Each week, I will get together with a mom or two (or maybe more) to discuss a parenting topic that’s been on our minds. We’ll spend a little time chatting and then I’ll bring you a transcript of our thoughts! I encourage you to comment and weigh in on the topic of the week! I would love to hear what you think about this topic! This week I was joined by Heather from Full Price? Never! for The Mommy Mindset topic of parents taking shifts to care for the kids.
The Mommy Mindset: Parents Taking Shifts
Mariah: When W was younger and would wake up more in the night, J and I would work together. We would take turns getting up with him so that each of us could get more rest.
Heather: We did shifts too! Seriously helped refuel me! By the third baby we had it down!
Mariah: I felt guilty about it at first because I felt bad for wanting to know that I would have a little bit of down time but it really does wonders for me!
Heather: Don’t feel bad… when we first started doing it I swear it was out of pure survival. I didn’t think I could make it through another night, let alone day without something changing. My husband suggested that I take the night shift from 10-2 since I’m a night owl (or was at the time) and he would do the 2-6 shift. It changed our lives. We both got decent sleep. The only problem is that I would still wake up whenever the baby did (mommy instincts!) but I went right back to sleep so it was still better than us both being up every hour. My first 2 needed every hour feeds for the first few months and the oldest had to be finger fed with a tube. Good times.
Mariah: W is 13 months now and it’s the waking hours when we need shift work! When he was little it was during the night for sure because J is a night owl and I was exhausted. Plus, I was pumping like crazy trying to build up some sort of supply so J would feed W while I pumped. I never realized that we might need to take turns when he was older and awake all the time! W just goes and goes and goes when he is awake and we both work full-time so it’s nice to have a little time at night to know I can just relax a bit. Of course, if W needs me, I’m up and there immediately.
Heather: Ahh to be a mom! LOL! There is no real break is there?
Mariah: There really is not a break because when I take one, I feel guilty about it! But if I don’t take it, I find myself being less patient and I don’t like that either! Oh, the joys of being a mother!
Tell me what you think!
I didn’t realize how important working on a schedule would be to making sure that J and I both had downtime. I understood that when W was little it would be helpful so that one of us could get some sleep and then switch off. But I didn’t realize how important it is now that he is older. Although I could handle it alone, it is nice to have someone to take turns with so I can have a little bit of time to myself. I am working through feeling guilty for wanting a little bit of time for myself and I think it’s working well for us.
Do you (or did you) take shifts to help care for the baby so one parent could have some time? Do you have any other tricks for balancing time with the kids and time for yourself as a parent?