To all Moms Who Work Nights and Used to Work Nights, This is For You!

hellokityWith more and more industries demanding 24/7 operational hours, and with more and more women being added to the workforce year on year, it makes sense to take the time to honor all the moms who get to work at night. Just as when the world is gearing up for bed to sleep, moms who work at night get to prep for transit and for an 8 or 9-hour work shift. I used to work nights myself for a collective number of 6 years and working now during the day for close to five years, I will have to say that I have enough years of experience to write about the joys and dips of working nights. Most moms who work  nights would bend over backwards just to make sure the kids will never have to notice that mom went to work while I was sleeping.  And so the vicious cycle of staying up to as much as 18 to 20 hours a day is sometimes required. Moms who work nights would get home and join breakfast, function auto pilot as if she also had 8-hour-sleep. Engage in conversation around news, how everyone will spend their days and plan for the weekends (where moms don’t get to sleep until Saturday night coming off work Saturday mornings).

rsz_1mbp_pink
Back when I used to work nights, my day hours would stretch to noon, just in time to ensure all kids have taken a bath and your ever reliable household help angel has prepped everything for lunch. Then it is finally time to sleep. Yes, just as the afternoon sun has kicked in, in all its hotness glory, it is time to sleep. Imagine following this rigor every summer. Thank God for air-conditioning units. Unless you leave your bedroom door open, one or two hours into sleep, you hear little knocks on the door, your toddler or any of your kids wanting to cuddle. This is where you can make things work by encouraging kids to have afternoon naps with you. I just hope that what they want is cuddle and not play time because if so, you can say goodbye to your planned 6 hours sleep and ease your way off bed for a 4-hour sleep instead.

Of course, the same cycle repeats itself because before you know it, evening news is on which signals you to get going and prep for work. So how did I make it work while working nights?

  1. God is my 24/7 God – bigger than any of the things I encounter – Working at nights did not have to change the way I see my season with God. Whether you wake up at 5pm or at 5am, you can go get your Bible, read up on God’s promises and believe Him for His perfect timeline and perfect control over things that may seem overwhelming for you. Learned how not to focus on anything that can be a source of worry, doubt, discouragement or tension just by believing who God is and what He can do over my season. Doing this overtime and you certainly realize that you wake up with a fresh supply of faith, strength and joy day on day (or night on night J). Because there are a lot of things I don’t get to do myself or be on top of while I work at night,  all the more reasons that I clung on to God and have Him take care of the things I cannot control and take care of. I may not be able to keep an eye on my family at night but God can. I may not be present on everything during the day but God is present. This is the biggest assurance I had that allowed me to trust, depend and rely on God heavily.
  2.  Communication Is Also Open at Night – ways to communicate may be different, thus, most moms would find communicating challenging. You can maintain normalcy by making ‘how are you doing’ phone calls to husband anytime. If your husband is like mine, he would also be up on my 4am break just so he can ask if I already had lunch. Otherwise, you can always wait until you get home in time for breakfast. It can get challenging only if husband would have a totally opposite schedule than you do. There was a season when I would work nights and husband would be on mid-shift, making it impossible for us to share a meal for 5 straight days. Other than using the phone real-time, this was when a Logbook came in handy. Husband and I agreed to write down our thoughts when we get home and before we leave home. This sustained us for half a year. We still sometimes get back to reading the logbook whenever we thank God for sustaining us through different seasons of our marriage and family life. Where other couples would take aligned work hours for granted, this season ultimately changed the way we view our time with each other count. We would never have discovered that we can arrange a child’s birthday party via a logbook update (that’s for another writing J).
  3.  Do not be such a Darna – this is where you agree to have all the help you can get from your family and friends. Make your schedule work around what is important, knowing when to prioritize taking time off some nights to be there for kids’ milestones. It is an advantage that most school events are during the day, although the downside to it is having less hours of sleep before another worknight. Never commit the mistake of wearing the grouchy hat when you are home. Better ask help from family and friends when things get too taxing for you (e.g. after recreation activities for kids with extended family, afternoon playdate with friends, or even catch up afternoons with your kids’ ninongs and ninangs). Imagine it from your kids’ limited perspective. You never want to be the mom who is always asleep or the mom who is grouchy when awake.

momCritical to making this work is being honest with your spouse. Develop a transparent relationship with your spouse, do not be afraid to seek help or discuss your options when needed.

