Friday, September 20, 2013

The upsides of night shifts

Its been a long couple weeks here, and actually its been a long couple of months here, with the mister on night shift plus fall hunting starting up. In actual fact he's nearing the end of a 6 month stretch on night shift, where he's left at either 5 or 7 in the evening, to return shortly before 5 of 7 in the morning. I've only noticed it being especially hard since he went back to work at the end of June after Baby E was born, and more-so since hunting started at the beginning of September; before Baby E came, when it was just me and Little M, it was more do-able. Needless to say I'm looking forward to next month when he starts on day shift (during the week, with both weekend days off with us no less!). I've actually been writing a post about how I feel about this whole night shift process, which I may share next week sometime if I can manage to get it a bit more coherent :)

In the meantime, I needed a pick me up, and decided to write a post about the things I love about this schedule, with him leaving at 7 every evening, getting home just before 7 in the morning, and working mid week through the weekend. So, here goes, what I've been loving...

  • evenings with just me and the girls that are incredibly low key. I mean, he leaves at 7, and we can just start getting Little M ready for bed if we want, including a long bath, bedtime snack, bedtime story, brushing teeth, going potty, bedtime songs, getting tucked in, the whole bit.
  • evenings with just me and the girls that are more active. When it was still light until easily 8, we would go for walks down the road shortly after the mister left for work. That was fun.
  • now that it's dark about when he leaves, lighting a candle on the table and having the flickering light and nice smell in the main room. Even better - having my twinkle star lights in the kitchen window turned on as well.
  • having the whole bed to myself (and Baby E) almost every night. Ah, stretching out space how I am going to miss you once all three of us are in the bed every night come day shift next month!
  • friday afternoon walks with Baby E along the block and a half of back alleys between my work and Little M's 'new daycare' where she goes once a week right now, and the subsequent errands around town that the three of us girls do to productively waste more time between daycare pickup and the mister's wake up time of 5 o'clock.
  • having one or two mornings a week of breakfasts as a family when we wake up about when he gets home and he stays up a bit to hang out with us.
  • dashing down to the garden for a brief mama interlude for a few minutes some time between 5 and 7 on the nights where he actually wakes up at 5, supper doesn't take too long for me to make, Baby E isn't too fussy, and it isn't too smoking hot outside at that time of the day.
  • the couple of days where he has had some hunting or fishing stuff going on right after work so hasn't gotten home and to bed until mid day or later on his last shift for the week, when that we can be as loud and productive as we want all morning.
  • needing only 3 days a week of daycare for Little M, as he is (somewhat) awake and able to be with her during the day the other 2 days a week.
  • having supper with him, where he is at least present at the table if not always particularly interested in eating a full meal, every night of the week.
  • having limited daily dog chores myself as most mornings and basically every evening he is in charge of feeding them and letting them out.
Ok, well that's all I can think of right now, but this will serve as a great reminder for myself come January when he starts back on night shift, of what positives to focus on to help me start the next 6 months off right :) I think it is helpful to focus on the positives, because then it's them that I remember. Clearly our lives are full of both good things and bad things, but thinking about the past positives makes me a happier person than remembering the past negatives!


  1. What a great outlook. It's wonderful that you two support each other with your given careers. You are one hard-workin' Momma! ;0D

  2. Good for you! I try to focus on the positives as well, it seems to really change my outlook on life in general. I bet it is so, so hard having him on nights. My hubby goes on and off nights all summer, so it is a constant flip flop. I don't have any littles, but i imagine there can definitely be pros and cons. Much love to you!


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