the mid shift

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I haven't talked lately much about being an Air Force wife. I think I was getting wrapped up in that being what I thought was supposed to be my identity. It frustrated me, because there are some military wives who give everyone else a bad reputation. I so immensely dislike that, I quit talking about my own journey as a military wife, but it's a huge part of who I am. So here's where we've been the past 10 months...

After Christmas of last year, Austen was put on mid shift (mid = midnight). He essentially worked from around 11:00pm-8:00am from Monday-Friday. On weekends, he would force his body back into a normal sleep schedule for two nights to be with me, to only get no sleep before his Monday. He was always exhausted, as he slept about 3-6 hours during the day. He was crabby and I felt like we had a newborn for the past 10 months. The t.v. was kept quiet (if even on), the phones were on silent, the doorbell never rang (and when i found a neighbor pounding on the door one day, I gave them attitude. how dare you wake my sleeping husband?! my momma bear instincts came out, rearing her ugly head.) My goal for the past 10 months: make life as easy as possible for Austen, because his priorities were to work and sleep. He was is spoiled, and deserves every ounce of it.

When he first went onto mids, I had a really hard time adjusting and it surprised me. I consider myself a relatively strong military wife. I did, after all, own my home and live alone for 2 years before getting married. Oh, how life changes! 

The first week, I would wake up several times in the middle of the night when I rolled over and he wasn't there in bed. Both dogs sleep in bed with us, but that didn't help. I finally put a body pillow in his spot, which pacified me enough to sleep through the night.

The second week, I had horrible nightmares all night, every night. They were always about him not being there, or him leaving me. I wouldn't sleep all night, then was upset all day but he was asleep and couldn't comfort me. I was a hot mess that second week.

The third week was hard too, but I don't remember what specifically kept me from sleeping. I just remember something kept me from peaceful sleep.

I texted a friend of mine at this point, who's husband worked on mids at the same time, asking if she went through anything like this. Her response was a no, and I felt so alone. This isn't me. I'm tough. I don't cry when he TDYs. I can install my own light fixtures, paint my own walls, do (almost) anything he does. So why is him working a mid shift so hard on me?! Because, I need him. Simple as that. He's my husband, I'm his wife, and he's supposed to be by my side every. single. night.

Just like all military couples, we adjusted. We found our new groove and settled into it as comfortably as you can with such opposite schedules. Our weekends were filled with time together, making memories and being productive. During the weekday evenings, when we were awake for a whopping 2-5 hours at the same time, we cuddled up on the couch watching Friends with me eating dinner, him eating dinner-for-breakfast. He enjoyed the mid shift because it was in the 90s during the summer for him, while it was in the 120s for me. It became our new schedule, and it was our normal.

Last week was his first full week back on day shift. Hallelujah. He sleeps all evening and night, trying to catch up on his immense lack of sleep, but I don't worry if I wake him up anymore. I can vacuum in the mornings, turn up music while I clean, and we eat our meals together again. Our bed is crowded at night with both of us and both dogs, and set during the day. I wouldn't want it any other way. 

1 comment:

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