Lately our sleep patterns have been way out of whack. Daryl and I are both naturally night owls and Victoria was pretty much born a night owl. The other kids have been a little more traditional but it has always been a struggle to keep us all on a “normal” schedule.
We’ve never been people who rise with the sun, with the exception of Alex. He wakes up at around 7 at the latest, ready to meet the world. Daryl gets up with him and starts the day with his boy. They watch TV, do the dishes, have breakfast and work on things together. Jack gets up around 8 or 9, and I get up a little later (keep in mind I do much of my writing late at night!).
The girls have been staying up later and later, and getting up later and later in the day. They were never the type to wake at dawn (with the exception of when we’re visiting at Tiffany’s house, when they happily wake very early in the morning because that’s the tradition there), but now it’s getting a bit ridiculous. We’re talking noon.
Part of me hears the voices of my grandmother, mother, ex-bosses, friends, etc. who have told me for years how despicable it is for some unknown reason to get up late. There’s that early bird business, after all. And there’s just some mysterious evil in sleeping all day, right? Even if you sleep exactly the same amount of time, the world views it as somehow lazy and wrong. It’s something I fought in myself all of my life and something that always made me feel just a little guilty.
On the other hand, life is so much easier on this schedule! The girls are self sufficient at night and take care of their own needs. Anna reads, writes songs, does art and even soaks in the bath in the wee hours. Victoria reads, reads, reads and reads. 🙂 I also have time to talk to them and even do crafts with them when the boys are sleeping and the house is quiet. Daryl has quiet time with Alex in the morning and then with just the boys. It’s sort of a way to divide and conquer, and to give the kids more individual time.
Then again, I think sunlight has a powerful effect on our moods, health and behavior, and I worry about my kids missing much of it when the days are so short in the winter time as it is.
I know from experience that all of the kids can easily adapt to a very early schedule when they need to. Victoria slept till around 10 when she was little, but when she had T-ball practice starting at 8 a.m. every summer morning she had no problem waking at 7. And as I mentioned, at Tiffany’s house they happily adapt to that schedule.
What’s the sleep schedule like at your house? Do your kids follow their natural rhythms, the ones you think are “right” or the ones that work best for the grown ups? Are you naturally a night owl or early riser? What are your thoughts on this whole sleep issue?