Image by Betsssssy, used with Creative Commons License, edited by Mydnyht Rantings
There are a lot of tips on homemaking blogs about how to get more housework done and how to fix those little scheduling problems that inevitably occur when doing housework. Their number one tip? Go to bed earlier and get up an hour earlier to get more done.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
I’ve struggled with insomnia for as long as I can remember. As a child, it would take me hours to fall asleep and I would awake around four in the morning and fall back to sleep around six or seven. This persisted into teenager-hood, when trying to balance a full load of schoolwork with this sleep schedule was simply something I couldn’t do. I tried various sleeping medications before settling on Ambien when I was fifteen. I briefly tried other meds during my brief stint in college because the Ambien’s potency was starting to wear off, and I eventually transitioned back onto a combination of Ambien and Trazadone. Eventually, I built up a tolerance to both of them and had to go off of the duo, and it took about a year of being narcotic sleep-aid free before even melatonin would work again to make me drowsy. My current regime is 5 mg of melatonin at night, and the 10 mg of Zyprexa I take also helps make me sleepy. While I can fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, I still struggle with waking up in the middle of the night and too early in the morning. Recently my med provider added a blood pressure medication to my docket, hoping that it would make me dream less vividly which would therefore help me get more restful sleep. It seemed to help at first but now I’m noticing that I’m dreaming again.
Suffice to say, I have never been good at getting up early in the morning. Sure, I managed it in middle and high school – somewhat. I did miss a lot of school and go in late quite a bit. I managed it when I worked an 8 – 5 shift at Wal-Mart when I was in college. And if I need to, I can certainly get up whenever is necessary and pull through. But for the most part, I am to be awake at 9 or 10 in the morning and at this stage in my life, I can’t comfortably manage anything earlier. Obviously when my fiancée and I have kids this will change, but for now this is the schedule that works for me.
Now that it’s getting close to summer and the heat is on the rise, I’ve had to do some adjusting to my schedule because when I take the dogs on a walk depends on how hot it is. But even getting up at 9 or 10 in the morning, I do manage to get my housework done. My productivity doesn’t actually seem to have anything to do with when I wake up – it seems to be more affected by when I go on my walk. I find that if I start the day off doing chores then I tend to get them done in a more timely manner, rather than waiting after my various exercise routines. And easing my way into the day – by checking my e-mail first thing in the morning, and maybe watching a little bit of TV while I write in my prayer journal and do my Bible reading, is also very helpful. Since I’m not a morning person, it’s nice to give myself concrete things to look forward to first thing in the morning.
In the end, you have to do what works for you. One homemaker’s daily schedule isn’t going to work for every other homemaker out there. For me, getting up earlier (and believe me, I’ve tried) does not increase productivity, but instead makes me groggy and irritable throughout the day, and nobody likes a grumpy housewife. I find that not having a properly “adult” schedule is a good trade-off for being miserable most of the day because I don’t feel well rested. And who knows? Maybe I’ll find a medication combination that treats my cause of insomnia instead of the symptoms, and getting up at 7 or 8 in the morning will be more feasible. But for now, I’m happy with the schedule I have – late mornings and all.