Our world is about to change and change drastically. We have made a family decision to reorganize my work schedule and with much prayer it seems that this plan will fall into place. I will soon begin working weekend night shift, meaning I will work every Saturday and Sunday night. This is a very good thing for us, and though it comes with multiple disadvantages, all-in-all it is the right decision for our family.
In taking on this new schedule I will be minimizing the time away from my husband and daughter. Instead of being gone 26 hours a week from Baby Girl, I will instead only be gone less than 10 hours (not including the time she is asleep at night), which will be the time I spend sleeping during the day on Sunday and Monday. I will get to be home Monday thru Friday and Baby Girl and I will be able to participate in many different activities outside of the house that I think will be good for her. In a sense I will be a stay at home mom, or more of one anyhow. I will also be able to be home each evening for family time rather than at work until 7:30 or 8:00 at night. Of course, I will still teach childbirth and breastfeeding classes up to one night a week, but still... we'll be able to have family dinners and weeknights together... every single weeknight. This is huge and something that I think many 8:00-5:00 working families take for granted. This will also help to alleviate some of the strain related to childcare and lack thereof. Of course, Baby Girl will attend daycare on Mondays once she turns one year old so that I can sleep a little better, and then two/three days a week when a little brother or sister enters the picture.
On the downside... I am required to work every single weekend, and am only alloted to request off 4 shifts in an entire year. That means that I will work any holiday that falls on a weekend, and I will miss many activities that are scheduled for the weekend. Holidays like Easter, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Memorial Day/Labor Day weekend, and years when Halloween & Christmas fall on Saturday or Sunday will be spent working or sleeping. Weekends away will be no more and we'll instead plan for daddy to take a couple of days off during the week for a weekday getaway. Visiting family will be reserved for Friday nights and I'll have to be ready for work by Saturday evening. Also in regards to Sunday and attending church I will work at night and stay awake through first service until I go home and sleep until Sunday evening to return to work again that night.
Mondays will be a little hard at first, but I know of nurses who take on this schedule and are successful with it. Baby Girl and I will spend Mondays together after I have worked all night and she will do a lot of solo playing that day and momma will rest. We will have to babyproof the house like crazy. It will work and I'll rotate myself back to a normal schedule that evening to last throughout the week.
I can remember before I was a mom that I thought this type of schedule was ridiculous, that nurses were crazy to give up their weekends for a schedule such as this. That they would ultimately be losing family time, especially time with their husbands. That is not the case however as our lifestyle has changed and I can see that we will be able to spend even more time together with this situation. Working weekend option is also a financially practical move since despite only working two shifts a week I will receive full time benefits AND pay which will be wonderful.
Overall it is a great move, a difficult one to make, but it will be great for us in the end.