Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finding balance in shift work

I have a love/hate relationship with T-rex’s shifts. There are things I like, and things I don’t like. Mostly there are things I don’t like. But a look at each shift and it is clear I have a favorite, at least in theory.

Day shift: 6am-6pm~

I don’t much like this shift. For one, I end up getting up around 5:30 when he is on this shift and well that just doesn’t work for me. Oh by “up” I just mean I am not sleeping, not that I am up out of bed or moving or anything like that. Then T-rex cannot help get the kids off to school. I like it when he can take Lilly to school and let me sleep in for just a little longer. Like 8 am longer! Then there is T-rex trying to get into bed around 9 or 10pm. Well that just doesn’t work because I have homework I try and do after the kids are in bed around 7 or 8. So see this becomes an issue. I also am sadly addicted to my e-reader and I have a few more pages in this book to get done!

T-rex loves this shift, its day! He likes that he gets home (most days) in time to have dinner with the family (another thing I don’t like our table only holds 4 people). He likes that he can spend time with the kids, and be “normal” (no matter how far away from normal he really is). He says he gets more sleep on this shift or at least more normal sleep when I let him go to bed on time.

“Swing” Or Splits 12 noon-12 midnight:

I like this one the most I think. He is up in the am and can help me with the kids (we tend to take turns) and he can stop for dinner now some nights so I still see him then. I also don’t go to be bed until around midnight so his getting home so late is no big deal for me. I get to spend the morning with him, and that is great because usually the kids are not fighting that much and I am not running around getting everyone ready until around 11, when he is running around getting ready. It just works out great for me!

He hates it. T-rex says he never gets any sleep on this shift, they have two guys out during this time for a reason, and he feels he doesn’t see us that much. I think he sees us the most on this shift because sadly it matches my schedule the most. The one I love the most he does not like at all.

Then there is nights. 6pm -6 am. Two days of work in one!

This is what we are on right now. I hate it. I love it. I am sick of dealing with it! He sleeps all day, but he is up when it is time to take Lilly to school! I don’t see him for about a week because there is no point in getting back to normal for two days off (I still make him get back to normal for his weekends off). He gets a little grumpy when he does not get enough sleep. I get grumpy when I can’t sleep because he is not home.

He likes this shift because he typically gets 7 hours of sleep with this and if it looks like he is going to be really sleepy he can just sleep in a little more. He can still come home for dinner, and most of the silly crazy stuff is done with around 3am. But it is also nights and cold and he does not see the family much (which I hope is a negative of this shift!)

No matter what shift he is working on the hardest part is the adjustment. He changes shifts every month or so (I think they are changing to 6 weeks). So every month or about we deal with a week of transition. And not just for him but the kids too. That is another love/hate thing I got going on. I would rather him switch it up every 6 weeks then for him to be stuck on nights for a year or more like some of the guys I know. I mean I really feel for families who try to function and have one person on nights and the other on days. It can be done, but it is a pain in the butt and there is too much stress with that kind of shift.

The best part is when I get sick of one thing it will change, you know right after I learn to love it.

1 comment:

RD said...

12 hours shift are just hard. I am so glad I work 4 - 10s.