-3 hours in the afternoon and then when oh gets home from work between 5:30 and 6 I will go to bed until 9, up shower and go to work.

I know the best laid plans and all that, as I've just started I am not sure what the possibility of requesting non consecutive days will be or anything else really, in laws have said that they may take dd occasionally when I need them to, but they don't do nappies so if dd needed changing I would need to be woken which sounds a bit counter productive to me!

I am expecting it to be hard and to be tired etc but was hoping that someone would say its doable and you get used to it!

Guess I just need to see how it goes!

mynameis Mon 29-Oct-12 10:40:33

Hate to be another voice of doom but I think it will be very very hard to manage on that little sleep.

Is there anyone who can help you even for a few hours in the day? Just to get one solid block of sleep

FreddieMercuryforQueen Mon 29-Oct-12 10:45:11

Honestly it really isn't doable, not for any length of time. And by that I mean more than a week or two. Unfortunately people seem to have the impression that working all night isn't really 'working' as such and so sleep during the day is a luxury. It's not, it's completely essential, exactly the way sleeping from 10pm to 6am is needed to do a Monday to Friday 9-5 job.

MarshaBrady Mon 29-Oct-12 10:48:10

It will be too hard in the morning waiting to sleep and how will you wake up after two hours when you need more.

scarevola Mon 29-Oct-12 10:48:57

What is the job - for it may prove unsafe to do some tasks when sleep deprived. I wouldn't want you to be a danger to yourself or to others.

Pulling an allnighter is something I could do in my youth, and might still manage on a very occasional basis now. It's not something that anyone should be planning to do 3 days a week indefinitely. You really need childcare.

bamboostalks Mon 29-Oct-12 10:50:26

My poor old mum did it for donkeys years. She managed but it was tough.

Toughasoldboots Mon 29-Oct-12 10:51:17

I tried this when I was nursing, I nearly gave someone x10 the correct dose of insulin one night. If I hadn't have double checked, I would have killed him.

I resigned the next day- wasn't worth it for me.

AndDIEMacDuff Mon 29-Oct-12 10:52:02

I think you are also overlooking the fact that your DD won't be napping 3 hours at a time for much longer. Sure, you could get lucky and have it like that for another year, but it could also be that by the time she's 18 months she's down to one hour. How do you expect to cope on then 4 hours sleep at best?

beckythump Mon 29-Oct-12 10:53:27

It is doable if you get the sleep you plan for each afternoon plus a solid 3hrs before work, but you would feel dreadful, shaky, tearful and frequently at the end of your patience reserves.
Intrigued as to why inlaws won't do nappies.

SouthernComforts Mon 29-Oct-12 11:00:25

I think it will be very hard. I do sort of nights (7-4am) twice a week and I can manage having dd all day before my shift but I would be a zombie if I had dd all the next day then worked again. I could do it, but it wouldn't be nice.

It also depends on how good you are at sleeping at odd hours, eg when your dc are playing in the next room, and eating at odd hours. You need to be able to eat and sleep whenever possible to keep going.

Good luck.

headlesshorseman Mon 29-Oct-12 11:02:14

It is doable, I have a friend with 2 babies/toddlers who does permanent nights with no childcare. She manages to nap on the sofa with kids in playpen/ secure area, and then 2-3 hrs after DP is home.
I'v just finished a set of nights, but my DCs are school age. I don't sleep well in the day, so try and have 2 naps of 20-30 mins throughout the day and then a good 2 hours before work. And I don't get up until the last possible moment to get to work. And the bare minimum of housework. So everyone is fed, and the dishwasher is put on but that is it. And if you can manage a power nap during your break at work it makes life much easier.
The main thing to remember is to eat and drink as if you were working in the day. Even without enough sleep you'll still be able to function well enough if you are well fed and hydrated and i'm a nurse and i haven't killed anyone yet

janey68 Mon 29-Oct-12 11:51:54

I would feel I was shortchanging either my children, my employer, or both to be totally honest with you.
If you're shattered after working all night, it's going to be very tempting to try to get your child to nap or do really low key passive activities when they don't really want to, rather than interacting with them properly. That's not a personal criticism of your parenting; I would say the same to anyone. i think with the best will in the world you'll be worn out so quickly that you'll be tempted to cut corners either in the workplace or home.

Have you taken this job as a way of trying to earn but avoid childcare? Because in all honesty, your child will be far better off spending a few hours a day with good quality childcare so you can sleep, rather than being with a worn out mum.

No one would dream of doing a conventional all day job, and then staying up all night every night. What you are doing is an exact parallel to that - you will be doing a full working 'day' (albeit at night time!) and then trying to run on empty.

Woodyhels Mon 29-Oct-12 13:27:37

Thanks for all of the comments, even if they are not all what I wanted to hear smile

A main motivator is to avoid childcare costs, and because I didn't want to leave dd during the day.

I am able to survive on very little sleep, I normally get around 6 hours a night and most of that is broken as I wake frequently and am a light sleeper (so always hear dd)

I know that this is not for everyone and I am hoping that after a few weeks my system will adjust, dp and I have already decided that if it is not working for us as a family for any of the reasons you have described I will stop.

Thanks to those who do it successfully smile it is in the restaurant industry so hygiene and awareness of hot things are important but I would not be operating machinery etc.

DameEnidsOrange Mon 29-Oct-12 13:43:42

From how you have described your role, it sounds like it is less dangerous (to others) than nursing or care to do whilst sleep deprived.

I think if you could space your nights a bit it wouldn't be too bad, but to have to go through the day and night without a decent chunk of sleep will be exhausting.

One other thing to think about is that if you're not really doing much with your DD during the day - ie she is watching tv etc while you nap, then she won't be burning off energy and it may affect her behaviour.

Woodyhels Tue 30-Oct-12 02:09:00

Managed a 2 hour nap today and just on my break and so far so good.

After another chat with dp and the manager we have all concluded that I need to see how I go and that we need to work together to see if this is manageable long term.

Thanks for all the advice smile

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