Chronicles of a three-day work week
Come Sunday, the beginning of another work week looms ahead. Friends, family, neighbors and the like constantly verbalize their envy of my three-day work week as a nurse. Sure, from the outside looking in it would appear that my schedule is ideal, convenient, perhaps some would say easy. Besides, what other profession gets four days off per week? Well, my friends, I am here to agree in some aspects that yes, my schedule is pretty darn good. But easy? Not so much. I would attempt to outline a “typical” work week, but there is no typical, no routine, no rhyme or reason to a week of night shifts or a 14-hour work day. So instead I will parallel your “typical” work week with my, well, not-so-typical one. (Keep in mind: my shifts vary from week to week, days to nights, weekdays to weekends.)
Normal business hours lass (a.k.a NBHL for this post) vs. Me (nurse)
NBHL: Sleep in, church, brunch, park, errands, gym, dinner, check emails, TV, to bed early to prepare for week ahead
Me: Trying to figure out whether to sleep in or wake up early because I have to nap this afternoon in preparation for tonight’s shift, church, brunch, gym, nap, dinner, go to work (6:30pm- …)
NBHL: 7am wake up, gym, work (9-5), dog park, dinner with friends, paperwork, Facebook, bed
Me: (…- 8am), crawl into bed, 10am- let dog out, sleep, noon- let cable guy in, sleep, 2pm- awake to roofers patching neighbor’s house, sleep, 4pm- alarm, run, breakfast?, work (6:30pm- …)
NBHL: 8am wake up, work (9-5), gym, dinner, out for a drink, bed
Me: (…- 8:30am), crawl into bed, 1pm- curse my alarm for going off so early but I have to get up or else I won’t be able to sleep tonight, breakfast?, too tired for gym, TV, dinner with friends, bed by 9pm… wide awake at 3am, sigh.
NBHL: 7am wake up, gym, work (9-5), dog park, dinner, trivia, bed
Me: Sleep in since I didn’t sleep last night, breakfast?, errands, gym, blog, dog park, dinner, trivia, bed
NBHL: 8am wake up, work (9-5), dinner, yoga, bed
Me: 5:30am wake up, work (6:30am-8:30pm), late night snack, bed
NBHL: 7am wake up, gym, work (9-4), happy hour, dinner, it’s the weekend!
Me: Sleep in, breakfast?, clean, gym, happy hour, dinner, it’s the weekend!
Alas, I do indeed ONLY work three days a week, and yes, I do get four WHOLE days off. But a closer look will prove that nurses do work just as hard as Monday-Friday employed individuals. Bottom line, perhaps the grass is always greener. But most importantly, I wouldn’t want it any other way
Nicole Lehr is a pediatric nurse. She can be described in three adjectives: content, thankful and fortunate. All credit for the aforementioned description can be given to the love she has for her profession as an RN. She graduated from University of Florida with her Bachelor’s in Nursing and moved to Atlanta to work at the Cardiac Stepdown Unit at Children’s — her dream job.
By Nicole Lehr