My wife and I work at a Basic Foster Care Facility in Mississippi. Our shift is about 2 hours short of 29 days long and right now we are at day 27 and change. The last few days have been really tough for us. We have found ourselves to be very short with the children and each other. Physically we are exhausted; mentally we are drained. Wednesday at noon seems like an eternity from now. We are sure there is no named ailment for this condition so we decided to name it ourselves: Pre Relief Stress Syndrome (PRS) and for us the only remedy is our scheduled relief time and vacations twice a year.
I can honestly say that my wife’s mood is way worse than anytime she has had PMS and she says that’s like the “pot calling the kettle black.” I have talked with some of the other houseparents we work with and they have similar symptoms. One houseparent that checks, says her blood pressure skyrockets about three days before relief. Strangely, it also goes up on the last day of relief. That would be Not Enough Relief Syndrome (NERS).
The Symptoms are not dependent on shift length. When we worked in a therapeutic group home, we got roughly the same symptoms on day 8 of a 10 day shift. And again the only cure was our scheduled time off.