It is hard enough for parents who work 9 to 5 to stay connected with their kids. Imagine working the 3 pm to 11 pm or 7 pm to 7 am shift. For many parents, it means missing sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, and family activities, not to mention dinnertime and bedtime.

The good news is that many families make it work.

Making it work involves three things:

  • Accepting that you and/or your spouse work a nontraditional schedule
  • Communicating that to your children
  • Working within that framework to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities that nontraditional schedules offer

That may mean eating birthday cake for breakfast or celebrating Thanksgiving on a Tuesday. Valuing family time, whenever it happens, will relieve a lot of shiftwork-related stress.