Aside from doctors, nurses, paramedics, and call-center agents, business owners can be night-shift workers, too. Some businesses peak at night, like resto-bars, clubs, and fleet operations. Others, like pharmacies and fast-food chains, need to be open 24/7 in case of emergency (and emergency cravings).
Operating night-shift businesses can impact your parenting duties. Though you may delegate your tasks to be able to sleep at regular hours, not all people like you have that privilege. To most small business owners, including franchisees, hiring managers takes time. For a while, they themselves oversee the business to learn as much as they could and save costs.
Balancing parenting and a night-shift business is more difficult than people realize. You want to spend time with your kid, but you’re getting ready for work during their free time. And when you’re free, they’re asleep.
You are not alone; here are the challenges parents and entrepreneurs like you also experience, and how to work around them:
4 parenting challenges of night-shift
1. Too much responsibility
That phrase alone can sum up all the challenges you’re facing. Business owners have a whole company under their supervision, which can cause immense pressure. This is a burden you can’t just let go of when you get home, at least not during the early days of your business. Every day, a lot of things need your attention, and not all of them can be resolved in the office.
So you bring work at home, where you should be focusing on your family instead. This entrepreneurial responsibility can make you feel like you’re falling short on parenting. But don’t be hard on yourself; you’re doing your best.
Setting boundaries is the key to creating a healthy balance between parenting and your business. In the beginning, it will be difficult to do this, so don’t expect yourself to nail it at the get-go. Time and experience are essential in determining your boundaries.
Once you’ve figured them out, you can manage your time more wisely. You can give your full focus at work so that when you get home, no more work-related responsibilities will hold you back from spending what little time you have with your children.
2. Missing important milestones or events in your child’s life
Even day-shift entrepreneurs are guilty of this. Managing a growing business demands most of your time and attention, forcing you to miss out on the milestones and important events in your child’s life. Witnessing them receive a medal, for example, will be a rare occurrence because awarding ceremonies are often scheduled in the morning. By the time you’re ready to celebrate, your child’s high from their awards have already worn off.
Time management and, again, setting boundaries is the solution to this. If an event is really important for your child, consider taking time off work to be able to join them. Skipping a night off work will allow you to sleep and spend the daytime energized. Besides, one night of your absence won’t cause a disaster in your workplace. You deserve a break and your staff deserves to prove their efficiency with minimal supervision.
3. Feeling unsafe with the nature of your business
If you manage a risky business, like fleet operations, a casino, or a club, there might be times when you’d feel unsafe at work. The idea of your children suffering the consequences of your unsafe business can stress you out. It can make you feel helpless and out of control.
The best way to reduce fears for your safety is to employ measures that will enhance the safety of your business. If you’re a fleet operator, you must stick to reputable heavy-duty truck dealers who place maintenance as a top priority. If you’re a casino owner, you should strengthen the security of your premises to prevent illegal activities from taking place. Do the same if you’re a club owner, in addition to hiring sufficient bouncers to stop brawls or other misdemeanors.
4. Not being involved enough
Many entrepreneur parents hire nannies or babysitters to watch over their kids. This can cause guilt because your children need you the most during their formative years.
However, the fact that you hired help for raising your child shows that you care for their well-being. To make up for your absence, dedicate time to talking with your kid. Have them fill you in with their days, and in return, fill them in with what you do at work, and why you have to do it at night.
These conversations can make you feel more involved with each other. You’ll reach a mutual understanding that despite not spending as much time together as you’d like, updating each other with your life is still a top priority.
If your night-shift business is taking a toll on your family life, don’t be afraid to step back and take a break. Your family would love to see you taking care of yourself, too. So seize every chance to relax with your family and be a doting parent to your kids.