Bank Holidays used to mean something to me. I worked in a bank. The bank was closed on Bank Holidays. I had a nice long weekend.
Now that I’m on maternity leave and Dave works shifts Bank Holidays are irrelevant. To be honest, every day is pretty much the same to us – there is nothing to differentiate weekdays and weekends or each week day from another.
Our life revolves around Dave’s shift pattern – 6 days on and 4 days off. Those 6 days are our week and the 4 days are our weekend. Bank Holidays and other public holidays are unimportant to us – Dave works most Bank Holidays, luckily he hasn’t worked a Christmas yet but he could be asked to.
The actual days of the week no longer exist to us.
The only difference is that nearly everyone else we know works during the week. They have weekends free and so we have to remember what the days of the week are in order to arrange things with other people. Trying to fit family life around a ten day shift pattern and everything else around weekdays and weekends is very confusing – often it all overlaps, but it’s nice when Dave’s days off fall on a weekend and our ten days line up with the rest of the world so that our little family can socialise as a whole with other people in our lives.
That is the hardest thing about shifts – often things are arranged and Dave’s working. When we just had LP it was fine. I could look after LP easily by myself at social events. Now that there are two children it’s very hard to look after both in public – unless they’re confined to a pushchair, shopping trolley or strapped to me in the sling! The thought of going to any ‘occasion’ – a BBQ, party or anything else – by myself with two children, at the moment, is horrendous! I know it will get easier, and I’m fine with people I know, as I know they will help with the children, but when strangers are involved – just the thought brings me out in a cold sweat!
Everyone gets excited by Bank Holidays, by a long weekend. To be honest, everyone gets excited by Fridays. Every Friday. As it’s the weekend.
Not us, in some ways every day is a Friday. In others every day is a Sunday night with that ‘Monday Morning’ feeling!
Everything is different in a family of shift workers.