Jeff and I have a delicious new routine: on the weekends, we take turns sleeping in. Prior to this new glorious era of getting to sleep until 8:00 AM once per week, we all got up together gamely trying to embrace “family time” starting around 5:45 AM.
On those mornings when it’s my turn to sleep in, it’s simply glorious to loll in bed, hearing faints sounds of my children yelling — in glee or agony, I don’t care, since I’m not on the clock– and know that Jeff has it all under control. Their footsteps, voices, and banging around are like a lullaby as I let myself drift all the way to sleep’s farthest horizon.
This Saturday, I did the early shift when Simon woke up at 5:30 AM. I greeted Simon cheerily, because he looks cute in the morning, but also? Sunday would be my day to sleep in. In 24 short hours, I’d be in nirvana. Saturday unfolded typically– meals were eaten, games played, dishes washed. I was in a pleasant mood, despite my early morning call. I was industrious, pleasant and energetic.
When Sunday morning came, I slept until 8:10 AM, which was as decadent as it sounds. For someone who slept for about 10.5 hours, shouldn’t I have been whistling happy tunes and floating on air all day?
You would think.
But, I was grumpy as hell. It was as if all that sleep allowed my cranky self plenty of time to refuel so she could hate on the weather, the messy condition of the family “art” bin, the reception on her cell phone, the debt ceiling. There was no end to the things that “rubbed me the wrong way” yesterday. And the worst part of all was that I had puh-lenty of energy to give to my negativity.
And this wasn’t the first time that sleeping in produced a crankier, surlier version of me. It also happened last weekend too. Looks like a pattern to me.
When I am exhausted from a pre-6 AM wake up call, I don’t have enough energy to tend to all of my anxiety, dread, shame and fear. You know, those pretty flowers in the garden of my personality. On enough sleep, there is enough gas for me to focus, really focus, on the pain of not knowing whether I am getting fat or not, or whether we’ll intervene in Syria or how the kids will perform on the SATs. There is all that extra energy lying around to curse the gray skies of Chicago’s winter or wonder why everyone is more successful at life than I am.
It sucks. It makes me think that I (and the people who have to share space with me) would be better off if I just kept my edge off my never sleeping in. I thought it was a law that more sleep would make me feel more better.
In fact, I’ve been banking on my theory that as soon as my kids are a little older and sleeping later, I will be pleasant about 95% of the time. Naturally, I assumed that my bitchiness was simply part of sleep-deprivation that comes with having young kids. Now, I have to rethink that. Maybe I’m just a bitch.