I thought it would be a good idea to lay out my day on paper when I’m on placement to show you how it works for me with childcare etc.
Obviously, I only have one child, but it will hopefully offer some understanding for how I fit everything in.
Hospital 12-hour shifts:
Long Day Shift
Wake up at 05:50am, husband already out at work. Clothes are laid out the night before for quick easy dressing and I attempt to get down the stairs quietly! You know I hit the creaky floor board every time!
Bag is already packed, again to save time, have a quick cuppa and chuck some fresh snacks in my bag (who am I kidding, a chocolate bar).
Usually leave home at 06:50 and my husband comes in at 07:00. Don’t panic everyone, he’s only in the garden, our son isn’t home alone!
I have to park at a multi-storey car park a 7 minute drive from the hospital which costs £2 a month. I then get on the bus that is provided to the hospital. This can sometimes be really busy, so have to be there a bit earlier.
I get ready when I get to the hospital and meet at the midwives’ station for 07:40.
Husband takes son to school for 08:50 and is back to start work again at 09:15.
12.5 hours later…….
20:15 finish. Get changed, head down to get on the minibus and back to my car at the multi-storey car park. Text my husband to say I’ll be 15 mins, which is purely a ‘get the kettle on nudge’.
Usually walk through the door by 20:45, run upstairs to kiss my son (who’s in bed), say bye to my husband who heads out to work and sit down to eat dinner. He’ll then be finished at 22:00, by which time I am shattered and heading to bed.
My husband breaks from work at 15:00 on these days, so that he can pick our son up. He does dinner and the babysitter will usually have been at ours from 17:00 – 20:00 so that my husband can work these hours.
We have school mums who help us with taking our son to beavers etc, which I’m extremely grateful for.
If it’s the first night shift, it’s hard. I get up normal time of 07:30, take my son to school for 08:50 and come home for a chill out morning.
I then try to go to bed around 13:00 for a nap. It’s really difficult though when you’re not used to having a nap in the day. If it was my husband, he’d have no problem with it! Ha ha!
My husband usually gets our son from school so I can try to stay in bed until 16:00 but it very rarely happens.
Now, because the night shifts are not usually many in a row, I have dinner as normal and spend time with my son. My husband comes in from work at around 19:00 and I leave by 19:15. On a night shift I can park in the hospital grounds with my £2 parking ticket, so it makes things much easier.
12.5 hours later……..
08:15 finish, usually in my car by 08:30 and drive to my son’s school. My husband meets me there so that I can have a quick kiss and hug before I walk him into school.
I then head home, have a cuppa and something for breakfast and usually head to bed for about 10:00.
I sleep until roughly 16:00 by which time I need to get up so my husband can go back out to work. I get dinner on, spend time with my son and head off to work again at 19:15.
Community is so much easier for me with regards to childcare, but obviously it’s more days at work.
I literally get up at a reasonable time of 06:50, help my son get ready, do him breakfast and leave for work at 07:50. My husband comes in at 08:00, so our son just watches tv for 10 mins which I’m sure he’s happy about rather than being barked orders of ‘brush your teeth’ etc.
I need to be at the main office for 08:00 and I’m lucky it’s 5 mins away!
Finish at 17:00 and am home by 17:10 at the latest.
Occasionally am on call with my mentor from 17:00 – 20:00 or 20:00 – 08:00, which we haven’t had to worry about yet, but if it really came to it, my son would have to go out to the studio with my husband. Not ideal but it really would be a rare occurrence.
As you can see, it can be a little hectic when I’m on long days, but it’s manageable, just.
I do feel extreme mum guilt, hence me rushing upstairs for a bedtime kiss even though he’s been in bed for 45 mins and me meeting him at school after night shifts.
Some trusts do early’s and late’s within the hospital, which I think could be a nice idea, but then you’d have an extra shift to make up somewhere along the line.
For me I think I prefer the idea of working in the hospital as I prefer the work in these area’s at the moment compared to community and there is a benefit of getting your hours done in 2-3 days, but each of us are different and that’s what makes the world go round.
You will find your way to make it work! Yes it will be difficult some days, it will be hectic, you won’t see your significant other and the house will be a tip, but here comes my mantra again……… its oh so worth it!
If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me below or message me on my Instagram page @thelifeofastudentmidwife