My spouse is a new police officer who just got assigned overnight shift and we have a baby on the way. How to deal with this?

Kayla - posted on 03/15/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My spouse has not been an officer long, and he just received his permanent position; overnight. It was the shift I was dreading. Our baby is due in July and I am so upset by this news. I imagine me being alone at night with a newborn and no help, not seeing him unless he is sleeping, and worrying about him at night. I worry about him when he has been working day shifts! I know I have to grow a thick skin but this is our first child together and we are so young. I feel like this happened at such a bad time in our lives. People keep telling me that we will get into a routine but how do we lead normal lives? Can anyone relate?

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Gina - posted on 03/21/2012

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Please note that when you have a newborn you can not lead a normal life. You will have to adjust that thought. Having a newborn is having your world flipped for about 3-6 months until they start sleeping longer hours and then you will start to feel slightly normal again. Then to top off having a spouse that works nightshifts is not normal so you will have to find what is normal for your own family, not everyone elses. It is however perfectly normal to live in a fog when having a newborn and then all of a sudden they are one and you think how did i ever survive that?



i would try to get on a schedule. A lot of moms who breastfeed have to always do night time feedings alone anyways so it is possible to survive this. It will be hard though. Thankfully the nighttime shift isnt so bad because the first couple weeks your babys sleep patterns will be all over the chart. The most important thing is to keep communications open with your spouse about the baby, the house, and your feelings. If you have any family near by ASK for help. Help with meals, laundry, grocery shopping, or babysitting while you nap. Babies sleep so much anyways in the beginning that its very easy for someone to come over and watch a sleeping baby while you rest too. Also while the baby is napping ALWAYS sleep. Forget chores they dont matter right now. Since your husband will have some days off, take this time for YOU time, whether that means taking more naps, getting a pedicure, or going for a walk. It also helps to exercise often. If you can just go for walks with the baby it will give you energy later for those late nights alone. Also be aware of your moods because its very easy to have baby blues with any extra stress than the normal baby stress. My husband traveled alot as a businessman before he became a PO and there was many times with my son as a baby i didnt think i was gonna make it. It is even harder when/if they get sick or you get sick. Ive had to call a friend over to my house at 1am before because my son and i both had the flu and i couldnt leave the bathroom to take care of him. Sometimes as a mom you just have to suck it up and other times you have to suck it up and ask/beg/plead for help from anyone you can find. You will learn that you are stronger than you have ever imagined. You will learn that babies are not always fun but being a mom is very special. Since that little person depends on you and you alone, you will find a way to get up at night sleep deprived and still do your feedings. Then one day will come along and they will be sleeping 12 hours straight and you will forget you had it so rough. Anyhow dont be scared. Youll do great! So to recap: Find a network of support, Sleep when you can, Forget chores for awhile, Communicate with the hubby about your needs, try not to be a moody mess (its easy to do after a baby) make freezer meals now, when your husband is home sleeping try not be bitter, hes working hard too. when hes off have him help alot, excercise for your sanity and for energy!



ps. its easy to be annoyed that your husband is sleeping when you can,t but remember, if you are both sleep deprieved it will make for a bad home enviroment. Plus sadly him not being well rested could cost a life. So ways to help him sleep during the days are:

black out curtains, noise machine, seperate bedroom (if possible), turn the air on so its cooler which is similar to nighttime, sleep mask and ear plugs, dont talk alot when he comes home so he can stay in sleep mode and have him go right to sleep, (this is really hard because you want him to help with the baby but the longer he stays up the harder it will be to sleep) have him work out before work not after which will make him feel awake. Hot Shower/Hot tea helps.

Good Luck and kudos for reaching out on places like this for support.



p.s.s My son is 15 months old now and i feel like the whole experience has just blown by so if you are ever having a really hard day just remember that the hard stuff wont last forever.....

Good luck and congrats on your baby

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Kayla - posted on 03/23/2012

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That makes me feel so much better. I imagine that I will take videos and pictures of everything and anything. I am very much a memory keeper.



It's so good to know that I am not the only one with fears and worries and that other women are in the same situation, doing just fine, and can relate.



I love to read so I will certainly look into that book!!!

Gina - posted on 03/22/2012

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Ps I worry about my hubby too. I've been reading a book called " I love a cop". Have you heard about it? It's a interesting book. I also read a stat that the most dangerous jobs with injury on shifts are actually cab drivers and construction workers..... That made me feel better :)

Gina - posted on 03/22/2012

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Im a working mom and i used to worry about that all the time. I felt super guilty about leaving him with a sitter and would pray every time I picked him up that he hadn't done something new. I liked to take video of everything so I was always trying to capture the new stuff :) I will say while my husband traveled he did miss some new things but I did too just going to the store to get diapers :) the best thing about newborns is they have TONS of FIRSTS! Not to mention they usually have to work up to doing anything for the first time so you will get lots of chances to see them do anything. If you can try to keep a video recorder handy so you can catch it for your spouse or anyone else you want to show. I will say if I missed a big moment or my husband did the joy of knowing your child is learning and growing will still be with you for days to come. I still have moments of firsts that I can't wait to share with anyone who will listen. it's amazing to watch a child grow up. I just told my dad tonight who lives out of state how my son managed his own Popsicle not dropping it once, then finished it and walked to the pantry opened the door, threw his stick in the trash and closed the door behind him. Hahah my dad is a clean freak so I knew he would get a kick out of that. Do not fear missed moments! It's not possible to miss all that life around you!

Kayla - posted on 03/22/2012

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Hi Gina,



I appreciate your response greatly. I know it won't be a normal life, maybe that was the wrong word to use. I know it will be hard at first but I also have his family here. They are not so close to us but they are still here.



I really will try and use the tips you gave me on how to get him to rest right when he comes home. I feel like that's most important; having him get a good rest. I worry about him so of course I want him to be vigilant on the road.



I still wonder if he will miss out on some of the most important things in our sons life though, like first words, walks, etc.

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