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Shift work

Answered 2 months ago

For those of you who work shift work...
How have you found it affects your social life?
Are your friends and family understanding of the demands of this kind of employment ie. Missing out on birthdays/Christmas/other important events because you have to work or because you need to sleep during the day to prepare for night shift etc or do they expect you to be able to change your work schedule/miss out on sleep to accommodate them or get annoyed/stop inviting you to events?
Interested to hear your stories.
Not looking for advice, just curious about the experiences of others in a similar situation.

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Answers

ANSWER
2 years ago
Hubby and I have been together 21 years, married for 18 - and I did shift work for 18 years.
Things I have noticed, now that I have a Mon-Fri business hours position, that have been affected by me doing shift work include
1. I don’t have any solid friendships now - shift work got in the way of staying social. I’m also a bit introverted & socially reserved so shift work was a good excuse to not push my own boundaries.
That’s backfired on me.
2. Husbands drinking was a lot worse than I realised - he would drink when I was at work
3. Spending more time together was hard at first when I started having every weekend off. We were both used to our own space. It’s a lot better now though
4. Shift work was a convenient excuse to get out of extended-family events - which I regret now too
5. My kids missed me way more than I ever expected that they did. They are teens now & have let me know how they felt when I wasn’t home on the w/ends or if I had to sleep after night shift, how hard they found being quiet. It impacted them unfortunately
6. I never missed Xmas once I had kids - but i worked a lot of New Years Eves though as a compromise

Shift work can be great, but it can have its drawbacks too. I think it really depends on the individual & their circumstances

REPLY
2 years ago
Thank you for sharing. x

REPLY
2 months ago
This was my reply from 2 yrs ago - sometimes I still wish I worked on weekends so I didn’t have to put up with his toxic behaviour from drinking.
But better I’m here with the kids than have them left to deal with him alone!
And my number 1 point - no solid friendships ... I am so f**king lonely now, I wish I had tried harder & not used shift work as an excuse to cover up my introverted self.
Oh, and I really miss days off during the week to do errands or appointments etc or to just go to the beach or hike when it’s not so busy. It’s the little things sometimes.

ANSWER
2 months ago
I still get a little teary thinking about the icu nurse that stayed behind 2 hours after her shift ended on Christmas Day to get me to the nicu to hold my baby girl for the first time.
My twins were born Christmas Eve, I got to hold my son right away, my daughter was rushed to nicu and the icu I was in was a different building. They needed an extra nurse to come with us along with the nurse taking over and a doctor that I believe was supposed to be heading home too or I couldn’t go. It is etched in my memory her talking to her daughter while we were in the lift telling her that mummy would be home soon because her patient needed to nurse her baby, this nurse had to physically help me hold my baby , I will never forget her hand resting on my shoulder as I held her.
I really wish I had gotten her name, the hospital would not tell me her name, I called a few weeks later as I wanted to nominate her for the awards the hospital held, although I do hope after what I told them they nominated her anyway without telling me her name.
Thankyou shift workers 😘😘😘

ANSWER
2 years ago
My hubby is a shift worker. I get it 100%. But my family struggle. They don't get that he has to miss a birthday or Christmas day (like this year). It's like they get pissed off at him, yet they wouldn't be pissed if their house was burning down and they needed a firey on Xmas day would they. Yep, just had a mini argument with myself there. But you get me haha.

REPLY
2 years ago
I absolutely do! Both hubby and I work shift work for ambulance (in different roles) and have the same issues... No one wants us to work on Christmas but if someone needed an ambulance Christmas day, who would they call?!??

ANSWER
2 years ago
Sometimes people tell me "well tell them you aren't doing arvo shift" or "just call in sick". I have found it was impacting my social life a bit though and time with kids so I've made myself N/A on a Saturday to spend time with my kids and husband at least

REPLY
2 years ago
Yes call in sick i used to get this from my sahm friend- she had no idea

REPLY
2 years ago
Yep, the call in sick comments irritate me too. Some people just don’t get it.

ANSWER
2 years ago
I did it for a year before kids. Made really close friends with my shift working colleagues but it isolated me from everyone else. Hard to do stuff like team sports and you end up spending more time watching TV and computer gaming but at least now theres 24 hour gyms which werent around when I did it. Its harder on your relationship as well in my experience which is a big part of why i left

ANSWER
2 years ago
I work nights Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my "weekend." Even then, I do most of my errands and house work at night. In the beginning, my mum didn't umderstand why I couldn't be at events during the middle of the day or early evening. Now, we do later dinners or a late breakfast more for birthdays and holidays. My parent stayed with me while work was being done on the house, and she saw my schedule in action. Then, she better understood how hard it was to go to everything.

ANSWER
2 years ago
I found family were understanding but this before i had kids. Friends were a pretty selfish (but possibly just mine) carrying on about missing birthday parties completely not understanding that i needed to work to earn a living, carrying on like pork chops- needless to say we aren't friends anymore but r better for it though who needs those kind of self centered idiots in your life.

REPLY
2 years ago
Omg yes! I actually had a friendship end because I had nightshift and she organized her birthday dinner for about an hour before my shift started, and when I said I couldn't make it cried to everyone that if we were really friends I'd have found a way. And we'd been friends about 10 years

REPLY
2 years ago
Exactly the same thing, probably about 10 years too. Just shows what kind of people they are. If the world can't revolve around them then they cry.

ANSWER
2 years ago
I worked shifts (healthcare) for many years. Most family and friends understood. I would need a lot of notice to attend functions to arrange time off. I did miss a lot of events though,because of course the world doesn’t revolve around my roster and life goes on! Most Christmases I worked but I wouldn’t just have a belated celebration next I had a day off.

ANSWER
2 years ago
Hubby on call 24/7

ANSWER
2 years ago
I do Day shift work