My First Christmas Off Duty

Last Monday I got my first Christmas off duty and I am honestly heartbroken. I love celebrating holidays and seasons, and I especially love celebrating with family and friends. This year is the first year I am working over Christmas and of course, with last year's Christmas being the crazy season that it was during the Covid pandemic, I feel like I was defintely cut short of the celebrations. 

Starting my job back in January, I had told myself that I wouldn't mind working over Christmas and I was somewhat prepared for the worst, working one of the three major holiday days. However, I then got my rotations and when I realised I was only going to be on week 2 of my rotation on the postnatal ward when it was Christmas week, I was really excited and happy to realise I was supernumerary. 

For those that aren't shift works and don't know the language, each month we get a new "off duty". Our "off duty" is essentially our working days, but of course it also allows us to plan our days off. We have to put in our requests 3 months before the date, then we get told our shifts 6 weeks before. It gives us so much time to plan our lives...not! Nevertheless, when you first start in a new rotation or rather location, you get a set amount of time supernumerary. I work full time, so I do 3 shifts a week, with 1 week a month being 4 shifts. This should mean I get 6 shifts supernumerary and I naively thought this would mean I would be supernumerary over the Christmas holiday and hence not counted in the numbers so I didn't really request anything off. 

Well, it turns out management cleverly decided to give me 4 shifts my first week back in the hospital, so I now have all my supernumerary shifts in the first 8 days. I am honestly so heartbroken and sad. Christmas Day for me is one of my favourite days of the year. I love spending time with family, opening presents in the morning and getting glam for a meal. It's going to be a very different day this year. 

As I write this, I sit here crying. If it was any other off duty, I would like the shifts. I like the breaks in between and I like that I have night shifts in a row. What I don't appreciate and what I don't think is particularly fair is that not only is my first non-supernumerary Christmas Day itself, but I am also working every single bank holiday as well. I've tried swapping the shift but of course, no one wants to work Christmas and despite that, I have literally been given nothing else to even remotely begin to swap because I'm working all the other times people would want off. 

This year is going to be a very different Christmas celebration for me. I am sure it will be lovely to welcome babies into the world and help nurture their first few hours/days of life. I am sure it will be full of joy and love and holiday cheer. I am sure the team will band together and make a fun and festive day. But right now I can't think of that... 

Right now, I feel very down, very depressed and quite honestly, heartbroken. I couldn't have thought of a worse rota. Not only will I not being seeing any family or friends the entire Christmas Day, I also won't be able to celebrate with family, nor see anyone on any of the bank holiday's that they are off work. To top it off, my partner doesn't even plan to spend any time with me so I will quite literally be waking up to an empty house, coming home to an empty house and then going to bed to an empty house. What a great Christmas that will be.