Yep, shiftwork isn’t great. In my single days, I worked shifts and it was fine. Finishing your final nightshift on a Monday morning just as everyone else was just beginning their working week was the best feeling ever, but if you’re a parent, it can be difficult. Thankfully, I now work 9-5, M-F. My wife, Little J doesn’t have that luxury though. You see, she’s a nurse.
The past couple of weeks have been great from Little M’s point of view. Little J has had a couple of weeks off, and I would come home shortly after 5 and we’d have some family time before bedtime. This week however, Little J has been back at work. Straight onto 4 straight nightshifts. Our routine on nightshift days goes a little like this:
Little M and I wake up, get washed & dressed, and we’re out the door at 8am to take Little M to whichever set of grandparents are looking after her today. I go to work. Little J arrives home between 8:10am and 8:30am and goes straight to bed.
I pick up Molly after work and take her home. Arrive around 6:00pm and Little J and I eat together (Little M has already eaten at Gran & Papa’s house).
Little J leaves for work at 7:00pm. Little M and I have some daddy-daughter time before bedtime. Bed time is somewhere between 7:30pm and 8:30pm depending on how much fun we’re having!
So, you’ll see by the account above that the three of us will only manage an hour a day when Little J’s working nightshift. I don’t grudge it at all. It’s a job she loves and finds very fulfilling, and she’s not nightshift all the time. This week has been particularly difficult though, because she was straight onto 4 nightshifts after 2 weeks annual leave, and Little M has been a little upset each time Little J leaves for work.
I think it might be harder on Little J though – no-one likes to upset their children.