As Work-at-home moms, we are constantly redefining what it means to be a working parent. I can get a full 9-hour day in and still spend the majority of it shuttling the kids to story time and making peanut butter sandwiches. According to a recent article on the NY Times blog, I’m not alone. Jamie Rich, a London-based journalist, writes about a new subculture of mothers – women who work the night shift.
A growing number of women in a variety of different professions – from freelance photographers to journalists to enterpreneurs – start their work day after they put their kids to bed. One of the advantages of working the night shift is having the day to focus on your family. Monica Branchmoore owns her own photography business. She puts her kids to bed at 9 p.m. and the works until 2:15 a.m. Monica, like many women in her position, wants to spend time with her family but feels the need to work. Even stay-at-home moms are losing sleep to catch up on organizing their schedules and responding to their emails.
Working the night shift has its drawbacks. It can put a strain on your relationship. According to one expert, “the likelihood of marital discord increases for families when one parent works at night.” However, making the most of the “adult moments” can strengthen your marital bond and make you happier people and parents. Rich writes, “the fulfillment of staying engaged in my profession and the personal richness of being available for our daughter makes up for the few hours of awake-time that I miss each week with my family.”
To find out more about mothers working the graveyard shift, click here.
Andrea Hart is a freelance writer, a student, a teacher, a wife and a mother to two rambunctious boys. She currently resides in Southeastern PA.