On the night shift...

Aug 24 2010 Published by under [Education&Careers]

Must be "feeling like a college kid" week here in the household. Yesterday I was mulling my drinking habits (which are, essentially, identical to those of Progeny, minus the chocolate milk) and today I'm practically pulling an all-nighter trying to catch up on work. Glaring zit, check--minus the serious self-esteem issues, I could be 19 again.

I've always been a night owl--I hate getting up with the sun, and feel much more productive in the late evenings. This hasn't always worked for me. During my post-doc, I had to get to the campus by 7AM to grab a parking spot, and I lived an hour away and had to drop off Progeny at the sitter's--so not many late nights for me (and as such, several years' worth of poor sleep, both due to baby issues and trying to fight my preferred sleep pattern). Now that my schedule is more flexible and Progeny sleeps through the night (and well into the morning or afternoon, if I'd allow it), I can reclaim my late nights/early mornings and get some work done to the snoring of the dog instead of the crying of the child.

However, clearly this isn't optimal. I could try to do more work in the early mornings, before getting everyone up and off to school/work in the mornings--but every time I set my alarm for 5AM when I know the only pressure to get up is coming from me (rather than a scheduled meeting, appointment, etc.), I know that inevitably I'll push the snooze button a few times and then say "fuck it" and shut the damn thing off, finally rolling out of bed several hours later. I could try to get more done in the evenings before Progeny's bedtime, but that's mom-kid time that I'd have to miss out on. I'm already scheduled throughout banker's hours, so I can't figure out how to draw more blood from that stone. Next option--altering the space-time continuum, I guess, or changing the earth's rotation to tack a few more hours onto the day.

Or, more practically, taking on fewer tasks? Definitely one of those weeks where it seems it would be preferable to change the laws of physics than to turn down one more box to check on ye olde tenure evaluation.

4 responses so far

  • Pascale says:

    I have battled the same issues, but we physicians have pressures to get stuff done early. For me, kids aren't the issue- my "baby" is almost 18- it's the expectations of the workplace.
    Your snooze alarm routine sounds incredibly familiar- have you placed a camera in my bedroom?

  • rebecca says:

    Yes, some of those early-morning meetings are with docs who think 7AM is a normal starting time, while I'm often just hitting REM sleep at that point...

  • Stacey says:

    I empathize completely - I work much better at night, but my progeny wake up at 7AM. And there's no way I'm giving up the hours between preschool pick-up and bedtime to be with them. So I just continue to be sleep deprived and/or wrestle with the snooze button every morning.

  • Zuska says:

    I, too, prefer to work late at night and it sucks because best gardening hours are early morning. I don't have kids but do have a spouse whose work schedule gets him up early each day. Not good to be on different schedules.

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