My husband has big dreams. But for now, the draw of a steady paycheck keeps him tied down to the manufacturing industry. That means he doesn’t get to pick his own hours. So, he is stuck with the three shifts offered, which are pretty similar across most plants.
Before we were married, I worked 9AM-5PM hours, while he worked 2nd shift, usually a 3PM-11PM situation. He liked not having to get up early. He likes to stay up late. So, it worked for him. If I wanted to see him during the week, I had to stay up past 11:30PM when he got home, which, seeing as I left for work at 7:00AM, left me sleep deprived. But I was in my twenties, so who wasn’t, right?
Then we got married, bought a house, and could finally have the dogs of our dreams. I worried about them having to cross their legs for long periods of time. But with our work schedules, they were only alone for typically 4 hours a day. We were being good parents to our canine kids, even if we still never saw each other.
After 10 years of service, he eventually got laid off when his plant closed. He is a hard worker, always shows up on time, doesn’t constantly play on his phone. Since then, he has been steadily employed for the last 4 years, but not at the same place. See, for those unfamiliar, manufacturing is not a real steady business in Michigan in the 2010s. He did have the opportunity to get on first shift at one place (it was even a 4 days/10 hours schedule), but then shortly after that they went out of business.
So, once again, we are stuck with this second shift shit. Which, at this point, isn’t completely horrible because it is good for our childcare needs.
But, it still sucks.
Sometimes it feels like we lead separate lives. I feel like I have no support. When you live with a 2nd shifter, you can always count on them not to be there. What is even worse, is that you know how much they want to be. They miss sports, parent-teacher conferences, events.
Don’t even get me started on 3rd shift, which my husband has also done for limited periods of time. It totally fucks up your circadian rhythms. And should a bat choose to fly around your house in the middle of the night, you have to have your BFF and her husband drive a half hour to exterminate.
From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
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