June 15, 2012

An Early Bird Married to a Night Owl

This morning I received this question from reader Jenny Z.  There are some people who just make you think.  Jenny seems to be one of them!  I love to be challenged.

(Oh, and I know I didn't answer the ones about bedrooms and groceries yet... but they are coming.  We are in the middle of a remodel in the girls' bedroom and I want to wait until we are finished to make a new home tour video.  Hopefully, by the end of summer it will be posted here.)

In the meantime, keep the questions coming.
Do you ever argue? Or do you always get along? Do you go to bed before him, since you get up early? If he is a night owl, does he sleep later than you? Just curious, my husband us a night owl and I am not. It can cause problems.

Dear Jenny,

I am going to start with the quick answer.  Night owl verses early riser can be a challenge to any marriage especially if you frequently have limited hours alone together as we do.  This became more complicated as our children have gotten older.  Our girls love to sit up and visit with us after the younger children have been tucked into bed.  These have become beautiful times of building relationships, having important talks and building special memories.  We wouldn't trade it for anything.  We are so grateful for the tying of heartstrings and the sheer concept that our young adults WANT to be with us instead of our with friends.  But it sure makes our time alone later and later.  

My hubby does love to stay up late and often says he does his best work late at night.

I don't mind staying up late but I hate sleeping in.  My mind shuts down around 6 pm and if I haven't done it by then, you can forget about it happening if it requires any kind of thinking skills.

We absolutely never go to bed separate.  As a matter of fact, we are so in the habit of going to bed together,   we both find it very difficult to sleep when we are separated for any reason.  Maybe once or twice a year, I will be feeling poorly or just plain worn out and crawl into bed before Allen.  A month or so ago I had a nasty cold and had a very long sleepless night.  Sunday after dinner I took my bath and the bed looked so inviting I laid right down and started drifting off.  This was so alarming to the children.  One by one they descended on me to inquire if I was a) pregnant b) sick c) upset.  So you see, it is very out of the ordinary for us to retire separately.

So what is a couple like us to do?  We compromise.  As is the case with most everything in a successful marriage.

I stay in bed until 6 am even if I wake up earlier.  Which I almost always do.  Allen tries to rise earlier, even though he would rather sleep longer.

I stay up until 11 or so 12 with Allen.  We aim for 11 but often, if we are watching a video, I will drift off and he will watch til the end while I rest on the couch.  Which is fine for me.  In exchange he tries to be disciplined about getting us up to bed by 11 so we get 6-7 hours of sleep.  This is not the ideal amount of sleep but we find we do well on it and it has made for a good marriage.  If he is not ready for sleep when we go up, he will read his Bible on his iPhone so he doesn't need to turn the light on.

There are two more things that help us with this compromise.  Once I drift off I find it very difficult to go back to sleep if I am wakened.  I make a point of brushing my teeth before I get comfortable so I don't get too awake when we go up to bed.  Everyone else makes a point of not engaging me too much so as to get my brain too stimulated.

Since I tend to wake very early, no matter how much sleep I have gotten, I try to lie down for a few minutes during the kids rest time if I am sleepy so I don't get  a migraine or become too exhausted before Allen gets off work.  Once in a while, we even get to nap together.  And if you have never enjoyed an afternoon nap with your hubby, I suggest you find out what you are missing.    

Part 2 to follow

1 comment :

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