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Work And Family Shifts. A Useful Guide For Working Parents

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter before racing home to drop the kids off at school, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to juggle shift work with family responsibilities. We adore our family, of course, but the majority of us also have fervent professional careers because we work shifts.

There will be difficulties, but if you have a positive outlook and a strong network of friends and family, your non-traditional work-life will actually be advantageous to your family.

I want shift workers who are actively attempting to create a work-life balance to find inspiration from this post. To that end, this piece is filled with sage advice to assist you navigate each and every day, original suggestions to keep you linked, and honest discussion of potential obstacles.

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Balancing Family and Shift Work

Whether we have children at home, shift workers must be proactive in finding a work-life balance, which requires some flexibility, creativity, and organization. Because of this, these three concepts ought to serve as the cornerstones of any sensible plan for handling shift work when you have a family.


We are accustomed to being adaptable as working professionals with a non-standard schedule. We can manage when we are forced to work mandatory overtime, we don’t even blink when we have to observe holidays a few days early or late, and some of us have even developed the ability to modify our daily routines to accommodate constantly shifting work schedules.

In other words, you already have at least one tool that will enable you to strike a balance between your personal and professional obligations.

Being adaptable and having the capacity to roll with the punches are two qualities that come in handy when raising a family.


You can find solutions to balance work and family by using a little imagination. Sometimes all it takes to make the most of the time you have with your family is to think creatively. Here are a few original suggestions that shift workers who successfully juggle work and family life have given us.

Bring your family to you: If your employer is on board, you can ask your family to stop by for a visit during your shift, or at the very least, during your break. If you have a job that requires you to wait around a lot, this works very nicely.

This advice was given to me by a friend who used to visit her father at the ambulance company where he worked. He would leave if he got a call when they were having dinner together.

Planning and initiative

Even if we need to be adaptable, some aspects of our lifestyles are unavoidable. For instance, we will always need to eat. And there will always be some annoying housework that needs to be done, like laundry.

Having a strategy in place will help you approach these kinds of daily tasks more effectively, giving you more time to spend with your family.

Meal Planning: One of the finest strategies for reducing everyday stress and anxiety is to schedule your meals in advance. It will be easier for you to enjoy family mealtime if you can answer the question “what’s for dinner?” with certainty.

Meal planning can be as easy as creating a weekly menu, or you can go one step further and prepare your meals in advance, so you won’t have to worry about them on workdays.

Maintain a routine for your chores: Try to spread out your chores over the course of the week so you can complete one or two per day rather than having them pile up, which can also lead to tension building up.

This level of proactive behavior at least demonstrates to family that you make an effort to prioritize them.

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Taking Care of Older Children and Teens While Working Shifts

Parenting problems for older children and teenagers are very different from those for infants or small children. Your children will most likely be able to respect your need for sleep at this stage in their development, and may even be able to get themselves to and from school.

You might not even need to worry about hiring a babysitter anymore if you are fortunate enough to have a responsible teenager. What problems does that leave, then? When your children get older, it can be difficult to find meaningful time to spend with them.

When they get home from school, either you will work or they will choose to hang out with their buddies rather than you.

Here are some suggestions we came up with for navigating the adolescent need for independence when you really just want to spend time with your child. Professional help in this area would probably be best provided by a family therapist or someone with similar credentials.

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