July 7, 2012

I think I've said it before...

But whoever (or whomever) invented shift work is an idiot.  And was not a family person.  He/She was a freaking workaholic.  Or it must have been someone in management that wouldn't ever actually have to WORK those crazy hours.

So let me explain to you what schedule my husband works.

For 7 days, he works days which is 7 am-3 pm, but he really works from 6-2.

Then he's off for 3.5 days. His only weekend off. 

Yeah, 1 weekend a month off.  Terrible for planning, vacation, well pretty much anything.

After his 'long' weekend, he starts nights on that Tuesday. He works from 11-7 (10 pm to 6 am) for 7 days (til Monday, technically Tuesday morning). Then he will be off for 2 nights (Tues. and Wed.) before changing to the next shift.

Are you keeping up?  It took me about 3 years to keep up with it.

On Thursday, he starts my LEAST favorite shift, 3-11.  He works from 2 pm to 10 pm meaning he goes 7 days without ever seeing his kids and sometimes me.  Luckily, I don't sleep much and get to see him when he gets home.

So after 7 days of the shift from you know where that lasts til the following Wed., he's off for 2 days (Thurs. and Fri.).

After only 2 days off, he starts back working days, which is 7 am to 3 pm (6 am to 2 pm).

Hope you were able to follow along with all that...

How can anybody get used to that schedule?  They say that people that do shift work have terrible stomach problems due to the ever changing schedule and eating times.  In 2009, my husband had his gall bladder out.  Yeah, stomach problems.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, IT SUCKS. Plain and simple.

They work in the heat and the freezing cold.  They get laid off when the MS River floods.  The work even longer hours when they have a 'shut down' which is when they shut down all the big equipment to clean it, change parts, etc.

The employees there work extremely hard in very dangerous conditions.  Conditions I choose to not think about or I would go crazy every day he goes to work.  I don't like when he rides his motorcycle to work (although it's the most fuel efficient vehicle on the face of the earth) but I realize it's more dangerous for him to be AT work than going TO work.

They've tried to go to 12 hour shifts, which would allow them more time off, but the older guys don't want to work MORE (even tho they would really work less).  So for the time being, this is our life.

It's hard for me with 2 kids, I won't lie.  My kids miss their Daddy.  I miss my husband.  I miss the extra set of hands.  I miss his cooking.

It's hard to plan events like bunco and some things at church.  I have to count the days to see what schedule he will be on before I can commit to make sure he'll be home to watch our kids.  Plus, (and he won't agree with this) but I try to not load the kids off on him every time he's off.

I can't just run out to the store while the kids are already in the bed. I can't drive Baby Sister around when she won't go to sleep (which luckily is rare) because someone has to be at home since Big Sister is sleeping.

It's frustrating for me.  It's frustrating for him.  But it's our life.  So we deal with it.  We are super blessed to have friends and family all close by.

That's the main reason we moved back home when we did. Before kids. We hated to leave Starkville.  We hated to leave our friends.  Our family.  Friends that became family.  My Goddaughter. 

It wasn't an easy decision.  BUT, it was the best decision for us.

God will never give you more than you can handle.  I agree with that.  I just think sometimes he likes to see us squirm a bit!

So thanks for letting me rant.  Shift work sometimes gets the best of me.  Very few people can relate.

So today starts his long weekend.  We are headed to the lake with Big Sister for some sun, fun, and relaxation (And no rings will be worn!).  And no further plans other than eating and swimming and maybe a boat ride, but most importantly, hanging out with friends we haven't seemed to be able to hang out with lately.

Thankful.  Blessed.

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