I am eight years into my marriage and still I struggle with the fact that we do not have a typical, American family schedule. We have made the sacrifice for me to stay home with the kids, but my husband works a shift schedule. Sick people do not take evenings and weekends off and need him to be their nurse. He works long, odd hours. Weekends can be especially hard for us. When it seems all other families are enjoying the time off together, even with friends, the kids and I are often home alone. Most of the weekend and holiday parties we are invited to, the girls and I end up going without my husband.
Now, my husband has switched from a twelve hour night shift to a twelve hour day shift. We are having to adjust to this new schedule and I feel like I'm running backwards. When he gets home in the evening, it is the time I would normally be getting the kids in bed. Instead of quietly ending the evening at 8 PM, they are revved up and ready to go. In fact, at this moment, my toddler is going potty and my seven year old keeps calling out to her dad from her bedroom. It is now almost 9:30 PM and not only do I feel like I'm running backwards, but I keep hitting my heals on sharp rocks. It is taking a lot of strength for me not to start flipping out (hence, I write to keep my focus on something else).
I have hope that the day shift is going to be better for our little family than the night shift, once we get through this period of transition. Then comes the baby...that will be something like running backwards, in the dark, and on ice. Life is fun isn't it?