Friday, August 14, 2015

We Bought a Farm: Adjusting to Schedules

There are a lot of wonderful things about JB switching to Emergency Medicine.

  1. Truly, he would not be able to do family medicine coupled with the farm. But Emergency Medicine allows him to work the equivalent of two full-time jobs. He works, on average, 40 hours a week at the hospital. And he definitely works, on average, 40 hours a week here on the farm. If he were doing family medicine, working 8-5 (or more), there would not be enough daylight to do both.
  2. He can take vacation nearly anytime he wants. All he has to do is give approximately 60 days notice, and he can take off a week of work without actually taking a day off. They just squeeze his shifts into the days he is there.
  3. He has days off during the week which is a great match for our homeschooling life. This allows us take field trips right in the middle of the week.

But there are some things we don't love. And the main one is the inconsistency.

The Emergency room is very flexible, but it is also inconsistent. John can work five days in a row and then be off for five days in a row. He can work two day shifts and then suddenly work two nights shifts. There is no ability to get into a routine when it comes to this schedule. While I think this would be okay if it were just the two of us, with the kids, I feel that they are very effected.

I find that each time he returns for a slew of days in a row, I end up quite exhausted. He is not there to help with anything, and if he is home, he is sleeping to try to recover and get ready to go back in.

Take this week for example. After being completely off on August 8, 9, 10, and 11, he turned around and worked 4 out of 5 days from 11am-9pm, 11am-11pm, 4pm-12am, and 11am-9pm.

I am not complaining. JB enjoys his job, and we are so thankful to have a job he can combine with farming. I am just trying to find a new "normal" with this schedule coupled with farm life. It is hard when he is not there to put the kids to bed half the time. It is hard when he is only there for dinner half the time. It is hard when he is coming home early in the morning and trying to squeeze in eight hours before leaving again. Just a lot of challenges with that.

Of course, I have my in-laws living next door which is a tremendous help.

Dan being here has helped tremendously as well. I now am his back-up on taking care of the animals instead of the leader. This was just in time for the start of homeschooling.

Just trying to figure out how to feel like we have a routine when there isn't one! I suppose it is similar to a "regular" job -- where you work five days a week and then have the weekend off. It's just that our weekend is all over the place.

1 comment:

TAV said...

The unpredictability of schedules (in my case, OB call) is THE hardest thing about parenting!! I feel for you and John's strange work shifts.