My husband is a fire fighter. Every 13th shift he has Kelly Relief Day. In other words, a paid shift off. I don’t know what it means or why they get it. And before all you fire nerds write in comments to explain, I have to honestly tell you… I DON”T CARE. What it means to me is that my husband is home for 5 days in a row and he sleeps in our bed 5 nights in a row.
To be honest, I don’t really think that Kelly Relief was designed for fire fighters. I think it was designed for their wives. I told my husband once that if there was no Kelly Day the divorce rate would be a lot higher. By the 12th shift when I am about at my wit’s end, he has a Kelly Day and I remember, for a short time, what life used to be like. What it used to be like when we saw each other every night and every morning. What it was like to have two parents at dinner time and two parents at bath time and bed time for more than two nights in a row.
Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to the fire fighter schedule. My husband spends way more time at home than I do and way more time with the kids. He has whole days while the kids are in school where he can get things done around the house. Sometimes he even comes and has lunch or coffee with me, WITHOUT THE KIDS. So we can actually talk for more that 2 minutes without being interrupted or having our lattes spilled in our laps. Again, not complaining but sometimes it is just not that easy to get into the rhythm of being a single parent every third day.
Those days that he is not home are pure survival. The school bags are packed. I have clothes laid out for all three kids. I have a plan for breakfast. The timer is set on the coffee pot. I have the right snacks in my purse to keep the kids occupied on the ride home. I cook the fastest thing I can make for dinner. No baths, a wet wash cloth is just fine. I put on a show for the twins to keep them safe while I put Sissy Little to bed. The doors are locked. The alarm system is set. Check the doors again. I go to bed alone in a king sized bed with one eye open and one ear listening.
So whatever Kelly Relief Day is or means I think it should really be called Spousal Relief Day. I may just start a petition to change the name permanently. I think I would get a lot of signatures.