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Nightshift and no childcare...does anyone do it and manage?(24 Posts)
Does anyone work nightshift then look after their children during the day when home?
I am looking to return to work after being on maternity with my 2nd who is now 1. I have a 10 year old too.
I am a bank nursing auxiliary for the NHS. I'm not that keen on my job but the flexibility with having 2 kids is just too comfortable.
I am struggling with the thought f going back as I planned to get another job within a nursery when finishing maternity but I would be working to pay childcare so me and my partner discussed me doing nightshift as its enhanced rate pay and wouldn't pay childcare.
Hi OP. I don't know how often your shifts would be, and how long they would be. DH is a doctor and when he does a run of nights- say 4 days in a row, each shift being about 13 hours - there's no way he could be responsible for our DC in the day as he needs to be asleep, sleep is not optional and you would get ill very quickly. If your night shifts are one off and/or a lot shorter it MAY be possible to push on without sleep until the next night but I think it would be difficult and you'd feel pretty rubbish.
Are you planning on working a night shift and then staying up all day the next day? Or are you going to be working the night before your partner's days off so you can sleep?
If you're planning on working a night shift and then caring for a 1 year old and doing school runs then I think it's going to be tough, but possibly one shift a week may be doable. I think any more than that would be dangerous.
I used to do it when mine were younger. Never when doing two nights in a row but managed the preschool years by doing two nights a week. I would just stay up with them during the day and then go to bed at the same time as the DC.
One shift is doable in the week but you will feel dreadful. How well does your 12m old sleep? If they are up all night teething will you be expected to then be one all up night even after 2 days no sleep?
I honestly don't think that's a good idea. I did nightshifts for a while and I think it's doable to work, do the school run and then sleep while they are at school. But not with a toddler
I do night shifts, never in a row so I can get up and function on minimal sleep and go to bed early that night.
But mine are 10 & 12 and able to sort themselves/get home from school so I can sleep.
With a 1yo, I'm not sure it would be sustainable
I used to do two split nights then didn’t need to sleep after
I had several colleagues who did split nights and cared for the children in the day. Amazing what you can manage on a power nap either while cold child naps or watches TV.
I've done it but thankfully only occasionally eg poorly child, school holidays etc.
I wouldn't recommend it as a long term solution!
That being said since you are back presumably you have a lot of flexibility in which shifts you accept and which you don't.
I’ve known people who work night shift I’m a factory from 10pm to 6am then go home get the kids up, drop them at school and then go to bed.
Would you be working a 12 hour or 8 hour shift. I would be possible to do a Friday night shift then you come home and sleep on Saturday day time whilst DP looks after the kids and takes them out to the park so you can get some sleep.
Working a night shift during the week then getting home and taking your 10 year old to school then staying up all day apart from a small nap whilst your 1 year old naps is dangerous and you could have an accident or nod off whilst looking after the toddler. If you woke up Monday at 7am then did a night shift 7pm to 7am Tuesday and crashed out at 7pm Tuesday that would be 36 hours with no sleep!
I have a friend who worked night shift (10 hour shifts) and then looked after her pre-school aged children during the day when nurseries were closed during covid. Her partner was wfh and able to finish work mid-afternoon to takeover childcare so my friend would have time to get in 6 hours sleep before her next shift. It worked but partly because her role was usually not very demanding, it was in a care home but the residents were usually asleep and even if they awoke their support needs weren’t complex, so it didn’t matter too much if she was tired. As soon as childcare settings re-opened her children went back to nursery and I don’t think friend would have found it sustainable long term.
I have a 1 year old and a 5 year old and I do this. I work one night shift in the week and then stay up the next day with the baby, and get the other one to and from school. I won’t lie, it’s bloody tough and sometimes I want to cry because I’m so tired, but needs must and it’s the only way we can do it financially. I could only do it once a week. My other shifts are covered by when my husband is off to do childcare.
I wouldn’t do it, it’s horrendous. You could theoretically cope if it’s just one and you get to sleep the next night but the tiredness is awful.
What I used to do was weekend nights, DH doing the childcare. We were like ships that passed in the night and it wasn’t great but we muddled through.
When ds2 went to play school I did 2 weekday nights but he only went for 3 hours in the afternoon in between my nights so it was hell on earth, I was so exhausted trying to stay awake.
I aged years doing nights and wouldn’t be keen to go back to it but no childcare costs made such a difference.
Thank you all for your replies
I would be doing 1 12 hour night shift a week.
I would make around the same weekly wage if I was to do my preferred job but that would be working 5 days a week and most of my wage would go on childcare and fuel so would rather work one night a week and not have to send the kids to a nursery or childminder
If you're only doing it once a week then you might be able to manage it.
Do they do twilight shifts where you’d finish at 12/2am?! That might be more doable
Could you do two nights then and have baby in nursery on the days after the night shift? You could maybe manage the school run for the 10 year old then go straight to bed. Or your dp could maybe do it. Then you’d still be better off financially and still have some free time during the week. Alternatively could you do a Friday or Saturday night and your dp look after the kids?
Yep, I did it when DD was a baby. I did two night shifts, Tues / Wed , so only needed to have some sleep on the Wednesday . On that day I'd stay up until she had her daytime sleep, and I'd sleep at the same time. Then when DH came home from work I'd have a couple of hours sleep before going back to work. I did that for a couple of years. It was really good for us financially since we had no childcare fees and the pay was very good.
If you're only doing one 12 hour shift you'll be fine ! Go for it. Night shift is great for people with children.
Yes, did it for years. Still do it now (we’ll I will when nightclubs reopen) as kids often have all day sports that I need to be around for after a night shift. When they were little I’d have a nap around 3pm, making sure the room was safe and babyproofed (lounge) whilst they either napped with me or watched tv for an hour. That power nap would get me through to bedtime. Always make sure you have food and drinks already prepared so physically you do just the important stuff xx
My DP does 2 consecutive night shifts a week (day shifts for rest of week) and usually does not sleep between. He's gone 6pm to 9am and manages fine despite being someone who really needs sleep. I don't think it affects his care of our daughter at all. He just plays with her while I'm working, nothing too active and usually stays home with her rather than driving when he's tired.
If I could do night shifts in my job I would as a don't sleep much anyway, so our work patterns leave us with 2 knackered parents.
The lack of sleep does cause short tempers but if you're only working one night a week I don't know why you're worrying you can't do it. Sounds very easy to deal with.
I did it when I was a nurse the the 1980s for a short while but you can ONLY cope if you are not working consecutive nights otherwise you will die and fall asleep either at work or as soon as your kids have worked out how to use the matches.
I'm already struggling with the thought going back so just trying to figure out options that disrupt the kids the least so I'm hoping this will be doable
What does your partner do? Could you do a night shift on a Friday or Saturday so you can sleep while he has the children?
I used to do this
Worked Wednesday and Saturday night shift while my friends daughter slept at my house
I had to stay awake all Thursday and Sunday , then go to the bed with the children
It was easier in the summer
I'd not recommend it at all