Friday, March 6, 2009

Confessions of a Night Owl

For my whole life I have been a night owl. I have always liked staying up late and sleeping in the next morning. Even when I was in school or working a regular job, I still stayed up late. I even converted my “normal” husband with a little help from my family back in the days before we had children. I really can’t even deny that I have always been somewhat proud of the fact that I, and my whole family, kids included, could function on less sleep than most.

I am not totally to blame for this … my parents trained me well. When we (my 3 brothers and I) were little, our parents, aunts and uncles would hang out at our grandparent’s house until all hours of the night yelling at each other as they played Aggravation. We loved it. The kids, there were 13 grandchildren in all, pretty much had free reign to play whatever we liked … as long as we didn’t interrupt the adult’s game. Sometimes the games would go into the wee hours of the morning and they would have to wake us up to go home. The one difference being, while I have always enjoyed sleeping in, my parents would be up at the normal time the next morning ready for whatever they had to do that day.

So here is the confession … I don’t enjoy this anymore. I am tired. And, now that my kids are older, sleeping late just makes for a miserable day of trying to play catch up and get our school work done before supper time. I love the freedom to set my own schedule, but I am finally having to admit that not starting until the middle of the morning isn’t working. Oh, the kids love it on the front end, but then they want to be outside playing in the afternoon and not stuck doing school work.

For the last couple of weeks we have been putting real effort into changing our routine. When I say we, what I really mean is that I am changing my routine and the family is slowly adapting. This morning was the true test. The kids and I had to leave the house no later than 9:00 in order to drop the boys off at their Grandmother’s house and for me to get the girl to her co-op class on time, and we made it. Okay, I know that this is not a really big deal, especially for anyone reading who has children who have to be on the school bus before daylight, but for a family that likes to have school in their pajamas, this is a big deal.

Who knows, I may even learn to like getting up early. And the hidden blessing? Kids who get up early, tend to go to sleep earlier. Amazing.

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