Monday, November 14, 2011

Trying to Catch Up

I have so many things that I want to blog about right now (Penn State, Halloween, step parenting) but I am having a hard time finding the time to squeeze in blogging.  Our days are just insane.  And, every time I say something, I feel like I am whining because I know I am not any busier than anyone else.  Please know that I am not trying to complain. This is just something I feel the need to talk about.  We are completely running ourselves ragged right now and I am praying it will stop soon.  How is having 2 kids so much harder than having one? Is it because Jackson is still a baby and needs our full attention?  I finally realized how much I needed a break today when I was talking to a coworker about some upcoming events at work and she mentioned how tired I looked. Suddenly I was in tears for no reason other than the fact someone noticed and told me I needed to take a day to myself.  Something has to give.  I am just not sure I can figure out what that something is.

One thing that has been a major factor in the last nearly 4 months (gah!) since Jackson's birth has been Chris's training.  We found out in June that Chris was getting picked up for patrol starting July 1.  As excited as we were about this change, the timing couldn't have been worse with me due to have the baby at anytime.  The entire three weeks Chris was in class, his instructors were waiting for a phone call that I was in labor.  I ended up being sent to the hospital the 2nd day of his last week in class.  Plus, this effected his FMLA that had already been approved on the corrections side.  We were lucky that his patrol sergeant allowed him to take the first 4 weeks of my maternity leave off so that he could be home to help me with the baby.     

Where things have gotten complicated is the set schedule we were used to no longer exists.  Instead of 9:45 PM to 6 AM night shift on corrections, the midnight shift for patrol is 9-7.  Not a major problem since the boys both go to bed around 8 but I am supposed to be at work at 7:30 in the mornings and Sean cannot be dropped off before 7:15. Oh and have I mentioned my 45 minute commute to work recently?  Fortunately my boss has been great and wonderfully understanding about our time constraints and has been OK with me coming in late.  In turn, I typically work through lunch so I can still leave at 5:30 Monday-Thursday and 11:30 on Fridays.  (That is also where part of the exhaustion comes in.) Chris just started this shift, which will be his permanent shift, last night after 3 months of changing shifts from evenings to days.  The changing shifts has been difficult because it is not the norm for us and now I am used to having him home at night and on the weekends, things that never happened before.  It wasn't till I went to bed last night that it hit me.  The nights Chris works we will see each other for 2 hours and those will be 2 busy hours of feeding and bathing kids and preparing for the next day.

So why didn't we try for a different shift, you ask? Well, days are nearly impossible to get as a Rookie even though Chris's day sergeant wanted him on the shift because he thought he'd be a real asset to the shift.  That left us with midnights or evenings.  Truthfully, none of the shifts really work well with the schedule we have but midnights is the most doable.  The true upside to patrol is the 4 10-hour shifts a week versus the 5 8-hour shifts on corrections.  This gives Chris a little more time at home.  Plus patrol rotates weekends every month.  Four weeks Chris will work during the week with weekends off and four weeks he will switch.  So, in essence, we will get more time together.  It just doesn't feel like it right now.  Soon we will be adjusted to this new way of working and this will be the norm for us again.  In the mean time, it is stressing me out.


Elsha said...

I am stressed out just reading about it! I hope things ease up soon.

Jessica said...

That sounds like a really rough schedule. And working through lunch is never fun. I don't exactly "work" through lunch (I pump), but it still doesn't really give me a break and sometimes you need one. If I'm desperate, sometimes I just go outside and walk around the buiding a couple times...