We knew this day would eventually come, but Rachel has her first night shift marked on the calendar. And to put it simply…
I’m Absolutely Shitting Myself
Yep. I’m shitting myself. At least metaphorically of course. I haven’t actually shit myself since I was roughly Isabelle’s age. Ok, now that’s probably a lie, and slightly off topic. But to put it bluntly, I don’t do parenting when it comes to the night time. And it’s not really my fault.
Night Time with a Breastfeeding Wife
lying isn’t my style on this blog. You know that by now. So I’ll admit that I mostly do sweet F ALL when it comes to the nights with Isabelle. Don’t panic, I’m not the worst dad in the world. I am led there on standby should I be needed. But I can’t help the fact I haven’t got boobs and Rachel still breastfeeds! I’ve been milking that fact (excuse the pun) for quite a while now.
My only real job in the night is stopping Isabelle from falling out of bed for the few minutes it takes Rachel to have a wee before she feeds her in the middle of the night. I can gladly confirm that I have been 100% successful in this job. Hurray for daddy!
But in that moment Isabelle is a BLOODY NIGHTMARE. And I’m being very kind!
She really doesn’t want to be comforted by me in the slightest, and all she wants is to feed and go back to sleep. And who can blame her.
That’s why I’m just a tad bit worried. What happens when Rachel isn’t in the toilet, and she isn’t coming back to bed? Will Isabelle simply take milk from a cup like she does in the day? Or will she want to simply kill me? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to any of those questions. Here I am thinking about the upcoming night shift. I know I look like I’m physically shitting myself here, but I’m only doing it mentally. Honest.
Maybe It’ll Be Fine… RIGHT?!
On the flip side, there’s a part of me that think this might be really easy. Rachel will go to work at 6:15pm and usually Isabelle sleeps from then anyway. Maybe she’ll sleep right through and wake up with all the love and affection that she has for her dad.
But there’s also a chance that Isabelle will have a meltdown when Rachel leaves for work. She’ll barely sleep as she’ll hate the fact that Rachel isn’t there and we’ll have a night of hell. She’ll cry herself to sleep, then wake up a few hours later, realise that Rachel still isn’t home and have another meltdown.
It wouldn’t be a massive shock. She didn’t sleep the first time Rachel did a full day shift and refused to believe that I wasn’t just hiding her mummy in the cupboard under the stairs. She simply cried for nearly two hours until Rachel got home. But having that at 2am? Well that’s a different story. Here she was a few months ago when she hated the fact she couldn’t sleep feed with Rachel for bedtime:
I Actually Have a Plan… Well… Kind of
I wouldn’t say that I have a good plan, but I do have one. For a start, I’ve already booked the Saturday off in work. At least I won’t have the added worry of having work the next day. And if Isabelle is a nightmare, then it doesn’t massively matter as I don’t really need the sleep.
As for the night itself, as soon as Isabelle goes to sleep for the night I’m just going to go to bed myself. If that’s 7pm, then that’s fine by me. She might not even care until the middle of the night, and by that point I’ll already have a good few hours sleep under my belt. If I can get 3-5 hours before she even starts crying, then I’m on to a winner.
I’m also going to try very hard to get her to have that dreaded danger nap before dinner time. Usually I resist that nap as it means she sleeps later in the night. But not this time. Sleep away Isabelle! The later she falls asleep in the night, the more chance I have of falling asleep myself and getting through more of the night intact.
Bollocks! What About the Morning after the Night Shift?
After all of that I’ve almost forgotten that unlike the day shift, once Rachel gets home I’m not ‘off duty’. Instead, Rachel will selfishly go to bed and snooze away until midday. Maybe later. Leaving me with the task of actually parenting past my finish time! It’ll be interesting to see how Isabelle handles this, she’s bad enough when Rachel goes to get changed after a day shift. Let alone go off to bed for a few hours. Good luck to Rachel on that one.
Then to top it all off, she’s doing another nightshift on Saturday! So if it does go to shit and me and Isabelle have a torrid time, we’ll get to do the whole thing again! YAY!
Of course there’s a strong chance that Isabelle and I will struggle. But it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had a rough time together. I’m just going to try and keep a positive mindset and hope for the best. I honestly can’t imagine Isabelle being fine with Rachel not being there in the night. I guess only time will tell.