Between my three- and seven-year-old daughters up at night to use the bathroom in my bedroom instead of their bathroom, my elderly dog suddenly deciding he can't sleep without company, noise and light, and my husband's alarm clock going off for at least thirty minutes at 5:15 AM every week day, I am wiped out.
My older daughter is also very much a morning person who loves nothing better than waking me up on a school day before 7:00 AM, giving herself over an hour to get ready for school. Even on weekends this child is up and at 'em, chatty and with a full agenda while I am struggling to wake up. She also demands her breakfast immediately. All of this is highly annoying to me. I am not a morning person and I never was. Any time before 8 AM is too early for me. I despise waking up early on weekdays to get my kids ready for school. I love snow days and days off until my seven-year-old still wakes me up at the same early time. If I could stay up until at least midnight every day and wake up at 8 or 9 AM, I would be happy. I miss college and even grad school simply for the fact that I loved my night owl, late morning schedule. I need a full eight hours sleep, especially because I know it will not be eight hours with all the above mentioned interruptions. Therefore, I've been trying to go to bed earlier which I really don't like doing. If I stay up late, though, like when I am on deadline for a newspaper article, I am especially wiped out the next day. Thank God for coffee. Due to medical reasons, I only have one cup a day and no other caffeine but I drink it black now and that's enough for me.
I like to sleep, I admit it. Luckily, my younger daughter is more like me. She's been sleeping through the night since she was 11-weeks-old. She sleeps 12 hours a night; she's in bed early and wakes up early for school. She sleeps in on weekends and days off. I love it and I so appreciate that.
Don't even get me started on my husband's alarm clock. He has to be at work really early and has a long commute. His two alarms start going off at about 5:15 AM every weekday and some Saturdays when he works overtime. The one alarm, an old-fashioned clock radio one that beeps, is horribly loud and has even woken up my kids. The alarms usually go off multiple times for at least a half hour, if I'm lucky, and an hour if I'm not. He just keeps getting out of bed and hitting snooze over and over. It drives me nuts.
I always tell my husband he's lucky he's cute because he snores like no one else. Even if he is only half asleep, he snores. I crank my white noise machine up every night and wear ear plugs and I still hear him. The first week we were married, I barely slept. I was not used to that loud snoring on a regular basis all night long. It was truly awful, then I got more used to it.
I also read a mom's blog entry recently that claims that moms are more tired now than ever because we are so hypervigilant about our children. Meaning that we are constantly watching them to keep them safe. I agree with this and I find myself like this, whereas my mom wasn't as on top of my brothers and I as I am with my daughters. We had more freedom and time to ourselves as kids, but that was also the 1980s and 90s. Safety wasn't as much of an issue as it is today.
Balancing our family's schedule and putting my kids to bed at night is a part-time job in itself. When I was a kid, it was a ten minute production at bed time. With my kids, it's at least a half hour. My kids are involved in more after school and weekend activities than I ever was. There's more homework now too. I feel like I should have gotten my college degree in scheduling instead of sociology.
I know that when I finally do sleep more, my kids will be grown up and out of the house. So as much as I want more sleep, I am not looking forward to an empty nest. As far as the two god-awful alarm clocks I contend with most mornings, they aren't going anywhere any time soon.