Years ago, I believed the only way to get some quiet time in my house was to wait until everyone finally, blessedly, went to bed at night. That’s a nice theory, but it never really worked. Oh, I spent a handful of all-nighters where I deep cleaned and organized the kitchen, or read entire chapters of books, blissfully uninterrupted, but that was when the kids were younger than twelve and had something that resembled a schedule. Most nights, by the time everyone, including my sweet husband, dropped off into Neverland, I was too zoned out to remember why I was so anxious to have them all go away to bed. If I could remember the reason I so desperately wanted complete quiet then I was too sleepy to use the time effectively or enjoy my solitude.
Then I had an epiphany! (I love that word, don’t you? It just rolls off your tongue. It would make a great title for a novel and has probably been the title of a few million poems.) Anyway, I did. I had an epiphany. Here it is:
I am a morning person.
That’s it! Yes. That’s all. A.M. That’s me.
P.M. That’s the rest of my family.
I’m married to a night owl and my children are all practically allergic to mornings. Their ideal breakfast time is somewhere around noon. Once the sun drops out of view in the western sky they kick into high gear. Weird.
I don’t understand that. I don’t particularly want to understand it. But I have had to learn to live with it.
Some Adjustments Required
I’ve had to make some adjustments occasionally. There have been those post-date, late into the wee hours of night discussions with my teens. You MUST NOT doze off when THEY are in the mood to discuss their lives, even it’s two a.m. Those were some of the best discussions ever.
My ideal bedtime is somewhere near sunset or shortly afterwards, but in order to foster family relationships I have let my bedtime inch toward the nether reaches of the night. I’ve watched more MASH reruns with my sweet husband than either of us would ever publicly admit, but he has wanted my company on the couch beside him, sharing the laughter and I decided I would oblige him. His favorite time for heartfelt discussions? You guessed it, after ten p.m. We finally decided to find a neutral time for potentially volatile communications, as I am not exactly emotionally stable as bedtime draws near, passes me and leaves me nodding my head in exhaustion.
Cons and Pros
Being a night person has its drawbacks if you are employed in a nine to five kind of situation, if you have children, if you have a dog, or parakeets, or if you live near a school, a park, a freeway, or other people. Being a night person works very well if you are a college coed, a drug dealer or criminal, a law student, a med student, or you work the swing shift. Morning people have it a lot easier. Mostly. Unless they live with all night people. And I do mean ALL NIGHT. Sigh.
As you might imagine, I was always the enforcer when it came to prying the children out of bed in time to deliver them to the bus stop, the carpool, or most recently, the attendance office. Our local high school decided to punish the parents for their children being late to school, requiring us to come into the office to sign in the child upon their late arrival. Luckily I am a morning person and was always fully dressed for such occasions, unlike many other, obviously night people parents, who were still in some clothing resembling pajamas. (I believe this is where the stylish idea for the messy hair look came from; night people who just couldn’t muster facing themselves in the mirror in the morning. But that is another topic altogether.)
My sweet husband has had to learn to battle his own morning demons. As if there were such a thing as a MORNING demon! Everyone knows demons can’t tolerate sunlight, just like trolls.
Hey, now there’s an epiphany!!