Aaaand we’re back with this week’s edition of “Building Our Relationship Through Second and Third Shift” which is quite a mouthful. Whew. Last week I gave you all the deets on how Roman and I managed to keep the flame burning even when we were on completely opposite schedules. If you haven’t read that blog post yet, check it out here! But back then we were still kids. I mean, I still consider us kids and I know we have a LOT to learn, however, we own a house now, I’ve worked a couple ‘big girl’ jobs and started my own full time business, he’s been at the shipyard for 5 years now, and so much in between that allowed us to really grow up in a short time frame. And to add on to that, his schedule changed last December to night shift, which scared the crap out of me. Over time I’ve learned how to cope with him being gone at night, and he’s learned how to maximize his time and make the most out of his days. Since I know there’s gotta be tons of couples out there in this same boat, I thought it’d be fun (maybe even helpful or interesting) to share how this has played out for us!
So right around Christmas time last year, Roman started leaving for work at 9:30pm. The very first night we realized how wonderful this was going to be in comparison to his previous shift (3:30pm to midnight). Why? Because the very first night is when we realized we could sit down at the dinner table and actually EAT DINNER TOGETHER. If I remember correctly, we also made Christmas cookies this night and trimmed the tree, all things we would have NEVER had time to do on a week day. It was amazing.
At this time his mom was living with us, so the fact that he left at night wasn’t a problem at all. As soon as she moved out, I panicked because I knew I’d be home alone. Don’t get me wrong- my neighborhood is extremely safe, and I have two big scary dogs to protect me, but I’ve never been comfortable being at home by myself.
So that was the first problem. The second problem was making sure Roman slept. Honestly, probably a bigger more realistic problem. But night is scary.
So here is how our schedule works to make the most out of our time now! It’s actually pretty great. I’d love to sleep next to him, but it’s okay. Stella takes up most of the bed anyways. Keep in mind I work from home, so conforming to this schedule was a little easier for me, but it would work for anyone working a regular 9-5 as well. 🙂
So when Roman gets home from work around 8:15, he wakes me up, which is wonderful because I hate alarms! We make breakfast together, feed the dogs, and sit and drink our tea and coffee which takes about an hour total. It gives me time to wake up and him time to wind down before bed. Around 9:30am he’s in bed and I’m ready to start my work day, which is also perfect, because he wakes up at about the same time that I’m finished working for the day. That’s usually around 4:30pm, and then the rest of the night flows just how you’d imagine. We don’t miss any quality time together because our work times and sleep times are flip flopped, rather than our free time getting caught in the mix. Like I said before, my most favorite thing about this schedule is that we can eat dinner together every night. I really missed that.
It’s also nice because if he needs to schedule an appointment during the day he can choose to sleep for the second half of the day instead. I don’t like that as much because then he’s asleep during dinner time, but it’s an option if it has to be done, and he doesn’t have to take off of work!
If you’re wondering how I cope at night now that I’m home alone, I’ll be honest. For months it was exhausting. I’d lay awake for hours jumping over every little noise. It just got better with time. Well, time and The Office, my ultimate comfort tv show. I know that my dogs will let me know if anything is wrong, and I just have faith that they would protect me too, lol. Ultimately, there isn’t any reason to worry about what if’s in life.
Plus, the sooner I fall asleep, the sooner Roman is home! That’s really my biggest motivation.
There you have it! This was a much more straight forward blog compared to last weeks, because second shift is truly so much harder. I hope that if you or your loved one is looking into a night shift schedule that this helps ease your mind a little but about the process!