I have memories of my mother working in her home office at the strangest times when I was little. Sometimes I wondered if she maybe just slept at under her desk table. But now, I mostly wonder how she managed to get school work done with four children. And I know the answer: she survived on way too less sleep.
When I went to bed at 21.30, she was there. When, an hour later, I just had to use the bathroom one last time (don’t get me started on trying to fall asleep with even the slightest possible hint of an idea that you have to pee), she still was there. If, for the same reasons, I got up really early – like 5 am: yes, lights in her office were on. And when I had to get up at 7am to get ready for school: oh yes – my mother was typing and grading and all that stuff.
My father is a teacher also, and he is a real night owl, but I don’t recall him doing that. He did a lot in our household (cooking, washing, cleaning, repairing, caring for the little ones,…), but probably my mother would have done still just that tad more. And, I think my mother is more of a perfectionist than my father is.
So here I am – teaching myself. I was prepared to do the same, but apparently I need my sleep more than she did (no that’s a lie: I make it more of a priority than she did). After a horrible year, working at 3 schools at the same time, having recurrent migraines and feeling as if every piece of me was failing me, it was my boss who told me to stop wanting to do it all. He’d encourage me to trust in the lessons I had on hand and sometimes come a bit less prepared.
I took his advice to heart. And since my son was born, I try to do as much as possible in the hours I am at school. Because I don’t want to give up my nights. I don’t care to get up at 5am each morning, to do some grading, to prepare all the stuff for everyone that day, then go to school at an early hour to drink my coffee with colleagues and start my day chatting and doing some prep work. But I try not to grade myself asleep. Even with my procrastination issues, it works fairly well.
That makes me an early bird then. My poor night-owl of a husband.
This post was written in response to the wordpress daily prompt Because the Night