Five years ago this month, my ex-wife and I moved out to Big Bear, CA to start fresh, help my mom out with my dad, and hopefully give our daughters a better place to grow up. (Andria was in the oven at the time.) It was perfect timing, moving from the beaches of Ventura county to the mountains of Big Bear at the beginning of winter. Freakin' brilliant!!! It took me till Janurary to get the job at the cement plant where I am now, and it was said in the job description that I would be required to work day, swing, and graveyard shift. At the time, I did not think that I would have to worry about it. I figured I would be able to work day shift for a long period of time . . . Boy was I kidding myself. I worked all three shifts for almost two years, and then I got the position that I am in now, and December marks 3 years of graveyard for me.
I guess I cannot always complain when I get to see this at times.
Working a graveyard shift, when sometimes having to pull a 12 hour shift, and then trying to go home and be a family man is something that the word hard does not even start to cover. Get off work at 7 am, home around 7:30 am, get the oldest ready for and off to school, get the youngest off to the babysitter, then go home and attempt to go to sleep. I say attempt because now I would be all wound up from running the kids around and couldn't sleep. Unless it was one of those days that I was running the kids around with one eye open. Then I would, again, attempt to wake up to get the kids and help the ex with dinner when she got home, or go in to the room to go into a coma until it was time to get ready for work. It seriously killed me. I felt like I never got to see my family. I felt as though the only thing that I was accomplishing for my family was bringing home the chedda. I felt half, or more, worthless most of the time. I tried to make the most of it, but it seemed futile.
Chasing Dale at Grandma Ginger's house
The Janurary after I had gotten into the position, Jennifer and I decided to separate, which obviously ended in divorce. Later that year I ended up with Aiden's mom, and cycle started all over again.
Glow stick bath time
But then I decided to make things harder on myself, and my kids, by starting school around spring time this year. Get home, get Tamara's kids ready and off to school, get back home, eat something, go school for a few hours, go into a coma state for a few hours, wake up, go back to school while making dinner, and then get ready for work. Sound a bit hectic? It was actually worse than it sounds, but somehow I was able to deal. Well, for a minute. hahaha
Bath time in the kitchen sink with the Boo Boo
Madison thought the she would come over and be a comedian, (about what, I do not remember) but her getting drenched was the end result!!!
The biggest problem that I have had over these amost three years of graveyard shift, is not being able to spend more time with my family. Family is very important to me. My kids are very important to me. I love to be able to sit there with my kids; play a board game, put together a puzzle, tickle torture them, give them baths and get my own bath while I am at it, have tea time with the girls, chase Aiden around the house because he just cannot play in one spot for more than 5 seconds. But I cannot do it enough. Being on graveyard and going to school robs me of one of the greatest treasures in life: playing with my children while they still want to play with me. Playing with my children before they get to cool for me, and prefer to go play at their friends house instead. Playing with my girls before they are going out on their first date and I am answering the boy knocking at the door with my 12 gauge short stock shotgun. (don't worry . . . it won't be loaded . . . at least not with lethal rounds . . . sandbags or rubber shots? hahaha)
No, she was not given those at Mardi Gras.
Does anyone have some similar issues? Anyone juggling a ridiculous work schedule and trying to be a parental figure at the same time?
I guess I should have posted this last week, but . . . better late than never. This is when I was with the band King Size Zero. (Holly thinks this picture is funny. IDK!!!)
As I sit here, desperately holding back the tears of regret for not being able to be there more for my kids, I then think about the wonderful woman that has been brought into my life. A woman, who like any woman, has her selfish tendencies to want to be with me every chance that we get, but then thinks about my children and will tell me straight up "I am not going to come out to you this time because you need to go out and see your daughters." A woman that wants nothing more than for me to be able to build a solid relationship with my children even it means sacrificing time with each other. Now, as I sit here, frantically stopping my welled up eyes from running over, I will leave you here.