It takes a special kind of person to work third shift. The human body generally isn’t wired to be awake for the entire night. Even those who like to stay up well after the bars close may struggle to adjust to a daily schedule where they sleep during the day and work all night. As if the disruption to your biological rhythms wasn’t difficult enough, working third shift will also drastically limit your options for socialization and spending time with your family.
On the other hand, third-shift workers can often command a premium when compared with the wages of first shift workers. Additionally, taking a third-shift job can allow you and your spouse to manage all of your child care needs without hiring a babysitter or paying for daycare services. If you work third shift, you may worry about what that means for custody in your pending divorce.
Those who work all night can still be present for their children
Just because your daily schedule is the opposite of most people doesn’t mean that you can’t be present in the lives of your children. Although exhaustion can absolutely impact the quality of time that you spend with your kids, just because you work at night and sleep during the day doesn’t mean that you can’t be a positive and important person in their lives.
Still, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations that your job schedule may create when it comes to assuming parental responsibilities. For example, it may not be safe for you to be the person the school calls if your kids become sick in the middle of the day when you’ve only been asleep for a few hours.
Work with your ex to arrange for fair and flexible parenting arrangements
The courts will typically choose to give both parents an important role in the lives of children during a divorce. The shift that you work at your job won’t diminish your right. Instead, it will simply require more flexibility and consideration by the courts if they are the ones who create your parenting plan of if you set your own terms.
So long as your former spouse acknowledges the importance of your presence in the lives of your children, you may be able to create arrangements where you have plenty of parenting time on the weekend or during times of day that won’t prevent you from getting enough sleep.
Don’t waive your parental rights just because you have an unusual work schedule. Advocate for yourself and the relationship you share with your kids.