Bryan began working a night shift, Monday thru Saturday (and some Sundays) in late February. He was offered this switch to night shift in lieu of a lay-off. We were told that it would last 3-5 weeks. It lasted SIXTEEN weeks. Considering the number of lay-offs that take place each month in Bryan's field, we are always so very grateful to even have a job. Let alone a job with as much overtime as the last year and a half has given us. Still, the long hours and much shorter weekends as a family left a lot to be desired. We made it work well for us, but we are elated to have Bryan home for evenings and weekends again.
As I slipped out of bed this morning and actually made it, it was a moment similar to slipping into a great bubble bath. Ahhhh..
Some things I learned through night shift (5pm-3am, M-Sat):
1) It is virtually impossible to make the bed when someone is almost always sleeping in it! Same goes for cleaning the master bedroom and bathroom.
2) It requires diligent effort for husband and wife to remain connected when there is very little "us" time without kids... I had no idea how much that time between the kids' bedtime and ours meant to us, until it was gone. Or even those hours of merely sleeping in the same bed at the same time!
3) The kids and I are capable of far more than I thought. Previously I'd have said that we just "couldn't handle" a packed schedule or Daddy's absence, but we had a lot going on this summer and did it all very well.
4) It is fun to have a "never say no" attitude towards invitations. We accepted every invitation that we could, and had a blast!
5) Walking, biking and swimming are great ways to pass the time, get some exercise and keep the kids in "a happy place"... These activities are also free! Evenings spent with friends and neighbors also make the time fly and are just plain fun!
(Mosquitoes have been really bad for us this summer... One thing I haven't discovered is a great insect repellent for all these evenings spent outdoors!)
6) Having Daddy volunteer in Zach's class and attend things like soccer camp, junior golf and VBS closing program were such a blessing to the boys and me. These are things his normal day schedule never permits.
7) Bryan is "indulgent" (by my definition). He goes overboard with movie snacks (we've been seeing $5 movies on Tuesday afternoons), video game rentals and "special surprises" of things like massive amounts of bubbles, water balloons, and Happy Meals. These are things Mommy almost never buys, so the kids really love this about Daddy!
That's all I can think of with two kids whizzing past me, one ready for breakfast and the other ready to head to the park. Today we are shifting our schedule; moving the evening outdoor activities to a morning activity. Good thing Taylor's mom called to invite us to the park!
Looking forward to seeing Bryan after work tonight. We can hardly wait for our first Saturday as a family (excluding vacation and holidays) since late February!