Today’s article is meant to be about sleep, sleeping better, and relationships. However, for us it is about today’s nuclear family, stress on couples, and pressures that really exist. In addition, it is a direct follow-up to our previous post.
I’m Awake, Why Aren’t You? is the title. The author is Elizabeth Bernstein, and it was published in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.
This article focuses on one couple as a typical example of couples today and the juggling they do because of their different sleep patterns. While the article cites the reason as differing body clocks, I suspect something totally different. While it suggests different circadian rhythms as the problem, I am almost certain that differing responsibilities is the culprit. Morgan and T.J. are the parents of a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and a third child on the way. Morgan is also a clothing designer, and T.J. is a physical education teacher.
They have solved their sleep difficulties by sleeping in different rooms. Morgan does not want to wake up her husband when she comes to bed late, and she does not want to be awakened by his early alarm when he gets up early. On Saturdays they both get up early. T.J. gets up extra early to do something he wants like taking a hike and then running errands, and Morgan gets up a little later, but still early, with the kids. On Sundays Morgan gets her one day in the week to sleep in, and T.J. wakes up as early as he wants and then takes care of the kids when they arise.
Even without digging further into specifics, it is easy to see the problem. Morgan’s day is determined by whatever length of time it takes to do her job and “take care of the kids.” T.J.’s day is determined by how long it takes him to complete his job, sports time, responsibilities he has with his kids, and whatever else he needs to complete. While Morgan’s day probably varies from long to very, very long, T.J.’s day is probably shorter and fairly standard in length.
This particular problem is not about the couple’s division of labor with the kids. It seems they are happy with that. It is, however, about real life for moms and dads today and the huge overload that typically falls on the mom. I present it to you as one more evidence of how truly stressful life is these days for the average family. Where oh where is grandma and grandpa, Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob? How about Cousin Albert and Aunt Jane? I guess we know. They are not near their children, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
The article provides a solution for this couple, sleeping in separate rooms (and not necessarily a good one at that!). I do not provide a solution, but I am happy to point out the problem.
What to do?
While that $64,000 question has no real answer, most important for us is that we have identified the problem. It is our awareness of rampant overloaded schedules for moms along with the absence of adequate support that wreak havoc on today’s family. Hopefully, this awareness will be the exact right one you need to lead you to a solution of a family problem on your end that just might work for you.
Subscribe to Tips