Ever since I went back to work, I’ve been moonlighting as a mom on the night shift. Once my day job ends, I come home and take over for my husband, who’s been working out of our home while simultaneously caring for our daughter.
While he unwinds after another stressful day working two jobs at once, I feed Cassie dinner. Change her diapers. Give her a bath. Play with her. Read her books. All the usual mommy stuff.
But lately it’s been bumming me out that she’s so cranky and tired when I get home. He tells me about all the smiles and giggles she gave him earlier. It feels like all I get are the “leftovers” of emotion: full-body arches off the lap, ear-piercing screeches as I try to put on her jammies, and sobs when I have to take a bathroom break.
Lately, our weeknight quality time has mainly been a struggle to make it to bedtime—not the sweet, laughter-filled bonding I truly crave after a long day at work.
Then, there’s the overnight shift. When Cassie wakes up (which is at least two or three times a night), I’m the one who gets out of bed and soothes her back to sleep. We’re lucky she can quickly fall asleep again (not all kids can, I hear). But it’s rough having such an interrupted sleep, night after night, with the early alarm clock looming each morning.
My reward for punching in as the night-shift parent is the weekend. While it’s never easy, at least on Saturdays and Sundays I get to catch her happier, less cranky moments that I miss during the week.
But sometimes, like tonight, I’m sad that I can’t enjoy more of her smiley sweet face all week long. Anybody else feel this way? I could use a little shoutout of support.