'I like shift work. I get long weekends and can go shopping mid-week'
Julie Godfrey from Kentstown, Co Meath, works shifts as a process technician for Pfizer in Clondalkin. She's been doing shift work for the past 14 years -- starting with an earlier job at IBM -- and says she wouldn't change it for anything.
In fact, she opted for shift work because, that way, she could spend more time with her children.
"When I first had Jordan, now 13, I lived and worked nine to five in Dublin. I moved to Navan to be with his dad, but it was tough. I left Navan at 7.15am, left Jordan with my mum; and got home after 7.00pm. I had no life."
Shift work suited her brilliantly, until her mum died.
"Then it became a struggle. I'd split up with Jordan's dad, and life was hard. I couldn't afford to return to Dublin, and I ended up in my dad's box room. Dad wasn't able to mind Jordan because he worked shifts too. Luckily, Jordan's dad agreed to help out. Jordan lived with him when I worked, and went to a crèche when he worked from nine to five. He still does that."
Eventually Julie met someone else. They have two girls, aged 4 and 3. When the first was born, Julie's partner's mum cared for her. But then she had an accident and was unable to lift.
"I put a notice in a local shop, and a childminder replied. She normally minds children on regular hours, but she was prepared to make an exception. It's worked well for us."
Julie works seven 12-hour shifts in a fortnight. That's a mixture of days and nights.
"The shifts never change. I already know I'll be working on Christmas Eve. That, for me, is essential. I like shift work. I get long weekends and can go to football matches or go shopping mid-week. I love the freedom."