Shift Work advise NEEDED

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

My husband just PCAed to a new squadron that does shift work. He is incredibly excited about this new schedule, but it is definitely taking a toll on me and our son. Our son is 14 months, and just in the past two days gets these sudden crying spells for no reason. He has also become very clingy and he is not usually like that. He is quite independent. His separation anxiety from his father has gotten worse, or at times he just sits and cries if he is with his Dad. My husband keeps telling me that this schedule is awesome because he has half of the month off...but he will be sleeping most of that time! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get into a good routine and help my son with this anxiety he is having?

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[deleted account]

Thanks to all of you! I have been trying to get us on a routine that really is just ours to keep me sane and him busy. My son has a habit of waking up as soon as my husband walks in the door so that gives him a chance to see Daddy for about 30 minutes before he goes to sleep. And on the days he is off my husband is trying to spend as much time with our son as possible. Thanks again!

Melissa - posted on 06/23/2009

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I have never dealt with shift work, but my husband quiet often has CQ, when he does I ask him to come home for lunch and dinner to see the kids. He will play with them for about 15 minutes, then grab something to eat on his way out. This makes them feel less neglected, and improves their behavior. Maybe your husband can try to focus on just your son for just a few minutes a day. This means you will be taking back burner. I also agree with Amy that part of it may be a reflection of your own stress. If you can find a way to cope, your son will improve.

Carrie - posted on 06/23/2009

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My son has been the same way everytime that my husband has been in the field, but allowed to come home to sleep or other times when he only sees him for a few minutes a day. My son is 17 months old, and he has been like this since he was 6 months. I try to get a routine down that is just my son and I (almost pretending my husband is gone compeletly). It tends to calm down the tantrums and the waking up in the middle of the night. For some reason my son will wake up 2 or 3am when daddy is not here, and as soon as daddy is home again, he sleeps through the night. I know it can be frustrating, but try not to show it infront of your son.

[deleted account]

I've learned that most of the anxiety that my daughter feels when my husband switches to shift work is actually just a reflexion of my own anxiety. I don't like going to sleep by myself and she can tell that I'm anxious. She doesn't understand why, so she gets upset. The only recommendation that I can make is try to make a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Maybe allow him to sleep with you in your bed while your husband is gone. Once he falls asleep you could move him into his own room. He will take some time to adjust, but children are resilient.

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