Hi - I'm at a bit of a crucial time when I'm perparing for a future as a midwife. I've been a SAHM for over 9 yrs and although I've been very active researching/studying/taking chair person roles/breast feeding peer supporting etc, it's all been done whilst the kids were at school or at night when they're in bed.
There is a part of me that wonders about the guilt I'll feel when doing shift work (even the degree requires me to do the same shift patterns as my mentor and although I'm not applying until 2013/2014, I have to do an Access course which will be nearly £800 so need to make sure it's something I can deal with.
My DH will possibly still be working away during the week so I'll be relying on my mum to have the kids over night (they will be 12 and 10) and collect/take them to school etc. Or I guess we could have an au pair but DH is not keen living with a stranger in our rather small house.
Can anyone tell me their shift patterns in hospital (not necessarily midwives) and explain their child care set ups for nights/earlies etc to give me an idea. Oh and how the kids have coped with mum who does shift work.
I am registered with studentmidwife.com so I know there's lots of help on there but thought I'd post here for a quicker/wider response.
Where I work we do 12.5 hour shifts, either 7-19:30 or 19:30-7. I work 25 hours so do 2 a week, plus from next month we won't get paid breaks anymore (when you start working for the NHS you will get used to being screwed over <bitter>) so every week I will affectedly owe an hour so will I will also have to do a 5 hour shift a month extra. I work mostly nights, and then about once a month I work a day shift at the weekend so dh can look after dd.
Working nights works for me because we then only have to find childcare for one or two mornings a week, at the moment dd's in nursery for 2 mornings and I work around those mornings, from September she'll be in the school nursery 5 mornings a week so that means I can be more flexible about when I work. If anything I find shifts much easier than a 9-5 job, where working 25 hours would mean 3 full days nursery. I'm lucky in that I see dd every day for at least half of the day.
Your children are obviously older and if you've got family nearby you should be fine. As long as the ward you are working on allows you to make plenty of requests, and you are prepared to work your share of weekends, once you are qualified and have a permanent base you should be able to work it out. What you might find more difficult is the training because they will mostly just mirror your mentors' shifts.