8-5 Envy: Is it Really a Thing?

My husband works for a giant company. He is an Operations Manager for one of the largest warehouses here in KC. He helped launch that building. He trained in Seattle for two months to gather the knowledge needed to be successful with the company. He is proud of what the company is doing and will continue to do in the future.

Today, this company in the US sells more than 606 million products, which means their product count has expanded by more than 200 million since the beginning of the year. This fact I learned from Google. And it’s only October!

This company’s hourly rates are better than their competitors. The benefits are great, too. However, I have major 8am-5pm envy. Does that even exist for families who have one or more spouses who work for a company like this?

I’ve personally never been inside the warehouse, but from what I hear, it’s like a well-oiled machine. Have you ever wondered how we get our products so fast? There are robots that are programmed to know which bins certain products are located. You want a new toothbrush? Robots know that toothbrush is in bin 643. A robot grabs the bin and a human “picker” gets it out. From there it gets scanned, wrapped in a box, and loaded on the dock for shipping.

I’m sure it looks like Santa’s little elves at work at all times … packing and wrapping boxes for shipments across the world. Seems amazing, huh?

But working for this company when you have a family means a lot of things. You certainly don’t work 8am-5pm.

I want to start out by saying that this is solely my perspective from being a wife of a manager who works at this company. My husband is not in a dangerous job. He is not in the military, and he (mostly) does not travel. He is not on call, not a first responder or a doctor. I realize it could be a lot worse in terms of him not being home. But it doesn’t mean my perspective is invalid. After living it for a few years, I started to realize that we can’t be the only family with these feelings. Then, I began to wonder if 8am-5pm is really thing anymore?

We have three small children, twin girls who are 2 1/2 and a boy who is 4 1/2. When he started two years ago, the twins were 6 months old and my boy was 2. He had to go train in Seattle for eight weeks in the summer.

Eight weeks. While I was at home with three kids under three. 

Thank goodness I am a teacher and was able to be home that summer. Also, thankfully my mother lived with us. I also have a wonderful mother-in-law who came to watch the kiddos while I visited him for a few days.

It takes a village, right?!

Working for a company like this means your schedule could vary from working days to working nights. With only a few weeks notice to prepare your body, your family, and your mind to operate on the opposite shift than you’re used to. For more than a year and a half, my husband worked nights. We finally got reprieve from that in March. I was so happy I planned a BBQ to celebrate! In our six years of being married, I rarely knew what it was like to have my husband on the same sleeping schedule as me!

He’s always worked in logistics, so the night shift was just something we got used to. With that, though, came lonely nights of parenting through dinner time, bed time, and bath time.

Lonely.

Working hours like this means your schedule doesn’t allow for you to take or pick up your children from daycare. Many days, my husband goes in at 5:30 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 6:15 p.m. And I’m currently happy about that, because at least he’s working days.

So when a girlfriend says, “let’s go on a girl’s trip,” you have to call your mother-in-law or your brother and sister to come help with the kids because your husband’s schedule literally doesn’t allow for him to have the time to accommodate such nonsense.

And guess what? Momma deserves some rest & relaxation sometimes!

Working hours like this means you rarely get a holiday off unless you beg, plead, and ask for that day off months in advance. This company doesn’t stop. It is a 24-hour facility that brings consumers what they want, when they want. I am grateful for that luxury, but also…. am I?

I have experienced firsthand what it’s like to NOT have 8am-5pm luxury with babies on hips, dinner burning in the oven…. bath time clean ups, bed time tantrums…

It’s hard. And it takes so much work.

We received word a few weeks ago that he got promoted! Hooray! But with that promotion comes moving from day shift to night shift.

Huh?!

After a few choice words that thoroughly explained my disappointment, I thought it was a good idea to speak out about this topic. Again, reaffirming that it could be a lot worse. However, having a husband work the night shift when you also have a career and three young children is just plain hard. I’ve done it for too long and I seriously hate it! If I knew there would be an end to the madness, maybe I could get on board. For example, if they said he’d only be on night shift for three months, cool. I know there’s a definitive end. But of the two years he’s worked for this company, he has worked night shift except for the last 4 months.

I won’t lie to you, it’s been very hard to have a well-functioning family during times when my husband works the night shift. When you’re not sleeping in bed with your husband ever, that’s a problem. Even on his days off, he is never tired at the same time as me, so we rarely go sleep at the same time.

Chew on that for awhile.

Yeah.

Trying to raise young children is hard. But doing it by yourself 90 percent of the time is even harder. What’s even more isolating and depressing is that I’m not divorced. I’m not a widow. I’m not a wife of someone in the armed forces or a first responder or a police officer or a fireman, and I’m not a doctor’s wife. They all have it waaaaay harder than me in terms of being alone. And I’m aware of that.

I will say that my husband’s shifts — both day and night shift — have allowed us to save on daycare costs. He is able to keep the kids home with him two days a week. The kids eat those days up! They adore their daddy and I know he loves those days, too.

But my kids also deserve a father that will be at their t-ball games, be home for dinner, participate in bath time and bedtime stories. We all deserve a little more of having daddy home.

For now, I will rest in the positive. We will find meaning to the madness, and we will keep going because what else are we going to do? Crying about it certainly won’t make it any better!

Do you have experience with a spouse working the night shift? Is working 8am-5pm even a thing anymore?

Kelly Burnison
Kelly is a wife, teacher, and mom of three. She has a very active 4 year old son, Banks, and 2 year old twin girls, Kate and Hayden. Originally a Wichita, KS native, she moved to Kansas City in 2010. After marrying her husband, Shaun, in 2013, they wasted no time starting a family. Having three kids in 2 years takes quite the amount of patience and task mastering. In between picking up toys, chasing monsters, playing in the dirt, potty training, singing songs and changing diapers, she loves planning, organizing, coffee, wine, and exercising. The busy-ness of life is what keeps her going, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. When life calms down and a date night ensues, Kelly and Shaun enjoy trying new restaurants or drinking wine with neighborhood friends!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here