Night Owl or Early Riser?


night owlIt’s always been the same for me, from my earliest memory as a child. I always detested waking up in the morning. I did my best to not engage in full conversations with anyone for at least an hour upon waking. But as the day wore on, I’d shed my sluggishness, and by late afternoon, I’d be checking off tasks on my to-do list at warp speed. Late afternoons and evenings became the most productive time of day for me, and still are.

I have no idea why and how I became a night owl. I married a night owl and 3 out of 4 of my kids are too. (Not sure if my teenager counts, most teenagers are nighttime creatures at that age anyway!)

According to studies done, the early riser’s internal clock is in sync with a mere 20 hour day, so the rush to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn helps to make up for their “shorter day.” I think it’s mostly their fondness of the morning, the chirping of the birds, rising of the sun, the start of a new day. Consequently, you tend to be most productive when you are comfortable and content.

But on the flip side, I SO look forward to the night. I just soak it all in, the sunset, the safe return home of all family members, and finally, the soothing solitude of crawling into bed, knowing that I had a productive day. And if I really didn’t, the day is still over, and all that’s left to do is get over it and get some sleep. 

Naturally if you are a mom with young kids, they sort of dictate your sleep/wake schedule. Excluding required night feedings for an infant, a baby eventually adopts a particular schedule, and there’s the baby that rises with the sun, and the late afternoon napper, who is ready to “party” until midnight!

But I’ve always wondered does a new parent adopt the sleep/wake schedule of their new baby or the other way around?

I think I allowed and encouraged late naps for my kids years ago because I preferred they sleep in the morning because being an early bird was never my thing. And it is definitely easier to sleep train your children a certain way if both parents share a love of the night or early morning. Combined effort always works best, and it worked for us.

In any case, a grouchy morning mom that begrudgingly rises but doesn’t quite shine, or the mom who is practically dozing off at the kitchen table, is still at some point throughout each day present for her family, and takes care of business. That’s all that really matters.

I’ve learned to accept my status as a night owl. It’s not better or worse than being an early riser. it’s just different. Thankfully, most supermarkets and stores cater to both. And your own family members and closer friends know you well by now, and don’t expect you to change. Any texts, before 7:00 a.m. are ok with me; don’t expect a response, unless of course, it’s an emergency!

The crack of dawn brings with it a promise of a new and better day, and the close of the day brings satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment. It’s basically the same for each of us, just all depends which part you are awake for!

Have you always been a night owl or early riser? Or did having children change you?

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Fran was born, raised, married, and still lives in Mount Kisco, NY. She has four kids, including a teenage daughter and two precious grandsons, whom she babysits a couple of days a week. She also works part-time as an accounting clerk, helps run her husband’s excavation business, and lastly aspires to finish writing her book one day. Despite her crazy, busy schedule, she cooks almost every night for her big family and tries her best to keep up with the dishes! She truly believes spontaneity is the spice of life, and sometimes the very unexpected happens, but it’s usually all for the best. Enjoy her many tales of raising kids over 20 years; what an amazing journey!