After reading the comments, I have to say some of you have some CRAZY work schedules! I don't think I have anything to complain about any longer. Each shift HF has worked has been an adjustment. Just when I think I'm getting the hang of one, or liking the routine, *bam* new shift. Since being cut loose, he has been working graves. He'll probably be working graves for the next couple of years at least. These are my thoughts on the night shift (great. now I have the song by the commodores, "night shift" stuck in my head).
What I don't love about HF working nights:
- He is not at home while we are sleeping. Sometimes I hear noises, or feel a little scared at night. If you lived in our neighborhood you would feel the same way.
- If he's not here during the night, then that means he's not sleeping with me. With small children, our only chance to spend quality time together is when the children go to bed. Physical intimacy is not always achieved before he has to leave for work. That vital part of our marriage gets easily neglected so therefore has to be scheduled. We do have a little less than 2 hours without kids before he has to go to work though.
- We don't get to have a normal date night. And his days off are on awkward days for date night. Sunday and Monday nights. It's hard to get babysitting on those days. At least for us it is.
- Sleeping during the day, even if he gets 7-10 hours before waking up, is still not the best sleep. He is always tired because his body is always out of wack.
- His days off sometimes don't seem like days off because his body still thinks he's on graves.
- Overtime. This would be an issue with any shift though.
- When I wake up in the morning he should be next to me in bed. For obvious reasons, he can't always leave work when his shift is supposed to end. Sometimes he can't get to bed until later in the day and then has to go to sleep when we would normally be seeing him and spending time together.
- It seems like there is a lot more action in the middle of the night. Good for him, not good for me if I'm being a worry wart.
- Feels like he is always gone. Even when he's here sleeping upstairs.
- Even though he is sleeping, it's comforting that he's here and just a few steps away if there's some kind of an emergency.
- Sometimes when I put the baby down for a nap, I leave with Luke and Daisy to run errands or go do something fun. He predictably sleeps at least 2 hours for his nap, but if he were to wake up and cry, HF would hear him if he needed to help him. So far it hasn't ever happened.
- He wakes up at 3 pm, which if you think about it, is like getting home from work earlier than your typical 9 to 5-er.
- He gets some good quality time in with the kids, gets to eat dinner with us, and help put the kids to bed.
- Me time. I'm finding that having this time at night is really good for me. I can watch movies, read, work on projects, do office work, organize our lives, take care of my physical, spiritual, and mental/emotional needs. It actually forces me to be organized in most ways; personally, home management, etc. If he is home at night, then we usually don't do anything except hang out. Everything else gets neglected. With him gone, I am better at time management.
- It's a good schedule with young children because he can go to any afternoon and evening events and be here for dinner and nighttime routines.
- I've been able to take care of myself better. I guess that fits under the me time category, but I read a lot, I beautify, I talk to friends and family, I make plans, set goals, sometimes I make playlists.
How do you make graves work for your benefit? Or whatever shift you or your spouse is on? I also want to know what it is you do for your "me" time. How do you nurture yourself when you are done taking care of everyone and everything else?