You’re thinking about working third shift, but you have a family. So, is this a smart idea? It could be! Here are some tips for balancing third shift with family life.
How to Work Third Shift with a Family
Enlist Your Family’s Support
Although working third shift with a family is possible, it does present challenges. Be sure your children, your spouse and/or any other family members understand exactly what’s involved. Not only will you be away at night but also, you’ll need help when you get home. Your family may have to pitch in with everything from doing dishes to keeping the house quiet while you sleep. Outlining these expectations in advance (and enlisting everyone’s support) makes the night shift much easier.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Even though you’re working nights, you still need seven to nine hours of sleep every day. If you try to squeak by on a three-hour nap, you’ll be exhausted and drained. Therefore, make sleep a TOP priority. Decide when your bedtime is and stick to it. Some third-shift workers choose to sleep from early morning to mid-afternoon, while others prefer mid-afternoon to late evening. Or you may find a segmented sleep schedule is best for you. Segmented sleep involves breaking your sleep into two blocks. For example, you could sleep for four hours when you get home and then for another four hours before you leave.
Plan for Childcare
You can’t work all night, watch your kids all day AND get enough sleep. Thus, plan accordingly. If you have school-age children, you may be able to drop them off and sleep while they’re at school. But if your children are younger (or on summer vacation), you’ll need to hire a babysitter or find a childcare facility.
Establish a Routine
Once you’ve decided when you’ll sleep, you can arrange the rest of your schedule. For example, let’s say you sleep from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You could pick up the kids from school, fix dinner and enjoy a few quiet hours before heading out to work. However, this also means you’ll need to have someone else get the kids ready for their day. Setting up this routine (with a babysitter, a relative or your spouse) will keep life manageable.
Focus on the Benefits
Most people prefer first or second shift over third. Nevertheless, the night shift has its own set of benefits. Many companies pay higher rates for third shift. You could put this money toward a fun vacation or your children’s college funds. Additionally, a 2017 study suggested a third shift schedule positively impacted both children’s behavior and their relationship with their parents! Originally researchers were surprised by this result. Yet, they discovered third-shift parents tended to interact more frequently with their children especially during important times of the day such as right after school.
Are You Interested in Working Third Shift?
FirstStaff is hiring! Our recruiters place light industrial and office workers throughout the state of Arkansas, and we have lots of third-shift openings. Browse our available jobs and discover your next job opportunity today!