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Those who do shift work (and their families), especially those who pull 12s, 24s or even more, do not function like the Monday through Friday world. We don’t care what day of the week it is, our weekend doesn’t necessarily mean Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes, everyday seems like a Monday. There is not getting of at 5pm and going home. My husband coming home every night, isn’t happening. Hell, my husband being home two nights in a row only happens every three weeks. We don’t function on regular people time.

Regular people don’t get it.
It almost freaks them out if you get into your schedule.
Looking at my calendar, they’d probably spontaneously combust!

I am in no way complaining. I LOVE weekday, middle of the day dates. No crowds. Happy hours. One kid is at school, so we only have to lug around one since a sitter is not in our cards too often. I don’t mind not having normal hours or weekends since I’ve grown use to it for the most part.

What I do mind, is people who don’t understand how our world works being angry about the schedule when it comes to something they want. Yes, I am a SAHM but that does not mean that my time is any less valuable or that I am free to be used as anyone sees fit. I hate that people think just because your husband works and you don’t, that you are just sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for someone to give you things to do.

I was recently asked to babysit.
5 days a week.
12 hours a day.
1 kid under 1
1 kid the same age as my youngest. 3.

I thought about it. Considered doing it. Then the reality of what our schedules are like, blew that out of the water. My husband gets ONE day every three weeks that he can sleep in. Our weekends often fall on weekdays. My youngest has speech therapy starting back every Friday soon. My oldest will have band practice, club meetings and needing to be taken to her dad every other Friday. We won’t get to spend any actual holidays together for the rest of this year, so we’ll be having to pick other days to celebrate… All of this is chaos. Throw two more kids in there, for that long, that many days, and I would be asking to be admitted into prison or a mental ward. It is a whole different story when you birth that many kids, you learn each day how to bring it together ( a little better) than just dropping two more kids in there.

Don’t do this to your friends and family. Don’t ask them to do more A) than you would ever do for them and B) than their family can allow. It isn’t worth creating that type of environment for my family. My husband doesn’t need the exhaustion and annoyance that I would be radiating. I don’t need the stress. My family doesn’t get enough time together as is, without having to share that time even more.

Don’t ask your friends and family to give you what little family time they have.
Don’t expect them to be “free” just because they might be a SAHM.
Don’t be mad when they are honest with you and tell you it’s more than they can handle.
When you ask someone something, a favor, and they say no… they do not owe you an explanation. You asked. They answered. Move to the next person. It’s really not fair to hold someone protecting their family time and sanity against them. It’s flat-out selfish to be honest. It is even more selfish to try to make someone feel badly for not giving in.

I’ve rarely asked for help in my life but you can bet when I did, I not only needed it but it was not demanding. I’ve worked, my husband has worked and my family has sacrificed to have what little we have. All on our own.

Next time you ask for a favor and someone tells you no, consider that they made that choice and it is one that best fits them. You’re either asking the wrong person or you’re asking too much. Not everyone can or should be willing to help you all the time. There is a thin line between need and want.

I want to keep my family chaos from full on exploding.
That’s what I want.
What I need.