9 to 50
I’ve been doing a Monday to Friday gig for the last little bit and guess what….there are perks to working shift work, especially when you have little ones at home. It’s a funny thing really, so many nurses that do shift work pine for a regular weekday schedule. I can see how a regular schedule would be ideal if you were single or had school aged children or your partner worked the same hours. But shift work is actually beneficial when you are a parent to little children.
This is the problems I’ve found with working Monday to Friday so far:
1. Getting up and ready for the day, five days a week at 6 AM, while the rest of your family sleeps loses its appeal around day 3. Shift work requires 2 early mornings in a row and I’m down with that (of course it also includes night shifts but that’s another story).
2. Coming home at a ‘reasonable’ hour makes you feel like you should be doing more at home. Cleaning more. Cooking more. Being available for evenings out with friends more. Playing with my boy more. Being more organized and getting through more of my ‘to do’ list.
3. Making lunches to bring each day falls to the side and and I’ve ended up buying a lot more lunches outside the hospital and even in the hospital cafeteria (gasp!).
4. Doing my hair. I know this will sound ridiculous but I refuse to wake up earlier and go through the process of washing and blowing out my hair before work. It’s just not going to happen. Either I’m doing this at night or I’m rocking the pony tail A LOT more than I should.
5. Full time work will always be full time work no matter how you dice it. However, admitting to feeling tired from work seems a little more lame when you are working 7-3 PM. But seriously people, I am still tired from work! Mind you, it’s just not that hungover gross feeling that night shifts tends to give you.
Apparently I’m a shift working mama at heart and it fits with my life right now. I’ve often felt that once you are at work for 8 hours, another 4 is not such a big deal. Working 2 longer shifts gives me the same hours as 3 ‘regular’ days. Which gives me more time to be at home with my boy. Also, it turns out that working shift work actually gets me out of having to make dinner all the time!
There is one big perk to this temporary schedule change. I had an entire sunny weekend off and got to do so many fun things with my family. The weather was perfect and Ben insisted on bringing his bicycle outside for a little ride.
Oh this boy!