You may not know this about us but in 18 years of marriage we've only been a "normal" 1st shift family for 2 years. Paul has always worked jobs that don't account for holidays and "normal" working hours. Lately he's been under a ton of stress at work. They are WAY understaffed and over worked. They are being asked to do things that use to be the job of 3 people... literally. Then they are putting huge rules upon him as to how to do it. They have now fired 3 people in the last 3 months for not doing their job right. Paul is a #1 worker. He enjoys doing a job well even if no one is looking and the crazy demands are stressing him out like I've never seen. He's in a dangerous field of law enforcement and being understaffed and constantly distracted is not a good combo. As shift bids came up this year and his blood pressure is normal at home but over 200 ON blood pressure meds at work we decided it might be time to go back to the old days of 3rd shift. It's not the best for families but we figure a dead dad would be worse right?
I spent sooooo many years trying to figure out how to live a "normal" life in the crazy 3rd shift world and really struggled. Ironically as we are looking ahead and make plans there's almost a comfort in going back. What I didn't realize is we really did adjust quite well to that schedule/shift, it just didn't feel like it because no one else lived like that! As I'm looking at wake up times, meal times and how we're going to go about things I'm thinking...."why didn't I like this??" I know one reason, if he only had 1-2 days off it's too hard for him to adjust his sleep so he stays on his normal schedule. This means for me I only had a "full time" husband with me 2-3 days a month. And we only had one long weekend a month to do anything with. That was hard. And what made it harder was since he didn't adjust his sleep and there's not much to do in the middle of the night he would game or watch movies or read and it looked like a fantastically wonderful break that I NEVER got!! We're talking about how we will handle that when it comes. If you have any wonderful suggestions pass them on. He's going to take the time to workout and help out with laundry. He could do some late night store runs to a 24 hour "super store". I know now that the boys are older he'll pull them out for some all nighters which doesn't sound so great to me but the boys think it's awesome and I know it will build memories for them all.
The other thing I learned is having your husband home more...isn't always a good thing! LOL! Don't get me wrong, I love having him here but it's next to impossible to get anything accomplished! He gets in the way of our routine and the house is a mess, baths aren't done and there's a lot of movie watching and rough housing going on! It's very hard to keep a routine (not that I've ever been that fantastic of a routine keeper anyway). While on 1st shift he was on 12 hours so he had a lot more days off. It's been fun but I will say it would have been more fun if our kids were in school or all older and gone... or all younger...it was just hard to homeschool with him home more often.
Oh well, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. 1st shift 12 hours I thought was going to be the best but it too brought some scheduling conflicts and issues. And as much as I thought it would turn my night owl husband into a morning lark, therefore transforming ME into the morning lark I always wanted to be, it was not to be. We would wake early and go to bed early on "work" days but on days off we'd both be up way past midnight and sleep in until 9am! I hate that about us, and I totally blame him for making me this way! I don't recall being like that until we married and I adjusted to his nutty ways! I guess if he can put up with all my crazy I can put up with his as well ;0) The secret to a happy marriage... put up with each others crazies.