Granted, they are all in need of some sort of direction; that's why they're all living in my home and there is a lot I can do to advise them, but I don't need to get them up in the morning. Don't get me wrong, they haven't asked me to, but it has taken every fiber of my being to make myself stay in bed and not worry about whether they are doing what they need to do or whether they're on time.
The first week my oldest started work (just last week), I practically had to grab the sheets to make myself stay in bed. I chanted in my head, "She can do this, she can do this, please let her do this." And she did.
I realize if she messes up, I need to let her do that. However, I remember when I started a lifeguard job many years ago when my children were small and my mother was living with us, I thought my husband's clock radio would wake me. But after five or so years of hearing it every morning, I really didn't hear it any more. My first day, my mother had to wake my up. After that I got a regular beeping alarm.
I still don't hear my husband's clock radio. On the rare occasion he is gone and has forgotten to turn it off, I can sometimes sleep all the way through it. But still, I need to let her make mistakes and let her clean them up. It really is my part in getting her to accept eventual, total, independence.
Last weekend she picked up the cold my youngest and adopted middle daughter brought home from school. But she still drug herself out of bed the last couple days and made it to work on time without my intervention.
Okay, I must have full disclosure here (not unlike admitting to my youngest I sneezed schmutz onto her pretty blouse when I was folding clothes; although I cleaned it off, I felt she should know and have the option to put it back in the laundry basket or wouldn't be horrified if I didn't get it all), I am still waking up around the time they're all supposed to be getting up and looking at the clock and trying to do math in my head:
"My oldest is up. Should my youngest be up? The clock says 6:03, it's five minutes fast, my youngest gets up around 6:05, that would be 6:10 on my clock." Then I just hope my middle daughter is up too because I think she lets my youngest get a head start in the shower, which is prime fall-back-to-sleep-opportunity, but I make myself lie in bed until my alarm goes off at 6:10.
I also insist my oldest give me a break down of her morning routine or let me know if her day will be different than normal, otherwise she could find me bursting into her room at 6:00 in the morning yelling, "You're going to be late!" (She startles easily, like the other night when I went into the hall with my sleep apnea mask on to turn down the furnace and tell her not to take a full dose of Nyquil since she was going to bed so late and she came around the corner, screamed and held her heart because she didn't realize I was up wandering the house).
Fortunately, she is showering at night because she feels gross from her day of cleaning houses and sweating from the effort. It's not fortunate that she feels gross, but that she's taking a shower at night and there isn't that added shower for them to figure out how to fit in the morning.
And it's really not that I care if they have to all figure out how to get in three showers before 6:30 am, but that I'd probably wake up at 5:30 and start stressing out over it. I feel like if I have to tell one kid, even one time to wake up, it will be the end of their growing independence from me.
It's bad enough that I feel like I want more for their lives than they want for their lives, I shouldn't have to wake them up to live those lives. And I'm not. They seem to be doing fine - for now. The school year just started, the job just started.
But my middle daughter believes in lots of sleep and seems to be the catalyst for a decent bed time and it's trickling down to my oldest too.
This week it's been easier for me to stay in bed. My oldest's movement through the house is how I've been waking up these last few days. I still wonder if she's on time, still looking at the clock and doing morning math, but I'm still staying in my bed until my alarm goes off.
Although, it has taken every fiber of my being.