Family shift work (especially with babies) means above all: work. For many hours. Short pee break for mom (or dad). Eat? At most, standing. Productivity – well. Apart from the soft skill gain and cuddle output. Exhaustion? Total. And towards the end, i.e. around four in the afternoon, I constantly check my watch: when is it finally time to change shifts? What is meant here is the magical moment when my husband finally comes home.
What a pleasure to have your head and arms free. In short: if there is a change of shifts and you can hand over the (in the best case fragrant) small "relay". But also applies to older children. Then what comes? Sweet half an hour or even hours. Hand over responsibility, hand in a thousand small tasks. Don't do anything. Do not change diapers, do not feed, do not swallow. Nothing. Finally two hands free. For whatever. Shake out the carrying arm that felt like it was responsible for the pilot's grip for three hours. And for something bigger: Don't yell "What?" Yelling on the first floor when someone calls again, even though eight hundred stories have been read to Bobo Siebenschläfer. Don't brush your teeth with a big howl. Nothing staring at the wall. THAT is shift change that I like.
The best variant comes from harmless: "Are you bathing it today?", You flute sweetly and as insignificantly as possible. Papa / Mama is of course happy: time for the little one that was so missed during the day. But let's be honest: the generous one Children's dispensers are almost more delighted because even if these little buns and the splashing are too sweet, the big end is certain: comb your hair, blow-dry your hair, brush your teeth, cut your toenails, all the shouting around and the wet bathroom floor .
It is like this: No matter who, whether mom or dad – who has spent the whole day or even half of the children with all their understandable needs, is so incredibly flat in the evening that it exactly these Hours are between 6 and 8 p.m., at which one (at least) I am totally exhausted. You know, these are the hours that baby professionals call "crying lessons". Actually, you need one thing above all: strong nerves. But where do you get the time from? Especially when "the shift" starts at 6 o'clock Has? Even with older ones, these are the tough hours: Happy that soon it will be bedtime, just put tired children at the dinner table. But woe when they have yogurt and bread in the first place! Then I get so much second air that I just can't get it anymore. Then, like our dog, I listen to the steps of my husband's office shoes and the key in the front door. And I know that it is the same with him when it's his turn. Shift changes.
When the bathroom door closes or is read at the top of the bed. Then the hour begins below for the other of us, who has given my clever aunt the world's best name. The "Thank God" hour. An hour or shift, the further course of which is primarily characterized by the increased consumption of a) chocoloade, b) other drugs such as alcohol, candy crush or Tinder (only so natural).
Among us: Sometimes fennel tea is enough for me to make me happy. The happiness that is called PAUSE. A word whose sweet meaning you almost forget when you are a mother – or the other way around: only really learn to appreciate. Like the word "shift change".
At this point, a deep, deep bow to everyone who doesn't have that as a single parent.
This article originally appeared on Eltern.de.