We are so excited to be welcoming Monday’s modern families back to our blog this year. We enjoyed sharing posts from so many fantastic parents during the last series, that we wanted to continue giving a platform to more lovely people.
This new series kicks off with someone who has always been a great supporter of our blog.
Donna is a 30 year old Mum of two living in Surrey. She spends all her time juggling family life with a shift working Husband and working part time herself for a High Street bank. When she does get a spare moment it’s spent blogging over at What the Redhead said about all aspects of family life.
I look at families with a 9-5 Monday to Friday routine and occasionally get envious. How lovely it would be to have that same consistency, family dinner times every night and weekends that coincide with our friends’ and relatives’ days off work.
I knew what I was getting into when I met David at the age of 19. He was a policeman and his shifts were all over the place. I would often get upset that we’d make plans to go out on a Friday night but he’d end up finishing work late and our plans were cancelled at not even short notice – no notice. At 19 the most difficult thing to deal with about his shifts was not being able to make plans and not often seeing each other – as he’d have days off during the week and I’d have weekends off but when we had a weekend together it was amazing – I lived for those weekends!
Zoom forward 10 years. We now have a lovely family home, have been married 5 years and have 2 beautiful children. It looks perfect doesn’t it? But sometimes it gets really hard. The days are fine, we’ve got into a system of nap times, food times and getting out of the house with the two ‘babies’. I can deal with the days by myself. The hardest part for me is when David is on late shifts. On these shifts he’ll be gone from 1pm until midnight and I have to do dinner, bath and bed by myself with both children. I know, some people have it a lot harder, some families don’t have both parents there at all or a lot less often. But when you’re used to having your other half there for so much the days when David is at work in the evenings are hard.
As Little Man gets older everything seems to be getting easier though. Pickle will happily watch TV whilst I put Little Man to bed and then I’ll relax with Pickle briefly before she goes to bed too. I realised a few months ago that she doesn’t need a bath every night and so we skip it when Daddy’s on lates now – It’s not worth the stress!
One thing that the children are already getting used to is the fact that Daddy won’t always be there when they get up, or may not always be there to put them to bed at night. But he is there a lot of the times in between. The great thing about Hubby’s shifts is that he works for 6 days and then gets 4 off – He’ll be sleeping the first one as he’ll finish after a night shift but then we have three good days together as a family. Often it feels like we have more time together as a family than most people who work office hours and that is definitely a huge plus point to David’s job.
As a family we are learning to work around Daddy’s shifts – we plan days out when he’s off work, have dinner at lunchtime when he’s leaving for work at 1pm and I take the kids out when he’s on nights and needs to sleep. Over the last 10 years David and I have learnt to make his shifts work in our favour and I know over time the hard parts will get less so and we’ll just fall into a lovely pattern as a family. For us, weekends aren’t a Saturday/Sunday but whenever Daddy’s days off fall. It makes for quite a spontaneous life really!