Posted by: Hannah | 11/02/2015

day 2

The first morning after Daylight Savings Time ends always sucks balls, but the second morning is a joy. The sun is up before I am! The kids are easy to get out of bed! The bus doesn’t come for another hour and everyone is ready for school, so I’ve got time to get some writing done before my workday starts.

My kids are all early risers, and I’ve had people stare at me, bewildered and a little horrified, when I say things like “the bus doesn’t come until 8:25 but we’re all up at 6:30.”


This is the same face, by the way, that I get when I say my kids are all in bed by 8:30. It’s not because I’m a horrible, mean mommy; it’s because no matter what time I put them to bed, they will always wake up at 6:30.

Process that for a second. George goes down at 7, Ron at 8, Harry at 8:30. They all bounce out of bed at 6:30. Those are reasonable sleep totals for kids their age, and so they aren’t overtired messes. Peace reigns (usually). No one has sobbing meltdowns over missing shoes and we get out the door in good spirits.

Now, picture Game 3 of the ALCS. It’s on a Saturday night and we have nowhere we need to be the next morning. The game doesn’t even start until 9pm, and I have two rabid baseball fans here. So, like a fool, I let them stay up, thinking that they’ll either fall asleep watching the game, or they’ll sleep in the next morning. Ron sat bolt upright on the couch until 11pm when I finally dragged him to bed, Harry stuck it out for a further 45 minutes, and they were both up the next morning before 7. By noon they were incoherent and by dinnertime it was like watching Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting once he decided to get off smack.

This is why I politely declined when another mom at school emailed at 9pm on Halloween night asking me to bring the kids around for some fun. I explained that there were already in bed, and she cheerfully said to get them up and bring them over, because the night was still young!

Bless her heart, unless she was also offering to take my resulting hellspawn the following day, that was going to be a big bucket of NOPE.

So, here we are. Harry has already been up, dressed, made his own breakfast, packed his bag, and cosplayed Captain America on the front lawn for half an hour. George is currently whacking a balloon around the living room with a plastic wand. Ron has a rotten head cold, complete with fever, so he’s gone back to bed, but he’s also been up and had some breakfast.

Which type do you have? Are your kids early risers, or slug-a-beds?






  1. In-betweeners! I have in-betweeners.

    One who can be up all hours (thinkers have trouble sleeping, generally) and tired in the morning (now that he’s a teen) and one who is up and always ready even if she stays up late (is a bit tired) and is prickly by day’s end.

    Bedtime is later these days and I was so happy to call 11 10 last night because it feels like we might now be able to get back on track. Here’s hoping!

    • 11PM is SOOOO LAAAAATE OMG. For me, anyway. I do try to stay up until then, because Michael wants some of my time, too – but I’ve told him more than once that if the time he craves is of the naked variety we’re going to have to hit the hay by 10. 😉

  2. They definitely like to sleep in. Of course, as homeschoolers, I use that to my advantage. The high-schoolers get up at 8:00 (at my call) and Tweens up at 9:00. They do go to bed late as well.

    Love the ‘resulting hellspawn’ bit. So funny and so accurate.

    • In my (admittedly limited) experience, many homeschooling families keep a later schedule generally than public schooling families.

      I imagine that maybe, given time, my kids would adjust to it, but we’ve never really had the opportunity to test that theory.

  3. Wow, another mother actually suggested waking kids up again? Nope. No no no nope no. I will not wake a sleeping child for anything short of a fire, and even then I’d try to carry them out still slumbering. Ideally I should be in bed not long after 9pm myself! Wow.

    • Yup. She’s a nice lady – in fact her whole family are just lovely! – but we have had similar disagreements before. Her kids just don’t seem to need as much sleep as mine in order to function.

      • I have this issue with people in my life – they can’t understand that I cannot function normally on less than 8 hours sleep, ideally 10, and I can’t understand how they can possibly want to socialise after 10pm!

  4. In-betweeners too. Eve often has trouble falling asleep and can be up late but will generally put herself to bed at some point and rarely sleeps very late. Angus is fifteen and still gets up early even on week-ends – then again, this is the kid who stomped out of his own tenth birthday sleepover to go get some sleep because his friends were being annoying.
    I think 8:30 is a perfectly reasonable time to put kids to bed. I know people whose kids go to bed at seven, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable either, I just can’t imagine it working without heartache. I still think you did the right thing letting them watch Game 3. 🙂

    • Angus! My people. I did that once or twice. And Harry doesn’t go to sleepovers much but when he does, he always comes home apologetic that he’s so tired – and therefore crabby. At least he realizes it.

  5. My daughter is the same model you have: up at 6:15, bless her, no matter what time she goes down. My son will sleep in if up late, except that they still share a room at their insistence and Chatty Cathy over there wakes him up when she gets up because she’s “lonely.” When overtired, my son turns into the face of evil while my daughter takes the route of silently weeping at the drop of a hat. So, yeah. No later than 8, my little friends. No later than 8.

    • Oh, the silent weeping. That’s Ron. When he’s overtired, he is always so sad. SAD. Everything makes him cry.

  6. My child, no matter what we do, wakes up early in the morning. Now, it’s about 6am. (for the longest time it was 4:30am, so 6am = awesome).

    We are slow in the morning. I have friends whose kids wake up at 8am and they are out the door by 8:30. We have no idea how they do this.
    Currently, my son is on the couch having a party with his stuffed animals.

    In the evening, if we do not start bedtime by 7 or maybe 7:30 at the latest, he will just fall asleep. In our bed, fully dressed. He does not see the importance of pyjamas and needs to be pushed through every aspect of the bedtime routine (except storytime).

    If the tv or a video game is on, he will stay up until they are turned off.

    We stayed out late for Hallowe’en. He woke up early and cranky the next morning. For us it’s not so bad because he’s an only child, so the crankiness can be ignored.

  7. Ours are just like yours – up at 6 every morning, no matter when we put them to bed. I cannot count the number of times I have told grandparents that no, we CANNOT just “keep them up late and they’ll sleep in!”. NO.

    Now that our older two are approaching the preteen years – they are 12 and 11 – I am starting to see signs of the shift that is supposed to come in the teen years. They’ve started sleeping in until 7 or so and it’s harder to get them up in the morning on days when they have to be up earlier. So it does seem to drift over time – but sloooooowly.

  8. We are generally early risers, but as they get older they are less early. For example, they might sleep until 8 on a weekend! I know. Crazy!

  9. I think I’ve complained enough all over the interwebs that the entire world knows my kids are early risers. Oldest is nearly 13 and I still make him go to bed at 9 because he has to get up at 6:45 for school and on weekends he’s hopping out of bed on his own at 7. Youngest is a hard 7:30-7:45 bedtime because she wakes between 6 and 6:30 almost every day. It doesn’t matter when they go to bed, those are their wake-up times. All that changes is how crabby they are later in the day 😉 I used to hate having early risers when they were babies, but now they can entertain themselves on weekend mornings and I don’t have to be up with them. During the week both of them have to be to school by 8 so it’s nice not to be frantic. Frankly, I think society rewards morning people (I am not one and spent a good portion of my life before kids feeling aggrieved at having to be places at 8 am), so I’m not inclined to try to make them sleep later generally.

  10. 6:30. Every morning. No matter WHAT time they went to bed. And they cry, and yell and are just evil the next morning if they don’t get to bed by 7:30. But! They slept through the night starting at 3 months, all 4 of them. So, I am all good with it. We have a weekly kid function that goes until 8:30 every Wednesday. That means bed by 9. So, every Thursday… it’s awful.

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