if you’re sleeping in your own bed every night (when it’s dark) then seriously, what’s the problem?
yeah, that's something we shift workers would say
Not only do I have a mother who works shift work but I have a single mother. That being said me writing about my experiences during that time presently are skewed by reason and understanding. Now 23, I can reflect on my childhood and be more so at peace with how things have worked out.

I struggled with the early mornings and late nights. Thankfully, I went to a babysitter’s house in the morning and afternoon that I truly enjoyed. As much as I wish I were with my family at those times I was content with being in a house with other children my age and a loving caretaker. The evenings were a bit harder with the back and forth between my father’s place and an array of younger babysitters who were hit and miss. Yet I always looked forward to the dinner my mom left in the fridge and there was always something sweet on the counter.
It’s hard to grasp the psychological effects of shift work as a child so the irritability, tiredness and other unfavourable side effects of her irregular sleeping was taken somewhat personally. I never really took into consideration all of this until I started doing overnights myself. I lasted 1 month. My mother -- 29 years and counting. Some of my fondest memories were being involved with my mother’s workplace. Visiting the fire hall, going to department BBQs and other events were really fun. Knowing where she worked, who she works with and what she does I think was comforting as a child.

**Full disclosure here – as I went to my own family first for their opinions and experiences.

Feel like sharing?
Write us


seonaid@theshiftworkersguide.com