Monday, September 25, 2006

the early bird gets the worm?

What an incentive, huh?

I wake up at 5am. I will pause and let you marvel at my self-discipline. heehee. Seriously, I often get comments about how early we rise around here, but let me assure you I am quite lacking in self-discipline. Our lives have just kind of slowly shifted towards these early hours for several reasons. My dh is a nurse and has recently started working day shift, which means he has to leave for work at 6:15....he doesn't get home until around 8pm (on a good day), and has go to bed no later than 10. (It sounds horrible, but he only works 3-4 shifts a week) Around the same time, Jack started cutting 2 year old molars and was having a terrible time falling asleep at the end of the day. His previous 7pm bedtime turned into this long,drawn out 2 hour tear-fest. Kain and Maria were being more and more neglected in the evenings. I found sanity by keeping Jack up until after I got Maria and Kain in bed...then I could lay down with him and nurse him to sleep without feeling guilt over the other children. And I often fell asleep with him. Since I was going to bed so early, I started waking up earlier. This has worked out nicely because Jack is now sleeping later and I can use the early morning hours to get done what I would have gotten done if I hadn't gone to bed so early. In fact, I actually get much more accomplished. When I was trying to do these things in the evening after all the kids were in bed, the temptation to crash in front of the TV was often too strong to resist. In the morning, I am refreshed and awake and much more motivated to get a jump on the day. And as a bonus, I can see John before he leaves for work!

Jack's sleeping patterns are improving now. He will actually fall asleep by himself pretty well. I could shift his bedtime back, and it's tempting because I feel oddly guilty for his unconventional bedtime....but I think I'll wait for now. See, there's another benefit to our schedule shift. I lay down with Jack around 9pm. I am not quite ready to fall asleep that early, so I plan to read a bit while he falls asleep. But we usually end up just snuggling, reading picture books, and singing together for a good while instead. At the end of a busy school day, with my attention almost constantly devoted to the needs of older children, this has become Jack's special time....and mine.

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