A year and a half-ish into residency and we officially have 5 months of nights under our belt. The more we have had, the easier and less ominous those months have become. I, like anyone in this, have had to figure out what works and what doesn't and my new "rules" will probably work as Myles gets older. I thought I would share in case others out there haven't figured out a routine that works for them yet.
First, let me sort of map out a typical day when my resident works a day shift.
Myles and I are awake sometime after Kyle leaves for work (6-7am). Myles currently takes a morning and afternoon nap so we hang out until the first nap (9-10am), at which time I shower and get a chore done before he wakes up. Then I get us ready to go out for the day, whether to run an errand, meet friends somewhere, or just go out in the yard. We make it home in time for lunch or Myles' nap, depending on the activity of the day. During the second nap (2ish- time and length varies), I usually do another chore of some sort or write while I catch up on a show. Then I need to get a game plan together for dinner so that dinner is started or ready to be started when Kyle lets me know he is headed home (6ish). Once he is home, we eat and get Myles ready for bed (7pm) before we relax together until bedtime (9-10).
A typical day when my resident works a night float (no rules included).
Myles and I wake up between 6-7am. Kyle gets home around 7am or later, almost immediately going to bed. Myles naps 9-10am or so. We venture out sometime before his second nap which is usually around 2pm and lasts an hour or more. I wake Kyle up by 3pm. Kyle gets showered while I heat some food up and sometimes we eat together before he leaves for work again at 4:30pm. Myles asleep at 7. I go to sleep whenever I make myself (usually around 10).
Now my "rules".
- During Myles' naps, I take time for me. I take a long shower, I watch my shows, I read a book, I sit on the deck. Other than yard work that needs to be completed during the day, I do not do chores. Most chores are pretty loud inside (think dishes or vacuuming) and would bother Kyle even with the door shut. This keeps me sane.
- We always have an outing. We go to the zoo, or walk around Target or meet a friend for a play date. Sometimes it is just going in the front yard to roll around in the grass. We get out of the house. This is crucial. Kyle has gotten better about sleeping through normal daily noise but this lets us worry a little less and not go so stir crazy.
- We try to eat with Kyle a couple times a week. Because family time. And it is important to me to make sure Kyle has something homemade so he doesn't feel so much like a zombie surviving off of Chick-fil-a and cafeteria food night after night after night. Sometimes I fail and he ends up eating frozen pizza or chicken strips but he appreciates the trying. The crock pot is my friend.
- I do the chores at night. I have had all of my "me" time during the day and once Myles is asleep for the night, I am alone, so I become productive. Myles can sleep through everything so no chore is off limit. It is pretty important that I divide up all of the chores on a calendar so that I don't get overwhelmed and shut down. One major (like things I can't stand doing) chore per night.
- Kyle's days off are time to ask for help with things I can't do alone but otherwise, his days off are protected family time. Basically, no visitors. We might decide to do something fun for a couple of hours with some friends but family is discouraged from coming to visit us during these months.
Different things work for different people and every program does things differently. What "rules" work at your house?