Attempting to sleep, parent, and be a musician

I have been dreading this year. From a place of “should”, when we set up the 2016/2017 schedule I decided that I had to be available to the kids (or at least to Hazel) at 7:15 in the morning, while also practicing cello (or rehearsing) frequently past 10 pm the previous night. Since the school bell schedule has also changed (is earlier), I had set aside the twins’ nap for Mommy-Hazel time too, meaning that I’d be on with absolutely no break from 7:15 in the morning until 10:15 at night. Imagine having meetings for 15 solid hours.

I can’t do it.

Last night I was at a rehearsal, after which we had an organizational talk. I got back home around 1:30. I was asleep at 2:30. When the alarm went off at 7:15 I knew two things. 1) I cannot stay up that late. I just can’t tolerate it, cannot be functional and reasonably cheerful the next day, cannot physically stay healthy. 2) I cannot do mornings. I cannot burn the candle at both ends for years and survive the process. To be a more functional person, a better parent, and a professional cellist, I have to prioritize my own well-being as well as the necessities of my family.

So, Ted will do mornings with Hazel; an hour later I will do mornings with the twins (whose alarm is set to a later time than is Hazel’s). Except in case of emergency, I will stop working (whether that’s doing dishes, practicing cello, working on the business end of my job, rehearsing) by 10:30 pm, and I will have the lights out by 11 pm.

Ted and I have discovered over and over that setting aspirational goals tends to bite us in the ass. Goals are great. But goals that loftily ignore the realities of circumstance, body, mind and spirit tend to drive us down instead of lifting us up.

This has been repetition # 1,406,2840,948 of this particular lesson. Thank you, universe. Really. 🙂


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