Friday, April 1, 2022

Confessions Of A Second Shift Work At Home Dog Mom

At some point in January marked a full year since Lisa has worked the second shift. Prior to that, before her promotion, she worked the first shift. After her promotion, she worked mid-shift. Her hours were 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Those hours would have been ideal. But.

In a nutshell...

If the first shift manager was out, she had to cover. If the second shift manager was out, she had to cover. I can count on one hand how many weeks she worked her assigned schedule consistently. Most weeks, she worked various schedules. We took things day by day. Week by week. It was hard on our family, but we managed. 

In January of 2021, Lisa had to cover the second shift for an extensive period of time. In the weeks to follow, she was presented with the opportunity to have that shift permanently. At the time, we despised the second shift, but with it being permanent, it meant the end of a fluctuating schedule. After much discussion, Lisa accepted the opportunity. 

The consistent schedule has done wonders for us and our kids all the way around. That was the most important consideration. 


After going through all of the seasons with Lisa working the second shift, and keeping the same schedule, stuff has come up. 

1. Eating our big meal at noon-ish. Monday through Friday, Lisa leaves for work around 2:30 p.m. She doesn't get home until after midnight. What does that mean? We don't have a conventional dinner together. So. We have our "dinner" around noon. 

I pack leftovers for Lisa to have for her dinner break. On my end, I graze on foods that Lisa mostly deems as "gross." For example tuna with mayo and pickles, hummus and pretzels, olives and artichokes, refried beans, large quantities of fruits and vegetables, avocados, etc...

Behind the curtain, a lot goes into that. Most of the time, I have to do lots of food prep for the culinary magic to happen the following day. It's part of my schedule, but I've had to make numerous adjustments to the meals I prep Monday through Friday. They need to be meals that reheat well and can be mostly prepped the night before. 

I'm still perfecting this methodology.

2. Storms. I'm referring to the inclement weather that occurs during the warm weather months. Year after year, it keeps getting worse. Severe thunderstorms. Tornado warnings. Wind storms. Tropical storms. Last year was no exception. 

The thunderstorm activity last year was high. I spent most of the Spring and Summer working from the dining room table instead of our home office. Our dining room is centrally located. Our home office is not. Our kids are more settled if I am at the dining room table. 

I had to quickly embrace the fine art of remaining calm. Home alone. At night. For the sake of our kids. That included many evenings of getting storm alerts and tornado warnings on my phone. Monitoring our local weather radar. 

During the oncoming severe storms, I had the flashlight on the dining room table. Just in case. Oftentimes, I sat on the sofa or the floor to comfort our kids. It disrupted my schedule, however, the safety and well-being of our kids are our priority. 

According to weather experts, we are supposed to have a "hotter than normal" Summer with increased storm activity. I'm not going to panic. Yet. It concerns me. But. Like last year, I'll take it day by day.

3. Accepting that no one stays up late. It gets lonely at night at times. When Lisa worked the first shift, she would leave at 5:30 a.m for work and be home by 3 p.m. She always went to bed before I did. 

Most nights, I worked until after midnight. After getting up to make her breakfast and pack her lunch, I'd sleep for a few more hours. 


I am home alone for many, many hours at a time. Some nights, it's over 12 hours. During that time, I'm occupied with Work at Home Dog Mom stuff. Our kids. Workshop pieces. Food prep. Housework. Etc.

But sometimes, I crave conversation. I often reach out to people when "it's too late" to call. Or, I text or message people who don't respond back's late. And, their "late" is my "early." I'm still adjusting to that.

4. Getting up late. When we don't get to bed until 2 or 3 in the morning, we sleep in. Well. Sort of. Our kids wake us up for various reasons. At all hours. But once we tend to their needs, we doze off. 

I'm always up before Lisa despite how late we fall asleep. I try to go back to sleep, but that doesn't happen often. 

I let Lisa sleep in. I bring her coffee. 

Another "I am not going to lie" moment. I miss the days of going to bed early and waking up early. For so many reasons. 

5. Baking bread, sweets, and prepping meals after midnight. Yes. This happens. A lot. Accompanying that is music and dancing in our kitchen. Singing out loud. Often times with the delusion that I should audition for American Idol or America's Got Talen. 


Knowing damn well that I'm not even close to being considered because I can't hold a tune to save my life.

6. The clock in our dining room irritataes me. It is a gorgeous clock. There is a story behind this clock. However. When I work from the dining room table, it's right behind me. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 

When the kids are napping sound and I get that occasional moment of silence to obtain inspiration and have the opportunity to work on freelance pieces, this blog, or my book, the tick tocking sounds like a drum. And, it's competing with the clock in the living room which isn't too far away. 

On a side note, my aversion to the loud tick tocking of clocks goes way back. It's nothing traumatic. I've just never liked it.

7. The frequency of random and obscure thoughts. The amount of shit I see on social media throughout the day and night resonates in my brain. It sits there. I can't help but psychoanalyze bits and pieces. 

This stems from seeing a filtered selfie on my newsfeed to some shady individual trying to sell a single Yankee Candle tart on Marketplace for $1.00.

These random shards of thoughts materilize hour after hour. 

For example...

There is no need to stick your tounge out to the side when taking a selfie.

Tone down on those lashes because they're beginning to resemble mutated spiders

I have a lenghthy list of questions for those who have long, pointed fingernails. 

Those filters, yep. 





The list goes on...

8. Menopause. Well. That's a whole other blog column. 

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