The husband started working third shift this week.
Third shift, for those of you who don't know, means working nights. He worked nights when I was pregnant with our first three kids. He worked nights when I was writing my first blog, but I never mentioned it because I was more concerned back then about strangers reading that information and considering it an opportunity for crime.
Now he has switched to third shift again, and I am writing about it not only because I am less worried but because it is such a big change for the family now, and I need to talk about it. Third shift means coming home in the morning before the kids go to school, and then sleeping till dinner time. When he works nights, he not only needs to sleep during the day, but he needs more sleep than he would get at night. Your body never forgets that you are a diurnal creature; you need more sleep because the sleep you get is worse sleep.
I could not work third shift. It would kill me. But the husband adapts to it very well. He likes the culture of third shift: the freedom to do the work without meetings, the oddball employees night work attracts, the absence of management with their impending panic. He sleeps fairly well during the day, and he loves the feeling, when he opens a beer at 8 am and climbs under the covers by 9, that he is getting away with something. All you day people are scurrying around with responsibilities, while he gets to sleep. Ha.
In case it isn't clear yet, my husband likes working third shift because he has me. I do the extra work necessary so that he can work third shift. I take care of all the household tasks. I respect his need for sleep. This was particularly hard when I had babies, and I wasn't getting much sleep at night myself. All night long alone with your first baby is especially hard, and we had no family in the area to help us out. It was a lonely and difficult time.
I have four kids now, of course, but they walk on their own and sleep all night long. I can pile them all in the van (VAN!) and drive them to a park to get their attention off me. I am hoping this time will be easier. But they also have homework and other responsibilities, and I am not sure how much of the load I will have to carry by myself. I guess time will tell.
For now I am trying new breakfast recipes and learning to sleep in the middle of the bed again. I haven't been sleeping well, and I could really use a nap.