Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tackle: Sleep (and Fleas)

No pictures again today. I miss my camera :( I'm going to have to get a disposable for Noah's teacher's going away party on Friday. Very sad.

Oh well. This week's tackle is sleep.

When the boys were babies, I did not do well with sleep deprivation. Especially with Aaron, who was a very early riser from the moment he came into the world. I was always grumpy with him when I couldn't sleep. It was one of the big reasons (financial issues aside) that we decided to stop at two kids. I just like my sleep way too much.

Which doesn't bode well for working a third shift job. At All.

It has now been a week since I've been working third shift at Kohl's. The job itself isn't
too bad. The people aren't as friendly as I would have thought, but the work is easy as long as I've taken my daily 800mg Motrin for my back.

But getting used to being up all night and trying to sleep during the day has been a challenge. The boys have a tendency to wake up every morning when I walk in the door at 6:15, whether it's a school day or not (which it wasn't most of last week due to conferences. And I felt totally guilty all weekend when the boys were home and I couldn't spend any time with them because I had to sleep instead.

I have made some changes to try to make it easier. I try to take a "nap" from 6 until 9 on the nights before I go in to work and I got an eye mask to make it darker. These things have helped.

But my house is a mess. The laundry is piling up. And I'm tired. VERY tired! I am pulling three nights in a row starting tonight and on top of that it is a symphony week so I will be doing rehearsals and performances the entire week.

I keep telling myself that it will be worth it. And it is to a certain extent. We really need the money. Before I started the job, I was hoping it would turn into a permanent thing. Now I'm not quite so hopeful. Financially speaking, I need this to turn into full time. But after a week of lack of sleep, I am desperately searching ( just as I was before) for a day job that will give me sleep at night after Christmas. I can only hope. I really can't do this indefinitely.

I remember my mom, who worked third shift my entire childhood, as not being a very friendly sort as I was growing up. She was grumpy most of the time and I got spanked, yelled at, and insulted for pretty much everything. Early last week, as I was adjusting to this new schedule, I saw that in myself in WAY too much (no spanking but lots of yelling) and it really scared me. After seeing myself that way one day, I've tried to get more grounded. Steve got the boys up and took them to church by himself on Sunday so I could sleep and when I came down at noon with a smile on my face, you could feel the release of tension from both boys, who saw nothing but a monster up until then.

My body is so tired that it is hungry all the time and my voice has officially headed far away, making singing Carmina Burana every night this week a major challenge.

Last night was the only NIGHT that I get to sleep this week. Before I started this job, I had a very difficult time sleeping through the night without waking up. Not last night. I closed my eyes and they didn't open until 6:30 this morning. It felt so good and I am having a hard time anticipating the the next three nights of no sleep. It makes me want to cry out of frustration. Steve feels bad when I say anything about how miserable I am because he feels that he should be making more to save me from this. It's not true of course. I should be in a career at this point in my life, not piling boxes on a shelf. If I had done a better job picking a career in college 20 years ago, or if I had been a better teacher after college, then I wouldn't be an almost 40 something with absolutely no life other than family.

So this week, as well as the remainder of 2010, it will be a constant tackle of sleep. Will I even remember this holiday season when it's over? Will the laundry ever get done and will my house remain a disaster area? And will I EVER get rid of the flea infestation that has invaded our home and the animals?

I guess I'll be ready for the all nighter for Black Friday next week since my body is so messed up anyway.

Wish me luck. I REALLY need it.


Jen@BigBinder said...

Kristi, I've been thinking about you all week and wondering how 3rd shift was going. It's so hard - my husband did it for a few years while I worked (so we were opposite shifts) and it took him a long time to find a sleep/wake schedule that made him feel human. I DO wish you luck, lots of it.

Kila said...

I worked at Kohl's 22 years ago, and it's always been one of my favorite stores.

Your time at home was worth it. A lot of moms start over after being home full-time. I did, too.

The Bumbles said...

Kristi - I hope your 3rd shift adjustment hasn't killed you. Please don't pile blame on yourself for where you are at this point in your life. You are a hard working mother - there is no shame in that.

I know how frustrating living in an opposite time of day can be - my husband spent a long time working nights on the road. I never saw him. It was a great strain. All of his living had to be packed into a small window of time on the weekend and there was never enough time to fit everyone and everything into it. But it was his job, and his hard work helped him to earn a better living with reasonable hours again.

You do what you have to do. Don't beat yourself up about it - that will only add to the stress and guilt. I'm proud of you for recognizing the impact it has on you and your family, but also for fighting for your family - even if it means 3rd shift temporarily. Wishing you extra strength to pull through.