40 hours a week is a nightmare.

Fuck a 9-5, Monday thru Friday work schedule.

Approximately one year ago, exactly, I was waiting for the news that there was a new hire and I would be able to come off a rotating schedule and onto a more “normal” schedule. It was not ideal, instead of 9-5 or even 8-4, the hours are 10-6. Sounds great on paper.

Eventually around April someone was hired, and luckily it was a part timer and there was no training necessary. So come May I slid into what I thought was a pretty sweet schedule.

Getting to work at 10AM sounds great… for someone not trying to keep up a household. I thought my early mornings were over. Only to find out I would have to get up EVEN EARLIER to get accomplished all the things I would want to get accomplished any given day. Getting out at 6, it’s later than normal, but I still have the evening right…. WRONG. Eating dinner at 7-8pm is not fun. Don’t add in any organized kid sports activity and now the kids and I are eating dinner at 9PM. Yes, I said 9PM because I’d still like to sit and eat with both my children. And this is only really possible if I spend all of Sunday cooking dinner ahead of time.

Now think about it, if I’m lucky and there is no practice the kids are still getting in bed at 9-930. While I am cleaning the kitchen, cleaning up, moving laundry, etc, etc. Basically still doing stuff around the house until I make myself crawl into bed at 10PM. And since I am not my sister, or my father, it takes a good 45 minutes to an hour for me to actually fall asleep.

So I am sleeping around 11PM and my alarm is set for 445AM. Which sounds ridiculous considering I don’t have to be to work until 10. BUT, 445 gives me enough time to wake up. (I am NOT one of those people who can just jump out of a bed when the alarm goes on; I need roll around-check my phone-watch the news before I get out of bed and make coffee, time).  And despite how little I may eat, my waist line continues to expand instead of contract; I like to work out before work. Allowing anywhere from 30-60 minutes for that… after I’ve had my coffee. It’s now 630-7AM. At which time I have to make sure my son is up and moving his feet for school.

Luckily, he has got pretty good at setting his alarm and getting up. But he is a distraction KING.. you know, SQUIRREL! Attention is gone.

So the next hour I spend eating my breakfast, moving laundry, washing the dog, any variation of these tasks and chores while I side eye my son’s morning progress. Until 8AM, when at the latest it is time to wake my daughter. Which I do then quickly proceed to get myself ready for work – showering, doing my hair, packing my lunch… My daughter is out the door a little before 9AM and I am spending the next 20-30 finishing packing my lunch and making sure I have everything I need for the day. Or usually moving that last load of laundry if necessary.

Then I do it all over again.

Day after day for five days straight. And then I get to a two day weekend which is equally as tiring due to having to play catch up from the week and my two children’s expanding social life. These are the only two days of the week that I actually see my husband… do with that what you want.

That shit is completely exhausting. My days are so long and leave very little time to do anything I might actually want to do. Like read, watch a television program, write.

By this point if I were you I would be wondering where my husband was in all this chaos.

He is sleeping. Or playing on his phone struggling to stay awake so he doesn’t hear my mouth.

What is hard to get through a lot of people’s heads is that for the last 12 years he has worked straight evenings. Not including any vacation or additional benefit time that is 624 weeks of him working evenings. 156 of those weeks I spent working a rotating schedule which included both early day shifts and evening shifts, like him. But somehow our 40 hours of work a week are different and I became the CEO of the household because, it’s hard to do all the shit you really don’t want to do but have to do. And hence why I say the term “married single mom” is a very real thing.

I know there is a big difference between an ACTUAL mother who is single (I have had friends that were single moms, I get it) and a mother who is married and feels like they are “fighting the good fight” all by herself. But it is a very real thing. If you don’t believe me, google that shit…

It’s a conversation I got tired of having with the husband. You can lead a horse to water…

I digress… this is just the way my life is and while I am used to it, it is still INFURIATING. I handle it some days significantly better than others.

This work schedule on paper was amazing, on paper. I would get weekend time with my family again. We’d get to sit down to dinner as a family more than once or twice a month. The work load around the house would magically work itself out because if I was busy doing stuff, everyone else would be doing stuff. I’d be sleeping better, eating better, THINNER. We’d save money on childcare.

What’s happened in the last year: we saved money on childcare and I am eating better.

I actually come to dread some weekends because I get to see the rest of my family sitting around relaxing while I’m trying to get stuff done around the house. Because if I don’t do it no one else will and then it will push into the coming week. And then I am the bad guy when I ask them to fold and put away their own laundry, or question why there’s no room in the basement for anything when there is a plenty of time clean it out if you work on it little by little. But I understand, headaches suck.

But all of this is leading to the point that today I heard that one girl is leaving. So that means I will most likely have to go back to a rotating schedule.

Five months ago when I heard this about another girl my heart quite literally exploded in my chest. I was so angry, so terrified that my “good thing” was over. Today I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. Somehow it was less frustrating to come home from work on a Saturday and see everyone sitting around doing nothing then it is now; waking up and watching all the nothing getting done all day.

As the weight lifted I realized there is absolutely no reason to have the weekends off.

Regardless of the schedule there is a lot of juggling to get everything done and keep the house from looking like an episode of HOARDERS. On a regular basis I find myself saying to myself something along the lines that if I walked out the house and got hit by a car (which is totally possible since we live off a major state road) everyone in this house would be FUCKED. To throw my own pity party now, I don’t really think anyone appreciates all the hard work I do aside from just getting up and going to work. Everyone just wakes up, or goes to bed, and shit is just magically done. And on a “regular” schedule, with no help that people always promise but then never come through with, is just too hard when all the effort goes unappreciated.

I am not so secretly hoping that the girl leaves so that I can get back on a rotating schedule. All the shit I have to get done will still need to be done but it won’t be so compacted. And maybe when I’m actually home everyone won’t scatter to their own corners and put their blinders on. Absences makes the heart grown founder is what they say right… Maybe then the next time I have a regular schedule it will be appreciated for what it is.

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