A Tough Decision
Have you ever felt like you made the wrong choice, and if you could go back in time, you would? That’s where I am in life right now. Let’s rewind just a bit. A few months ago I transitioned from the Night Shift at my job to a Day Shift position. I allowed the new job to settle in, but I was not happy. I waited a few months and let it run its’ course, but I could not shake the feeling I had. And sometimes we just have to go with our gut when the feeling is not right. I made a very hard decision and sat down with my boss to tell her I wanted to return to my previous position on Night Shift. It was tough for several reasons. While I was in my position for a short time I had learned a TON of information, met some awesome people, and I actually got holidays and weekends off. So why were you unhappy Megan? I missed my kids. I was a Homeroom Mom, I missed going on Field Trips, I missed picking them up from school, I missed spending School Inservice and Breaks with them! That was just the beginning though.
There were a lot of things that I considered to be a ‘luxury’ during the Night Shift schedule that I could not do on a normal 8-5 Monday through Friday. Here is the small list I composed while writing my Pros and Cons list:
- Dr. Appts-Yeah kiss those babies goodbye because at a certain point it starts to eat into your Vacation time!
- Empty Stores…When I say stores I really mean Target. On the weekends that place is packed but during the week when my 4 yr old and I would make our trips there weren’t a ton of people there!
- Picking up kids from school
- Empty Playgrounds…except for other Stay at Home Moms
- Cleaning with only one child home
- Alone TIME! While my Toddler is sleeping I can write, read, and film my YouTube videos!
- Mid-Day Wal-Mart Grocery Pickup which is ALWAYS clutch for me. Being able to grab the groceries before picking the kids up for school on Wednesdays and having them help me put them away was a definite PRO for my decision making list.
Now, I’m not saying these are going to be the PROS for everyone, but it is definitely what I took into consideration when I decided to move back to Night Shift. I will be working a 4×3 so that means I will have one LONG 48 hour week and one short 36 hour Week. During that time I also get a stretch of 4 days and 3 days off. I learned that when I tried to add up the hours I would get to be home with my family were REALLY off. Let’s take a look at the math.
Originally when I planned to go to Day Shift, I wanted the challenge of doing something new workwise and I also wanted my weekends back to myself, and to come home to my husband and children every night. But when I looked at the numerical breakdown of the hours I ACTUALLY spent with my family, I learned that my estimates were WAY off. Here was a typical day for me:
- 600-700 Get Ready for work
- 700-715 Help husband get kids ready for school
- 720-750 Commute to work (the traffic was HORRIBLE)
- 800-1100 Work
- 1100-1200 Lunch
- 1200-500 Work
- 500-540 Commute home
- 540-600 Cook Dinner
- 600-830 Spend Time with Markaus and the Kids
I really only got 2 hours with the kids every night. By 900PM I was too tired to read, write, do homework, or spend time with my husband. I was wiped out and my house was a mess. I missed my clean house but had no energy to straighten up. I had to choose between cleaning or spending time with my children that I missed all day, so I chose them.
On my new schedule I will go in at 6 in the evening. I can leave my house 15 mins early and get to work on time. I will miss 2.5 hours with the kids before they go to bed, but I was able to spend 2 hours with them prior to going in for work. On my off days we can spend 5 hours with the kids before they’re off to bed 🙂 I will be here when they wake up in the morning to make sure they head off to school OK knowing I am here if they need me and I love them. I am also able to be with them during summer break, winter break, fall break, spring break, and Teacher Inservices. On Saturday mornings I will get off at 6AM, sleep from 630-230, we will spend 5 hours together before I head out for work at 730 that evening. So when people ask me if I am going to ‘miss my weekends’ the answer is No because in my eyes I have formatted my schedule to work for myself and my family.
I also learned that I AM NOT A MORNING person. I prefer to get up in the evening rather than the mornings and on top of that I prefer working longer shifts to get my work week over with rather than having them spread out over a course of 5 days.
The Ugly Truth
I am going to miss sleeping in the same bed as my husband for three nights. But he understands how important it is to me to be a mother, and be here for our children. He also understands that I want to finish school and this is a way for me to do so while also bringing in dual income. We will manage our time really well during the week to make sure there is enough ‘us time’. Date Nights will have to be a little more creative but that’s totally ok!
I ALWAYS say this, life is about choices and sometimes we have to admit to the fact that we made the wrong choice. The grass is not always greener on the other side but sometimes we need to experience it to fully comprehend our previous blessing. I find comfort in knowing that I am doing what is best for myself and my family. I hope that through this post you find the courage to evaluate what and who is important in your life and what your priorities are.
Update: I originally wrote this post a week before starting my new/old shift back. I am not a month in and I do not regret my decision of returning to my happiness. It took a while to get my sleep schedule adjusted, but other than that everything is working out just as I planned. I could not be happier that I chose to be honest with myself, and those around me. Here’s to happiness!
Love and Light