Thursday, March 19, 2009

Circadian Rythyms

Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Some people hit the ground running in the morning, and some, like me, do better at night. I find my most productive time to be between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. That's when my brain is firing at it's best and my body feels like getting stuff done. My husband is best in the morning. He jumps up and wants to exercise, followed by several hours of work and play. By 7:00 p.m., however, he is starting to think about bedtime. By 8:00 he is in bed and by 9:00 he's asleep. Me, on the other hand, can't even contemplate getting into bed at 8:00 - that would leave four hours in there before I could finally drift off. I must watch John Stewart and Nightline before shutting down for the night. I know you can train yourself to get up and get going in the morning, or to be productive at night, but for the most part we all have a certain circadian rhythm unique to us.

Which brings me to Portland and my babysitting dilemma. My son-in-law's mother gets here bright and early to babysit her four hours. She's here by 9:00 a.m. and gone by 1:00 p.m. when my daughter gets home from her first four hours of work, which is in the office. The second four hours is at home. Usually with a small child hanging on her while she tries to work at the computer. Getting here by 9:00 a.m. is really not difficult, if I plan to have my coffee and breakfast here. But then I started thinking - maybe my daughter could use a little time to get her work done without help from her small child. So I started coming at 10:00 - 10:30 and keeping my grandson throughout the afternoon. Works for me - works for my daughter - but son-in-law was a bit frazzled this morning by the time I got here. In fact, he mentioned that usually his mother is here early so he doesn't have to deal with his son who was being a "Klingon". (Teething issues.) Since he works from home, I can sympathize, but if you are the child's parent, there are going to be some days when you are going to be the only one they want - especially if they can see you. It is part of parenting a small child. You just have to deal with it. In the meantime, maybe I'll try to get here a little earlier tomorrow (my last day), and keep him all afternoon as well. Give them both a break!


Sink said...

What a great mother and gma! As a mom it is hard to balance the "needing a break" and wanting to be with my kids. If I know there is good family childcare, the decision is much easier! I am sure your kids are grateful.

Natalie said...

Wish you were my mum.xx

Jo-Mama said...

My rythyms are nocturnal. I run best between 11:00 am and 11:30 pm. I love the coffee moments around 10 am but really haven't switched off remote control until later. I love the quiet time I get after everyone else has gone to bed. I can get lost in a book or watch nightline, or write uninterrupted. It took a while for my spouse to get it, but now he goes to bed on his own clock and respects my need to function on my a weir wolf he thinks, but it works for me. Sorry we didn't manage to get together during your visit. Darn!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I think one of the priviledges of being a gramma is being able to choose the time I spend being responsible for the grandchildren. I had to adopt my oldest grandchild, so the rest of the grandchildren have been a lot more fun.

lakeviewer said...

Yes, adjust and support and capitalize on what each person can do best, at peak time.

Jo said...

Your grandson is adorable...! Omigosh!

A few years ago I decided to take several months off work, and my circadian rhythm became waaay out of balance. I was going to bed at 4:00 in the morning and getting up at 10:00. It was weird. It took a while to get back to my normal rhythm again once I went back to work.

ed said...



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