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Lives of Doctor Wives: Night Float Sucks

Friday, January 3, 2014

Night Float Sucks

Night Float Sucks                                                                                                                                       by: Guest Author  Kelly Adams

The dreaded Night Float. There is really no other way to sugar coat it...it just sucks. They come home exhausted and need sleep but you haven't seen them so secretly you just want to keep them up and have adult conversation for 5 minutes. And it doesn't end after just one night it goes on and on!
It's just horrible!
You don't get to see them, they don't get to spend time with the kids, and overall everyone is cranky! Our son is now 15 months old and DrH would get home in the morning about the time he would need to go down for his morning nap, then when DrH got up the little guy would be down for his evening nap...And no offense, but I am not waking up a sleeping baby just so you can hug him and leave me with a crying cranky toddler!
I also stay home with our son so DrH would need to sleep in the same teeny tinny house that our screaming toddler was running around crazy in! It would stress me out to no end so I end up trying to stay out of the house all day. Have I made it clear how much fun this is?!
Our first month of night float was horrible. I remember crying a lot. I took the baby and we left for about half the month and went to visit my parents. But it was still so hard to be away from DrH, and he was so pitiful not being able to see us. So the second time around I was determined to do something to make it suck less. Granted it was still awful but I feel like we handled it a little better the second time around.  These are a few thing we did to lessen the pain:
1.) We talked a lot. We talked, texted, FaceTimed, etc. any time he had a break or a few seconds to spare so we could stay connected. FaceTime is a great invention and he really liked seeing our son interact and show off for him:) I would also send lots of pictures and videos whenever our little guy did something cute or funny.
2.) We ate dinner with him almost every night. This may or may not be possible for you depending on the program but it's worth a shot if it is. We just needed some form of normalcy so I would either cook or pick dinner up and take it up to the hospital with the toddler in tow. Granted some nights he was too busy for us to eat together so I fixed him a plate and we left. But on the nights it did work and we could have 30 min of a normal family meal time, it made all the difference. DrH got to see his son and hug on him for a bit and he got a good meal. I tried to cook his favorite meals so he had something to look forward to-he loves pot roast and its super easy:). We have a wagon so I would load up the wagon with the food, strap in my son, and wheel it up to the residents lounge for dinner. It's definitely not the easy way to do dinner but it was worth it.
3.) Weekends were off limits. I made sure the weekends were stress free and had zero commitments. It was time to sleep and relax as a family. We took our son to the park, went out to dinner, watched football, etc. For two days I wanted him to be relaxed and stress free...as much as possible.
4.) On the weekends we have some us time. We put the baby down by 8pm so that gives us some time to cuddle on the couch, eat ice cream, and watch a movie. I'm not the needy type but having down time with my husband really helps me get through the challenges of residency.
5.) Lastly, and so very important...I do things just for me. You spend so much time alone during this time that it's important to do things just for you, to make you happy. For example, I get really absorbed in books and tend to block off the rest of the world when I am reading, so this is a perfect time to get a good book. I also pick up my favorite ice cream at the grocery store, I record all the "chick" TV shows that he hates to watch, or I might talk for an hour on the phone with a good friend and not feel guilty about it .  Basically I find things to get excited about to make the time go by and suck less. 
So that's it. Nothing mind blowing.  We have out next night float in February and you can be sure I will post about how much it sucks...because it just does.
What do you do to make night float bearable?

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Blogger E B said...

I do the same things! Especially the movies and foods he doesn't like and chatting with friends... you do what you gotta do to make it a decent experience for you both. Having him with us at dinners rocks since that isn't the norm. Kids in the house is sure hard, I echo that. I have three. I keep them away as much as possible though my DrH is usually so tired he can sleep through them at this point.

January 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Crisanne said...

DrH's night float typically started at 5:30pm, meaning he had to leave the house by 5:00. We could never count on seeing him at the hospital, so we just ate an early dinner. There were occasions where this didn't work very well due to ballet class or such. But as a general rule, eating dinner at 4:30 together was much better than eating at a "normal" time apart. Luckily, my DrH rarely had night float that lasted more than a week or two at a time.

January 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We start round two of a four week night rotation this weekend :( I have been Debbie downer lately because I just dread it. I miss him so much. Dr.W. and I do everything together, not seeing him is hard. The hardest part for me this round is, in his program they have to cover a night block or a day block every weekend the schedule was done wrong, so Dr.W. shall do a regular inpatient night on Saturday and start four week of night float on Sunday. Last time he did this, was his first "official" month of residency, it was awful I cried a lot, I remember just wishing I could have a long conversation with him than a 8-10 minute drive to the hospital conversation. Since August, our relationship has changed and grown stronger, I think this round we will do things differently, night dinners, I work all day so he is home alone and it's hard for him to sleep. So, I think our furball baby and I shall stay at my parents and have dinner with him nightly, before he goes to work, his program he doesn't start till 8p.m. I am pretty active in my parents jobs also, helping with fundraisers etc. So glad the bigger went fundraiser lasts a whole week of inpatient night float, so that shall be a good distraction. How do you all keep from not wanting to go crazy at this point. Here we are officially half way through intern year and I just have gone through a debbi downer approach here lately. Love Dr. W. more than anything and I will be so glad come July 1~ LOL

January 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM  

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