Do the math: solve for Z

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“Shut up! Mommy’s trying to sleep!”

“Ma-ma?  A-be-a-be-a-beya!”

“Shut up! Daddy has to get dressed and Mommy’s sleeping in!”

Not anymore. My son continued to babble and my husband continued to bitch as I lay in bed listening to them.

“What time did they wake up?” I asked.

“Six-something. Between you and them, I couldn’t get any sleep.”


He did not answer. I only woke up twice last night to go potty. That’s fewer wakeups than usual. I’d woken up twice this week before seven with my son. My husband had done it twice. The other day, our son had slept later.

They left the bedroom and I heard him yelling at the kids. I worried about them because he was taking them to my daughter’s weekend swim class – a chore he complains about constantly – and I feared he’d be yelling at them all morning. I did not get up and take his place, though. I guess a better mother would have done that.

I knew what would happen when they got home. They’d eat lunch and my husband would try to fall asleep on the couch until I told him to go sleep in the bedroom, where he would take a 3-hour nap, wake up about dinnertime, and thank me for letting him sleep. And I’d be in charge of the kids, just like every other day of the week. It’s no wonder I’ve been wanting an extra weekend day lately. My weekends are just like my weekdays. Hmm, that may explain my lack of ambition and general laziness too.

Why would I begrudge my husband a nap? He was up early, after all. Here’s the thing: He doesn’t go to bed until after one a.m. – every freakin’ night. So if the kids wake at six, that’s only five hours sleep. If he gets to bed at two, it’s four hours, and so on. As I mentioned, this week my son has been waking up between six and seven. I usually wake up with the kids, because my hub has got to go to work, but sometimes he will get up for me, which is wonderful.

We do not establish who will get up early ahead of time, so we have a duel of laziness in the morning – the last one to pull the trigger stays in bed, white hat pulled over his or her eyes. This works out fine for both of us, except when my husband goes to bed late, for him. Then he complains he didn’t get any sleep, like this morning.

My position is this: How does he expect he will sleep enough under any morning circumstance if he goes to bed after one a.m.?  We have discussed this over and over, and he never makes any changes. But he continues to complain. Of course. He says he’s up late because he’s on-call with his Asia offices, but their day lasts beyond his bedtime AND he does it on Saturdays too, so that doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t explain the occasions that he does get to bed earlier. Does that mean he calls in sick?

He did not complain at all this week when he stayed home on my birthday to give me a day off. He got up early, fed the kids, took my daughter to camp, took the kids to a birthday party, got takeout and set up dinner. Then they gave me lovely presents. It was a great day. He was nice to the kids on my birthday too. I truly appreciate that. But he did go to bed very early the night before. Not because of his morning plan, because he was falling asleep at 10 p.m. Go figure.

How does a grown man with a mathematics degree not get that the later you go to bed, the less sleep you get? I do not have a math degree, and I can figure it out. I go to bed at 9:30, so I can get enough sleep no matter how early the kids get up. Six is too early for me too – I usually doze off on the couch — but at least I know I’ve gotten some sleep under my belt. I typically perk up after coffee. And now that my daughter doesn’t nap, I don’t get a nap unless I sacrifice work time, which is hard to justify when you can only work 15 hours a week.

And when my husband does get tired, he’ll say, “Oh, it’s because I haven’t had any caffeine!” Well, duh, if you need caffeine to stay awake at night, you’re pushing your body further than it wants to go. You should be going to bed, not popping open a can of Mountain Dew!

He’s going to come home today, feed the kids, and go to bed. And I’ll have a six, maybe seven-day workweek. And Sunday night, he’ll go to bed at 2 a.m. And on Monday, I’ll want another weekend day, but I won’t get one. It figures.