10 years ago this coming May I graduated from College with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. A couple of months later I took (and passed!) my nursing boards and started my first job. At that point we had been married for 1 year.
My first job as an RN was at the hospital that I had been a nursing assistant at. It was a day/evening rotation. Soon after I switched to an 11am-7pm shift with my weekends being evenings.
I liked day shift but hated getting up in order to be at the hospital by 7am. Yuck. I am not an early riser, that is for sure. Once I get up I am fine but that pulling myself up while it is still dark out...not my idea of fun.
Evening shift was crazy, but ok. I liked having my mornings to myself, but it seemed like I never got that much done. I would get home around midnight and Noah and I would sometimes go out. I certainly was never ready to go to sleep right after my shift was over.
I loved the 11am-7pm shift, mostly because I liked what I was doing at work. It was nice to sleep in and commute without traffic, but it did kind of ruin the whole day.
Then we moved to Indiana. I had never considered working nights, but in the non nursing union state of Indiana it became very clear that no new hire would ever get a day shift position in that town. Also, everyone worked 12 hour shifts and everyone worked a .9 with a couple of on calls a month.
And so I took a 12 hour night .9 position in an ICU in Indiana.
And guess what?
I discovered that I loved the night shift.
I found that I could sleep during the day.
I found that working at night without all of the chaos of a hospital by day was a nice change of pace.
When we moved back to MN I found a night shift position.
After all, with kids it is pretty convienent to be working when they are sleeping.
Of course I still need to sleep during the day, but sleep is more flexible than being at a job.
For example, the one weekday a week that I have to sleep ends up being quite fragmented. I sleep maybe 6 hours, but it is all broken up into 1 1/2-2 hour chunks of time over a 14 hour period between shifts.
It is not optimal, but then again, what is?
Last night the boys were at a sleepover with G & G.
Noah and I were hanging out with an overtired but super silly Berean. We finally put her to bed and Noah fell asleep and was still sleeping while I was getting ready to head out for work. I sighed a little as I turned the lights out, thinking he would probably nap for an hour and then get up and play video games or something with his 2nd wind (have I ever mentioned how much I hate video gaming?).
I was surprised to arrive home this morning to find that both of them had just woken up when they heard the garage door.
It is an odd feeling to leave people sleeping, drive to work, enter an awake world, work an entire shift, drive home and find the people just as you left them 10 hours before.
Now that? That may be an optimal way to live.