The Struggle With Shift Work

Working from home means I fit in work wherever I can. I know people say that you should set specific hours like you would in any other job but that isn’t always feasible with a toddler around. Now that he will be attending nursery for three hours every weekday, I am hoping that I can get the bulk of my work done then and manage around him at other times like I have always done.

The problem we have is Steve’s shift work. He works both days and nights and it is a struggle to fit in everything. His work in security means someone needs to be on site at all times hence the shift work. They are responsible for a variety of different things such as overseeing stock takes, industrial cleaning and much more.

We obviously want to spend time together as a couple, he wants to spend time with his son and I constantly feel as if I am chasing my tail, trying to keep on top of not just my work but the housework too. Hoovering can’t be done during the day time when Steve has been on a night shift otherwise it wakes him up (our house is very small and you can hear everything), about the only thing I can get done is putting his clothes in the washing machine and even then his work clothes almost take up the whole machine!

A friend recently told me that if you wear a uniform to work that you have to wear, then you are able to claim a tax rebate on the washing of that uniform. It may not be much but every little helps – and when you are putting them in the washing machine as often as I am, the cost soon adds up. I’m definitely thinking of getting Steve to claim it back, according to Tax Returned he is due between £24-£120 back. That may not seem much but it would definitely help in the run up to Christmas.

The other thing that gets affected with shift work is our sleep. We try to make Jack’s experience as stress free as possible so he doesn’t suffer at all – his routine is kept the same pretty much all of the time. However I often find myself sitting up at the computer long into the early hours when Steve is on nights, trying to get everything done. Or right now where I’ve barely slept all night before taking Jack into nursery early this morning and now sitting here catching up with emails when I should be spending time with my partner who finally has a couple of days off.

I’m not going to complain too much though, it is something we can live with and at least he has a secure job – so many people can’t get them nowadays. I just wish that he would either settle onto permanent days or permanent nights – at least we would know whether we are coming or going. Do you have any experience with shift work?

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1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Ah yes, I understand your pain! I used to work shifts and although I don’t have a child, it really did just screw up my routine and made it almost impossible to make nice weekend plans with my friends or partner ( I would be working when they were all free).

    My dad also works nights so my mum is alone most nights and she doesn’t enjoy this set up either! Like you say it could always be worse, but doesn’t mean that it’s not frustrating. Hope eventually you guys can settle into a permanent routine!

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