Last week I read an article called, Shifting Gears: Is taking the late-night shift ideal for working moms? Some of the article rang true, other parts just pissed me off in a grand fashion.
Yes, working the night shift affords you space and time in the day with your family but you have to sleep. The world works in the day. Expect that the forces of the universe will conspire to keep you awake more often than you find comfortable. It happens. Be prepared to go to work on little sleep.
The article scoffed at the use of caffeine. HA. Shall I say it again! HA. Without caffeine I would be the worst bartender in the whole universe. I only use caffeine when I have to stay up and wow, then I am awake. Limiting caffeine on the night shift is unrealistic.
The author of the article put a very sunny spin on working nights. I know personally I was in the no man’s land of the Mommy Wars especially when the kids were little. I was technically a working Mom so the stay at home Mom’s looked at me a bit suspiciously. Then the working Mom’s looked at me like I was a stay at home Mom, because well working in a dive bar isn’t exactly a career. Yes, if I were a nurse or police officer it would of been different, but a dive bartender job will place you in the “no man’s land” of Mom’s. At least I had a few stay at home Dad friends and some Mom’s who did not judge.
Sometimes sleeping in the day is impossible even though I am tired. I find relaxation techniques can help like tensing each muscle group for 10 sec then relaxing. Going to sleep when I start yawning works too, even if I wanted to get one more load of laundry folded, I just have to go to bed when I am feeling sleepy. If that does not work or if there are people awake in the house I find Spanish language TV helps. If I put on the Spanish TV station at a low volume in the background does not demand my attention, instead it lulls me to sleep. You have to be able to survive long nights of work or long days on little to no sleep for days at a time while not falling apart. I know personally I can’t work more than two nights in a row. If I need to do a third night on a given week I need a day off in between.
Working nights has its advantages but it is not for everyone. It is harder than the author of the article stated but I find the benefits, for me, have out weighed the disadvantages ten times over. I like seeing the mailman daily, and I like going to work as the hordes of office people run for the train home. Although I work the same number of hours in a night as the day workers, I feel like I am getting away with something. Maybe it is the lack of corporate bull in my life.
I will see you all at 6pm as I open my first energy drink!