Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

The Longest Day EVER: AKA Shift Working Mama

April 3, 2014 // Parenting

I love reading other bloggers ‘Day In The Life’ posts. Laura from Navigating The Mothership is a regular at posting on this topic, check her out here. While I didn’t get as many snapshots as I wanted to, I got a fair number to share with you. Have a sneak peek into a day in my life.

6 AM: Josie was the first to wake up and joined me in bed for a cuddle while everyone else slept on. I have a bit of a dislike for the morning rush and would rather take things slow, let my body wake up and take in some quiet moments before things get busy. However, that is just my wish and not my current reality. When I’m retired I can see myself savouring mornings and embracing the quiet.

7 AM: Soon the whole apartment was buzzing and coffee was being made and school lunch was being packed. We got out the door and off to school with not too much drama or fuss. Kids were in a good mood and no one whined at me too excessively!

9 AM: Today this toddler chose her own outfit and despite the gorgeous sunshine she chose  to wear her rain boots. I asked her to pose for a picture and she gave me her sad face cause she hates leaving her big brother behind at school in the mornings.


10 AM: Grocery shopping with a green smoothie in hand. Before my night shift I go into a nesting mode and get groceries to stock my family up with. It was actually sort of fun just shopping with one and she was a pretty charming side kick, but really terrible about sharing her smoothie. We stocked up on supplies for lunch and dinner for the next two nights.


11 AM:It’s not even noon and I feel like we have already done a lot. Back at home we unload groceries and I try to start on a few of the household ‘to do’ list.  Today that meant towels and cleaning bathrooms and tidying up the kids room, totally boring stuff that has to be done. I distracted Josie while I tried to get things done but gave up after about an hour and a half. I feel more on top of life when things at home are nice and tidy before I go to work. I’ve always been that way, even when I was a new 23 year old nurse living by myself in my West End apartment.


Noon: I started to get that night shift dread that always happens to me before my shifts. I decided to stop wasting the day doing boring housework and get outside and into the sunshine. This was the best idea hands down and it totally boosted my mood and made me chill out a bit. Even after being a nurse for over 10 years night shifts still get me a bit uppity. Also, labour and delivery is so unpredictable and can go from being sort of quiet to totally crazy in just 30 minutes. Josie insisted on bringing out her dolly for a seawall stroll and even though I knew I’d end up carrying the thing at least half the time I encouraged her.



5 PM: I made an easy dinner of tacos and taco salad for me to take to work, played with the kids and got things ready to work my night shift. At this point I completely avoided staring at all of the remaining items left on my ‘to do’ list because, seriously, what was the point? My husband took the kids and dog out for some more fun in the sun and let me have a bit of time to get ready to head to work (love!).  I like to go into my shift feeling ready to take on whatever I need, so I like to make a point at trying to get my life organized so I don’t feel that external pressure while I’m busy being a nurse.


7 PM: I’m at work ready to start my 12 hour shift. Happy to see that some friendly faces are also working with me all night long. It’s just so much nicer to work with colleagues that make you happy! The sun was still shining when I walked to work and I had my sunglasses on and everything. I really love that!

1 AM: Now I’m feeling the length of my day and I need some caffeine to push me through the next few hours. This is my ‘work mug’ that my sister gave to me last Christmas. I had told her my sad tale of how my coffee cup at work kept disappearing and how annoying it was becoming. So, she made me a bright extra personal coffee mug to keep at work and I love using it! Unfortunately, so do other people! Bah! How do you keep your work mug from becoming public property? Do you have to hide it far away?


8 AM: I stumbled home, thankful for more sunshine and looking forward to going to bed for a few hours. When I got home I received major movie star kisses and hugs from my 2 kids. It’s amazing what you can cram into  one day. One day bleeds into the next and the night shift hangover haunts me for a good portion of the rest of the day. I drink water and coffee and nibble on toast but the only thing that really cures the night shift hangover is more sleep.

Feel free to link up your own ‘Day In A Life’ blog post in the comments! 



About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!


  1. WOW!!!! So busy, I swear I would have had like 12 lattes. You are an amazing woman Andrea!

    • Oh, there was lost of coffee Jenna!

      1 cup of french press in the AM
      3 shot latte in the late afternoon
      1 cup of work coffee in the early early hours of the AM
      1 cup of chai at the witching hour of 3 AM

  2. Sure hope the next thing you did was sleep!!

    • Sleep is a must after all of that. A few of my friends tough it out and stay awake having a second 24 hour day. I just can’t do it! I’ve tried and was sort of grumpy/mean and so over tired.

  3. Oh Andrea, I can feel that yucky not-enough-sleep-in-the-last-24hours feeling just reading this blog post. I still haven’t ever found a way to avoid it in my 12 years of nursing either. But the sunshine sure helps!
    You are amazing!

    • Yep! That feeling is a special feeling that I quite dislike. Especially the recovery time. It takes me about 2 days to get over the gross night shift feeling. Sleep is the cure for sure.

  4. Pingback: A Day in the Life – // Niko & Nonnie //

  5. Wow, Andrea – that certainly is a lot on the go! I’m linking up with you today for A Day in the Life…

  6. Somehow your blog got bumped off my Feedly so I’m glad you tweeted this link! I’m sure I would have noticed soon enough that there was “radio silence” from you but this way there wasn’t a big gap in your posts. (But now I’m wondering who else I have lost along the way and if the same has happened with my blog on other’s feed readers…)

    Anyway, this was a fun read! I’m really impressed with your ability to swing between working night shifts and going back to regular daytime hours. I would have a very, very tough time with that.

    I also have to mention that I love that you so clearly love your job and where you are living and your family – you radiate happiness and satisfaction with your life in a way that never feels forced or inauthentic.

    • Thanks so much! I really do feel passionately about my job, I don’t always love the night shifts or the extended shifts but overall I really feel love for the work that I get to do. I’m glad that it shines through 🙂

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