First Month

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My first month in the new job is complete.

I’m exhausted.

Happy Mother’s Day to me, I’m alone with the baby/toddler in the lounge while husband sleeps after nightshift.

His nightshift is every second week at the moment. So every second week I am woken by my husband when he comes home (somewhere between 4-6am) and after finally getting my boy to sleep 7ish to 6ish, he has reverted to waking between 4-530 for a top up, then sleeping til 650.

On the weeks my husband does nightshift I have to keep our very active little guy quiet before we rush off to work/care. And he works Friday and Saturday nights so there is no respite on the weekend. On the days that I don’t work, my boy and I have to go and do something out of the house to keep us busy, which can be hard when I’m so exhausted that I can’t even talk coherently.

The weekend is a continuum of the weekdays. Even when I worked 3/4 time with no baby I had to completely rest on the weekend and sleep a whole heap more!

I wouldn’t say I’ve coped so much as survived for a lot of the days.

On a positive note, I’ve adored my Wednesdays with my little guy. 

Work has been mostly OK. I like using my brain in that way.

But I want to refuse the notion that I must now live with the physical symptoms that have been exacerbated or ones that have resurged. My neck, while mostly tolerable and hovering around 4-6/10 most days, has begun to keep me awake in the night when I get woken. It’s stiffer more than sore, making lying in bed uncomfortable. My shoulders are so tight I can’t lie on my side. My upper legs and glutes have become super tight again and ache, due to sitting for so long at the computer.

So long = 4.5 hours a day.

So I ought to be grateful I can work these hours. That it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

I have begun to cling to my magic number of eight hours sleep. Treating myself gently on the days I have less (far too often) as I am usually miserable. Being really grateful on the days I get it.

Before the three month trial is up I have to decide if we can make this work long term.

Meanwhile, my husband will have another shift change – to one with no discernable pattern, so he won’t be able to help with our little guy’s care at all. Once we put him in with his carer for every hour I work (plus travel and lunch break) the cost:benefit ratio plummets. My energy for the money I get (after taxes and childcare), it’s a heavy balance.

I am still trying to keep myself on the journey to wellness. We are purchasing a smoothie maker soon so that I can supercharge my afternoon tea and increase my fruit and vegetable intake. I have managed a 20 minute walk most days. I’m trying super hard to get as much sleep as I can.

It’s just slower at the moment.

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