In two weeks, I will be a working gal.
I’m scared to death.
More than the fact that I will pretty much be working full-time (I’m doing 2 12-hour shifts a week, and on-call for another day, meaning if I get called in every week, I’ll be full-time. Eeek!) is the fact that I will be working at night.
I did the night shift for a year after Ada was born. As I’ve talked about before, Ben was still in school at the time, and I was the sole supporter of our family. I worked two jobs–one nursing gig at night, and the other non-profit job from home during the day, whilst caring for Ada 24/7 as Ben went to school, student-taught, and volunteer coached.
It was terrible.
Seriously, it was a really, really hard time in my life. I’m pretty sure there was some post-partum going on, but it was the kind of exhaustion that I can’t even begin to explain. I’d spend all day with Ada, work one job during her nap, start my shift at the hospital at 7 PM, then get home around 8 AM. Most days, Ben’s mom would have Ada until around noon, at which point, she would drop her off to go to work, and then it would start all over again. On some awful days, she would have to be to work by 9, so I would skip the whole sleeping thing.
Some weeks, I went well over 72 hours without sleep.
I look back on that time and want to weep. I was so tired that I can remember snapping at Ada. My poor, precious newborn daughter. She would be crying for seemingly no reason, and I vividly remember one time just screaming at her to stop. I was so tired I couldn’t even see straight. I callously tossed her in her crib and collapsed outside her door, my tears threatening to drown hers.
She fell right asleep; the poor thing had been just as exhausted as I was. All she wanted was a nap.
That was a low point on the motherhood scale.
I got off of nights after a year and swore I would never go back. Never, ever, not in a million years.
And yet, here I am.
I’m scared of things like:
- No sleep. Obviously, that’s a biggie. I’m not someone who gets along well without sleep. After two kids, this much I know. I’m crabby and grumpy and not up to my best mom behavior.
- Stress. Waking up in the morning, realizing I have to work that night always stresses me out. It kinda ruins the whole day.
- Recovery. Even on the days I don’t work, I remember still feeling exhausted, so it’s like never getting a day off.
- Missing out on ‘real’ life. Most people don’t work nights. Most people don’t work weekends. I’ll be doing both, and subsequently am afraid I will miss out on a lot of family activities.
- Hating my job. It’s no secret that I really don’t enjoy working as a nurse. This job in labor and delivery is kind of my last ditch effort to give this nursing thing a shot. I’m worried I will still hate it–more of the same, maybe just less manual extraction of poop. But let’s face it–there will still be poop.
But, I’m trying to think positive. So , I’m focusing on the good things about this job, like:
- Cash money. That’s a definite perk. I’m majorly upping my hours and racking up a night-shift differential. Suddenly, my financial contribution in the family is transforming from covering the grocery bill to primary bread-winner. Like, whoa.
- The experience. Working labor and delivery is going to be great experience, both from a nursing standpoint and also from a writing standpoint. I can’t wait to see what I will learn– great article potential! And let’s not forget, I get to cuddle babies anytime I want.
- Uninterrupted sleep. Ok, so I’m not sure about this one. But part of me wonders, if, just if, I will be able to get in some actual, uninterrupted sleep. Learning from my last venture into the night shift, I will definitely be hiring a babysitter this time around. Meaning 8 hours of uninterrupted sleeping bliss for me–something I don’t even get now. Muuahahaha.
- Savings. As exemplified by good thing #1 (see: cash money), I’ll be bringing home a bit more bacon. Aside from upping our house payments (yaay adulthood!), I plan on squirreling my cash away to save for a new car. Both of our vehicles have entered the slow decline into the grave, but more than that, we know we will need a bigger car when we expand our family even more. We’re looking at this bad boy:
So, that’s my ultimate plan. (I can’t help it, even after everything, I still love to plan!) Work this job temporarily, save up enough to buy a new (well, not totally new, used of course), bigger car…and then get to work on baby #3!
Wish me luck! On the job, that is. 😉