I am taking my hats off to ALL moms who work nights, moms whose heart for family is just as big as those who work during the day. To all the moms who stay home, work from home or step out of the house to work, thanking you for all your labor and love for all the kids who make up today’s world. For the stay at home moms whose work is equal to those who work full time, thanks for being the kind of mom you are and for showing us all that mommyhood is both fun and fulfilling. Happy Mothers’ Day to all!momsaffiliate

God’s promises whether you sleep at night or during the day:

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Advertisements

“Qik or It Didn’t Happen!”

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just around the corner, what better way to send message than through video messaging? It is always inspiring and personal to send a message quickest way. With Skype Qik, mobile video messaging will never be the same.

Remembering how my son and myself would spend time watching Pentatonix music videos one after another, now it is easier for me to bring quick cheer to him anytime of the day via a video message on Skype Qik. Interesting finds of the day does not have to be still images anymore. Now I always have the option to show hubby how my kids funnily put up a tent right outside the house to beat the summer heat.

Relatives from overseas also can now be updated and will never miss a celebration back home with it. Download it on any device and you can connect and invite anyone regardless of the distance. Record away and ground send all you like.

skypeqik

Skype Qik is a quick video messaging/communication app that allows you to exchange instant and quick video messages for free. It enables you to capture videos that are up to 40 seconds long, and and send them to group of friends. Skype Qik is available on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones. More about Skype Qik here:http://www.skype.com/en/qik/

rsz_1mbp_pink

Otter Mom Self and Love Languages

Recently took the Personality Strength Survey with four personality types Lion, Otter, Beaver and Golden Retriever and realized that my primary personality strength is that of an Otter’s. Yep, where a lion mom wants to be direct and confrontational with the type of music their kids listen to, my otter self wins and goes full gear with approaching it with story-telling and motivational type of conversations.

Attended Ardy Abello’s Communications workshop and I find it interesting that I was actually applying my learnings on how I parent. On hindsight, I feel like I have missed out on effectively parenting my kids, just because I missed to discover what my personality strengths are and missed to see how my personality, communication and decision styles affect my kids. So read on, thought of listing some of my learnings. Let us go bust some parenting myths.

Myth#1 – the best and only form of communication is talk                                        

Learned the 87-13 principle. That 87% of the information we receive comes from the eyes and only 13% of the information we receive comes from the ears. This is where critical life modeling comes from. That our kids tend to use the same words we use, respond as how we usually do, relate to dads as how mom does, relate to moms as how dad does. So basically, kids are on default imitation mode on whatever behavior you model as a parent. John Maxwell was quoted saying “I do not practice what I preach, but I preach what I practice.” Now that is communication, one that does not require you to open your lips. This goes to say that your life may be the only Bible that your neighbors will get to hear.

Myth#2 – communicating means having the ability to speak/tell                  

Communicating is not exclusive to speaking, active listening is the most important yet the least practiced part of effective communication. If you find yourself doing something else while listening, most likely you do not have full attention to the act of listening. Say you are on the dinner table and that is the only place where you and the kids get to talk (in between eating, munching and serving). No TV on dinner? With or without the TV on, you are actually competing with the long list of things happening on the dinner table. Moms, you may want to plan for a deliberate family meeting session where you have everyone’s full attention to listen. Night prayer time with kids, I would say, creates a very good avenue to communicate with them. You would be surprised how kids openly talk about their fears, their dreams, their views about everything under the sun, before prayer time.

Myth#3 – this is my communication style. Period.                                                                  

My love language (there are five: words, touch, time, gifts and service) is Words. My husband’s is service. My eldest kid Kyle’s is time. My only girl Sofia’s is touch. Inevitably, what feeds my love tank is words, my love expression is also words. But then no matter how much “I love you’s” I give my husband, his love tank may not be filled until I show it through service. I can talk to my husband all day (words) but if I do not cook for him (service), he will miss to spot that I have just expressed love. In the same way, even if my husband gets up and joins me for breakfast and drives me to the office (service) daily, but if he does not tell me “I love you” before I get off the car, my love tank is not as full as it should be. Imagine our confusion back when we did not know how love language works. Now that we do, we just have to remind ourselves about it and make the effort to meet it for everyone.

There is no rocket science formula to communicating and parenting. Moms can never go wrong with having a genuine concern over what will work for husband and kids, and not just taking home your communication style required of you from the office. If you run business reviews in the office and taking the lead in the boardroom is what‘s needed in the office, it is definitely not the same requirement you have at home. Leave your “working mom self” at the door, you can always pick it up again on your way back to the office.

Mommy Bloggers Philippines