I am not willing to compromise!

Disclaimer: This was written very late at night (for me) when my eyes were beginning to burn and mental acuity melt. I do believe the lack of style and grace (she says as if she usually has some) will prove my very point: I need my sleep.

I believe I have mentioned before that I'm partial to sleep? Sleeping is an occupation I excel at. It's not something I believe should be compromised for the sake of children, work, and definitely not exercise, hell no! I have a great work ethic when it comes to sleepy-eye: in at 10PM, out at 7AM, no exceptions!

Of course, I exaggerate. Just as I was with my "real" jobs, I was a hard worker - once I got there. A start time of 9AM usually meant an arrival time of 9:10, and thankfully, I have had jobs that allowed me this slack. So, my stated bedtime of 10PM actually means that I turn off the TV at 10PM, and after turning off all the lights, letting in cats, glancing in the kitchen long enough to know I don't want to enter because I left the dishes in the sink again, and then ascending to the bathroom to brush, pluck, and fuss, it's usually 10:24 when I collapse in the bed.

From then on it's a guessing game. Guess how many times a child will appear by my side (or climb directly over my face) wanting either new pajamas or multiple bed partners? Guess how many times the cat will meow or scratch the wall (which sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard) in a not-so-subtle attempt to get some human's attention? Guess how many times Hubby will do "The Whale:" his half-asleep, annoyed flopping from side to side which shakes the whole bed and causes my sleeping heart beat to increase to marathon speed? (I seriously need one of those wine-glass-stays-still-when-you-jump-ing beds.) On a given night any (or all) of these events can happen, and yet sometimes I can wake to discover some kind of fairy dust has been sprinkled and I have been allowed to peacefully dream the night away.

One of my greatest joys (before bringing schedule-challenged children into this world) was to rise early (6AM) and write in the silence of a sleeping house. Since having children I have attempted to re-establish this habit countless times and found it be as elusive as sticking to a diet. I blindly stumble out of bed, hit the alarm clock, and strain against the powerful urge to crumble back into the bed. It physically hurts. But I do it for the sake of my writing and my sanity... for about three days. Then I have a bad night and, thank god! an excuse not to get up!

Hubby and I have an on-going fight about my inability to rise in the mornings. He's one of those irritating people who, the second the radio comes on, can get out of bed and into the shower, and even be awake doing it. I, on the hand, have to wake slowly. I set the alarm for 1/2 hour before I need to get up, even if it means listening to stupid djs telling stupid jokes and playing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" at dawn. If I intend to get up early to write, it means Hubby wakes up sometimes two hours before he needs to and this, rightly, pisses him off. So, I've given up. I just get up when Hubby's out of shower and I've had time to come to my senses.

Do you see a problem here? I do.

Bed at 10PM (OK, 10:24), up at 7AM... when the hell am I supposed to get my work done? I am now officially Self-Employed, but I am also officially Mother. Mother to two, who are awake from 7AM to 7PM and wanting something from me every five minutes of that 12 hours. When they finally go to sleep I can summon up barely enough strength to crawl to the couch and press the power button on the remote. Oh, I know, I could be using that three hours to work instead of watching TV, and sometimes I do, but most of the time I just can't.

I love the quiet of the evenings (Hubby is an early-to-bedder) but they are mostly wasted. Once I am awake, I am a morning person. Give me a day on my own and I start running from the moment I (finally) wake up. But once the sun goes down I'm a gonner (along with, I fear, my ability to form good sentences).

I have a whole summer ahead of me with both kids home, summer camps and swimming lessons to drive back and forth to, a household to run, and workshops to plan and promote. All the while essays and blog topics are banging around in my head begging to be given voice.

What gives? Sleep? Never!

I'll figure something else out.


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Anonymous said...

Oh, hon - been there, still doing that!

While I don't have advice (as my 5 year old inevitably wakes in the middle of the night to find me and crawl into bed with me EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.), I do have something that might cheer you up.


(Pachelbel Bedtime on YouTube video)



joanna said...

love it! thanks! it does help to know it's universal, eh?

Morgan U said...

I hear you, especially the crawling over the face part!

Anonymous said...

I am totally dealing with this as well. I need 8 hours to function properly. I haven't gotten 8 hours of straight sleep in 4 years. I would be doing good to sleep from 10pm - 7am. It would be a dream come true. It would be even better if I could get the girls to go to bed at 8pm. By the end of the day though, I'm so tired I often can't work on my novel or any other writing. During the day, I'm doing good to get in my exercise and housework (which my house is a wreck). I'm starting to realize that right now I have to be fine with motherhood as my "job" and other ambitions will be there when I can give them my attention. Oh... and the wasting of time... oh my.