Finding the Balance for Family Time When One Parent Works Nights.

Health experts from across many fields know the value of balancing work and family. It is important to make sure that the personal needs of family time are not overwhelmed by heavy work schedules. Failure to maintain this balance results in higher levels of stress, depression, contributes to increased risk of divorce and a myriad of other physical and emotional problems. This balance is difficult to maintain in the best of situations. When a parent has to work at night, this balance can be especially jeopardized.

Use vacation time wisely. Schedule a couple of days off in a row and maximize your normal time off. Scheduling vacation allows you to make time with your family and make plans accordingly. Vacations provide you time to unwind and relax. With the stress that comes with balancing late nights and family, vacations are essential. Vacations are the reward for yourself and your family. Give yourself enough time to readjust your sleep before returning to work.

Sleep Schedules
Poor sleep habits and routines are the most common cause of depression. This can impact the time that you are able to spend with friends and family. Establish a set sleeping schedule and try not to deviate. Unstable sleep routines prevents your body and emotional state from stabilizing. Consistant sleep routines allow you to schedule time with friends and not interrupt your sleeping schedule.

Avoid Stimulants and Depressants
When establishing the routine, avoid caffeine and other stimulants prior to having to go to sleep. Sleep aids and alcohol is also important to avoid. These depressants may cause you to sleep, but the sleep is artificial and will not help you establish a proper sleeping pattern. Rely on natural means. Close off a room from light to simulate a night time environment. You should isolate yourself from distractions that often occur during the daylight hours.

Use Day-Light Time Wisely
Working the night shift does have certain advantages. People that work days often do not have the luxury of getting involved with their children’s school or getting simple errands done. By scheduling time before bed time, you are able to spend time with family and still maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Keep Focus on the Family
People work night shift for different reasons. People may work nights due to lack of day shift availability or for the night shift pay differential. It is important to make sure that you do not lose focus on your family. With the stress of balancing work and family, it is easy to let one or the other dominate your time. Keep aware of the balance and alert to times when that balance is lost. If you find that the balance between work and family is off, then take time to correct the problems. By working with family and employers, you can find ways to maintain the balance.

Balance is essential in life. With hard economic times, parents may find themselves working different shifts. It may not be easy, but it is not impossible to keep family and career in balance. Using common sense methods you can find ways to keep balance in your life. 

Author Bio


Sandy is an elder care advocate who is writing on a variety of topics to help families find assisted living care.



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

2 thoughts on “Finding the Balance for Family Time When One Parent Works Nights.

  • Totally agree about the sleep issue, it’s such a challenge getting good sleep!

  • Great tips. I know for me sleep is the challenge, getting enough and quality sleep makes such a difference.


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