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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

First off, I realize my situation is A LOT different than most jobs considering I work from home but I have been running into problems keeping my schedule lately with me being sick a couple weeks ago, the kids sick recently, and a bunch of other stuff. I could easily make up lost time in the evening hours but by doing that I sacrifice time with my kids and I don't want them to have to endure that.

I've been tossing around a couple of ideas to help make my schedule a little more flexible and fit better with my "night owl" syndrome.

Here's one idea:

I can work a split-shift, 4 hours mid day (while the kids are in daycare/preschool) and 4 hours after the kids go to bed (approximately 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. I'm envisioning that I could sleep about 5-1/2 hours until I would need to get up to help Ken get out the door with the kids. Then I could go back to sleep for a couple more hours and work the second 4-hour shift in the afternoon.

Doing this would completely free up my time with the kids in the evening and I would have time in the late morning/early afternoon to throw a decent supper together, as well as use this time to go to any doc appointments, do shopping, etc. The one big drawback in doing this is that I would lose relaxation time in the evenings after the kids are in bed, watching some of our fav TV shows with Ken. After the kids are asleep is really the only time we discuss anything non-toddler related.

The other thing I have considered but would completely throw my weekend schedule out of whack is to work all-nighters from apprxoimately 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The problem with that is that when Saturday and Sunday roll around it would be difficult for me to throw myself back into a regular routine so I can spend the weekends with the family as well as attending church on Sunday mornings, etc.

Have any of you with kids ever really tweaked your work schedule like this before? How did it go? I haven't brought this idea up to Ken or to my supervisor yet. I want to do some serious thinking about it before considering it.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

I worked the 11pm- 7am or 8 pm- 8 am shifts for 9 years. I liked it because I could work full time and still have some flexibility to be up when my son got home from daycare/school. By far I liked the 12 hour shifts the best because I could just get the work done. I would do 3 days one week, 4 days the next. When you work a straight 12 hour schedule you don't get over time, but it made up for it in more days off.

It is hard working full time when you have kids. Thank goodness you don't have to add in commute time to the equation.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

Since you worked graveyard for so many years, did you find it hard to have quality time with the kids for after-school activities they were in or even just plain ol' hanging out with them? Also, how was it for you to schedule appointments and do things that can only be done from 8-5?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 03:33 PM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

I found it very hard to be involved in my son's activities when I worked the 12 hour shifts because I would leave for work at 7 pm. When I worked the 11p- 7a shift he was younger and it actually was nice. I would get home about 8 am and sleep until 3 pm when I would go get him from day care. Once he started school he came home about the same time.

I had all evening to spend with him, rock him to sleep, etc. then off to work at 10 pm.

If I had worked the day shift ( 7 am- 3 pm) I would have been getting home around 4 pm, so not much difference.

I have always been a night owl, and really liked the night hours. To this day I still sleep better in the day than night.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 03:47 PM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

I'll toss my hat in the ring for split shift, I have been working at home and out of the house part-time, and the four hours in the day plus four hours after kid (just one) is in bed worked well for me.

While your kids are younger and in school only for a short day, the evening shift will difficult since you are committing a full four hours after they are in bed. Once they are in elementary school and are busy for longer hours (til 2 or 3 pm) you could conceivably split the hours to 5.5 in the day, and 2.5 at night, which would get you more sleep.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2008, 11:39 PM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

I used to work 11pm to 7am, and I loved it. I lived in New Orleans then, and the night shift meant less traffic, and things at work were quieter. There was also the added bonus of cooler temperatures in the summer.
But, I didn't have any kids then, either.
I'll throw my two cents in and vote for the split daytime shift, which gives you more time to be with your children.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2008, 08:15 PM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

Don't do the night shift if you can help it. I work in sleep medicine and know first hand that night shift is a sleep disorder in itself. It sounds like you wouldn't be able to sleep long enough during the day anyway.

Your split shift idea isn't really that great because it's going to fragment your sleep quite a bit. 5 and a half hours at night and then a nap during the day will throw your cycle off by a lot. You get most of your REM sleep right about when you would be getting up and you would not get it back during your nap. It's probably not the worst thing you could do to your sleep, but it's not a great idea. Relying on naps to complete your sleep cycle doesn't work that well.

What about working longer hours and less days and then getting more child care on the days you work? You could do three 12 hour shifts and a 4 hour shift or four 10 hour shifts.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendalyn
What about working longer hours and less days and then getting more child care on the days you work? You could do three 12 hour shifts and a 4 hour shift or four 10 hour shifts.
Nice thought, but that's definitely not an option around here. My husband takes and brings the kids back from daycare according to his schedule and it never encompasses more than 9-1/2 hours in the day.

Plus, people are so hard up for daycare here now and our current daycare lady only has an 11-hour day total. I would hate to drop her for someone else because she has very reasonable rates and the kids would be devastated if we pulled them out to go somewhere else.

I talked the situation over with Ken and I think I might try keeping my regular schedule M-W-F and work split shift T-Th. T-Th are the days that I have to start late because I take the kids to preschool later than they normally go to daycare and so by the time Ken comes home at the end of the day I've only got about 8 hours, and it's so hard to concentrate on working with the kids running around "being kids."
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:40 AM
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

Just curious...what do you do?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seeking opinions on varying work schedules...

medical transcriptionist
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