How to be a great parent when you work long hours or occasionally have to work overnight shifts
“WORKING LATE NIGHT UPTO ZERO HOUR DON’T THINK ME WEAK, I HAVE LITTLE SOME POWER”
Working the night shift as a parent is hard. I know all about that night shift life.
Well, maybe all parents know about the night shift life, right? We're all up at ungodly hours nursing our babies, soothing tummy aches, and scaring away the monsters.
But what I'm here to talk to you about is a little bit different. I'm talking about managing your life as a parent while working a night shift or long hours. I'm a clinical psychologist by profession! Yep, it's a dream job and I absolutely love it but working the night shift is
Psychologists, along with many other professionals, have diverse work settings, ranging from private practice where they have whatever office hours they set (although often on call at all times) to positions within organizations where they might work night shifts, weekends, and other non-traditional work hours. On the demand side, people with medical/psychological issues, often cannot fit within a traditional weekday work period. So in many cases, these professionals have some availability beyond the normal work week.
As a therapist, I used to work the night shift in an emergency room in a hospital and got to know many doctors who shared my work hours. No matter which way you slice it, being a parent who works the night shift means that you are sacrificing sleep. If you're a parent, you already know all about that, don't you?
Why I am here and who I am:
Parenting isn’t about how much time you spend together. What’s more important is what you do with the time you spend together. And as a parent who works the night shift, those moments become crucial to your relationship as a family.
Spending quality time with your children whenever you’re able to do so greatly impacts how your children will turn out as adults.
I still have fond memories of those midnight fishing trips with my dad. He would get home around 11:30 pm and we’d head out to the backyard with flashlights in search of night crawlers, big, fat earthworms, perfect for baiting those nocturnal bottom-feeding catfish out of hiding.
During those few late-night excursions, he taught me the science found in the nature around me. I learned to appreciate the hard work it takes to provide a family with food. I grew to understand my father better through long conversations about his childhood and the struggles he overcame in life. You never know how meaningful those little moments are when they come to your own life. You can only do your best as a parent to make them happen as frequently as possible
Over everything, this spending quality time helps us to take care of our mental health.
Here's a guide on how to become a great parent while working long and night hours:
Make sure your children are a priority in your life and allocate time for them when you can.
Plan your schedule in advance to make the most of your time with your kids.
Find creative ways to spend quality time with your children, like reading bedtime stories over the phone or video calls.
Teach your children to be self-sufficient and help them develop their own interests and skills.
Maintain open communication:
Stay in touch with your children, listen to their concerns, and make sure they feel supported.
Don't be afraid to ask forBe present: help from family or friends, this can allow you to spend more quality time with your kids.
When you'rMake up for lost time:, give them your full attention and make the most of the time you have together.
Make up for lost time:
If you miss out on a family activity, make an effort to do something special to make up for it.
Keep a schedule of work, family, and personal commitments to ensure that you're making the most of your time.
Children and Chores:
Cooking, cleaning, and other household chores will need to be included in your family’s routine schedule. Children of all ages can be involved in every aspect of the family community. Learning these life skills at a young age promotes self-reliance and develops invaluable and essential qualities that everyone should have.
Work as a Team:
Getting everyone involved in taking care of the family responsibilities prevents any one person from having to do it all. This will reduce the risk of exhaustion that comes from trying to manage an entire household alone. Delegating age-appropriate assignments will also eliminate any feelings of resentment that come from working harder than everyone else.
Take care of yourself:
Make sure to take time for yourself, as this will help you be a better parent and work more effectively.
Remember that being a great parent is not about being perfect, it's about being there for your kids and providing them with love and support.
Image credits: Freepik