“Wait a minute….you work overnight, go home take care of your daughter AND hike all the time, when do you sleep?!?!”
I get this question/statement a lot from new Hike it Baby members or other people I talk to about our daily lives. Most people assume I am a stay at home mom and manage Hike it Baby Monadnock to stay busy and make new friends for both myself and for Aubrey, and it is mostly right. When I first started Hike it Baby Monadnock I was not working overnights at the time, but I was still bartending so it left my day time hours still mostly open. I never have fit the “typical working mom” role. I have always worked alternative hours so we can save on childcare.
I ended up leaving the restaurant world to take a job as an Licensed Nursing Assistant. I landed an interview at my current workplace, and they had told me that they did not have any 2nd Shift (3-11pm) openings but anticipated they would have them soon, but they did have a position available for 3rd Shift (11pm-7am). Needing a job, and seeing it was only going to be a temporary change of hours I took the position. I was convinced I would hate overnights, how would I have the energy to take care of Aubrey? When would we hike? When would I sleep? All the time questions I get now, I had for myself. Within the first week, I quickly learned that I LOVED nights! I found I had so much more time to my day, and believe it or not I get more sleep! Within the first month I was offered a 2nd shift position as promised, and I made the easy decision. I turned it down and told them I was more than happy on 3rd shift.
When I get asked how I manage my answer is simple. If you work “traditional hours” say 7-3, do you get home at 3:30 and go to bed? Do you then wake up at midnight and start your day? I would guess 99% of those people would say NO. People get out of work at 3pm, hit the gym, run errands, stop by the bar for happy hour, cook dinner, relax on the couch before retiring to bed around 10pm. Why should I live my life any differently? I get out of work at 7 and then start my “afternoon”, I run errands and we hike. I go to bed by 4pm and wake at 10. I live a normal life, just on a different schedule.
This is also where hiking as really improved the quality of my life on nights. The days when we have nothing planned or the weather is crappy, our days are miserable. I am exhausted, Aubrey is going stir crazy from being cooped up all day. We end up yelling and crying by noon time. It’s not pretty. So I try to make it a point to get out multiple times a week. That way the fresh air and exercise can wake me up and zap me from being so exhausted. In addition to getting me out and moving, it gets Aubrey out, running and playing. Getting her tired enough so she will willingly lay down and take a nap each afternoon which is a key part to my schedule.
I consider myself very lucky to be able to manage this lifestyle, I know it’s not for everyone and I truly think if I wasn’t for hiking I would never make it through the longs days, after the long nights.