I've never been a morning person. Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you (fearfully) that it's true. After giving birth to my son, people were convinced that I'd get up early. The baby would force it. Babies get up early, they said. My son is my only child, so I had the luxury of sleeping when he slept. The house went to pot, but I was a well-rested mother. While I would be forced to wake up early, I'd nap with the baby, every few hours, so it didn't matter much. When he gave up his naps, I began putting him to bed at 11 p.m. so he (we) could sleep 'til mid morning.
When he started nursery school, I put him in the half day classes that started at noon. Same for kindergarten. First grade was rough for both of us, with an 8 a.m. homeroom bell, and he was late more often than he was on time. Slowly, I adjusted and got up, fed my son, and got him to school. It was no easy task and it's not been pretty.
All these years later, our two dogs need an early morning walk each day. My husband has taken on the duties of that walk, citing my angry morning demeanor as the reason he'll lose sleep to get it done. I'm up to take my son to school, but the dogs want to go out before we leave, so it would require me getting up an extra half hour early.
It wasn't until this weekend that I decided it was time for me to put my big girl pants on and start waking up earlier. It was a tough choice, because it means that I will be going to bed before my husband gets home, which cuts into our couple's time. I've tried to wait up at night for my husband, who works until nearly midnight, but in that circumstance, both of us are exhausted, and it's just not healthy.
I told him it was time that I start getting up to walk the dogs. He was hesitant. No way did he want to deal with me, grumpy, each morning. Begging him to give me a chance, I told him I'd go to bed early so that I wasn't mean and exhausted in the a.m. He agreed to give it a shot.
Last night, Night One, I was in bed by 10 p.m. and falling asleep close to 11. It was a major change and boy, am I tired. But I did it. It was nice. The sun was just coming up, during the dogs' walk, and the day felt fresh. I woke twice during the night, at 3:30 a.m. and nearly 5, probably because my body has gotten so used to so little sleep. Ironically, I was surprised that I didn't oversleep, and that it took until late afternoon for me to feel, well, exhausted.
My husband got the opportunity for a full 8 1/2 hours sleep, which made me feel like a better wife, knowing that he isn't sacrificing his sleep; our time together (though a little less) was wonderful. He was productive, not exhausted, and we both seemed to be more present.
Tonight is Night Two, and I am hoping that my commitment to the early to bed mentality remains strong.
Are you a morning person? Getting into the groove isn't easy, so I'd love to hear your tips for happy morning wake-ups.