Shift work Mom

Before I start, I want to remind you all that I really do like my job. I work with some fun and interesting people and many have become great friends. I started working at The factory in 2008. No kids, not many responsibilities and not many bills. Nick and I lived in a one bedroom apartment in London in the east end and our rent was just over $600 a month. We had no kids, no mortgage and no utility bills either. We were living the life. A great job and no bills equals lots of extra cash.

We were married in 2010 and in 2011 we had Phoenix and Declan…and on May 12 2012 I went back to work after my very first mat leave. This was the beginning of my love hate relationship with a great job.

Factory work is long hours and tedious, it’s repeditive and so hard on your body. BUT the pay is amazing and the benefits are out of this world great for anyone, especially a family as large as ours!

Here’s the thing…for two weeks of the month I am on “night” shift. not a regular night shift though….we start at 5:45pm and work until 3:15am. Oh and don’t forget to factor in the 2.5 hours of driving time. Granted, living so far away from the plant is definitely my decision but it doesn’t make it any easier to cope with. So two weeks of not putting the boys to bed, eating dinner with them or getting them their drink in the middle of the night. Nick is a single parent those weeks. I know it’s hard on him but he rocks it like the superstar Dad he is! It’s so hard not being there every night, putting them to bed.

The other two weeks is day shift. We start at 6:15am and go to 3:45pm, oh and the driving time. This makes for an early morning alarm clock setting and by the time I get home I am in full on zombie mode from lack of sleep. So yeah i get to see the boys in all their post academic glory but all I can think about is putting them to bed quickly so I can crawl into my own!

Let’s also factor in my spot on the board of directors of our local club, my two side businesses and my online courses I’ve been taking through George Brown College. If you want something done, ask the busiest person you know! My husband is amazing, understanding and probably the best Dad around (biased opinion) I couldn’t do it without him! He’s so patient with the boys, much more than I am, he keeps me…and them…grounded and sane (for the most part that is)

The Mommy guilt is real my friends. It’s a constant struggle between loving my job and thinking of ways to quit spend more time at home. Im afraid of the things I miss, good and bad but I also (guiltily) love the time I get at work to be Julie and not just Mommy…if only the hours were shorter and the plant was an hour closer to my doorstep!

Shift workers deserve a prize. I’m not saving lives or anything but man is it a hard gig!


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