My husband hates that I’m not a morning person

Dear Meredith,

My husband hates that I'm not a morning person. We've been married for one year, are in our late 30s, and are starting the process of have kids. I've never been a morning person. Both of our alarms are set for 7 a.m., but while he jumps out of bed, I snooze until 8 because I don't have to be at work until 9. On weekends, if I don't have morning plans, I sleep until 9:30 or 10. My husband will be up around 7 or 8. When I need to get up, I do.

Once a week I'm in the office by 8 for a weekly early meeting. I've never missed an early morning flight, doctor's appointment, or anything else. I guess my point is, when I need to get up early, I always do. But it's not really how my body operates. My problem is, my husband thinks that anyone who isn't a morning person is just plain lazy. That always bothered me (I'm the opposite of lazy!), but what's really the issue is that he recently told me that he's concerned about having kids because it's "a struggle" for me to get out of bed in the mornings.

He says he's worried that he'll get stuck with all the mornings of child care. I told him that I've never not gotten up when I needed to (children would be a need), and that it might be a good thing if I'm a night owl and he's a morning person, because I could take night shifts and he could take mornings. His response was that babies sleep through the night after a few months (ha!), so I'd be off the hook and he'd still be on morning duty. It's infuriating to have to defend myself against his baseless concerns. I guess my question is this – how do I get him not to judge me for not being a morning person? And to not pre-judge me about our future with children when it's hypothetical AND baseless? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

– Getting Up


First, let's talk about the superpowers that people seem to develop when they have a baby. I have friends who slept until 11 before having kids, and then suddenly, out of necessity, they became people who wake up at 5 and only require a few hours of rest. Some of them have existed without sleep for years. It baffles me. I'm sure commenters with kids can tell you more, but your husband should know that people change their routines when a baby arrives. Maybe he'll no longer be a morning person. You never know.

Second, let's talk about his judgement, in general. No one wants to feel like their partner thinks they're lazy. Is that what's happening here? Do you walk around believing that your husband would describe you as someone who doesn't accomplish enough each day? If that's the case, you should work that out before having a kid. Take it to therapy and get a reality check.

So much of sharing huge responsibilities with a parter is about having faith that they're doing their share. When you're up in the middle of the night with a kid in your lap, and your first instinct is to resent the person who's absent, you need to be able to believe that your partner has done a million things you simply didn't witness. You need to know, in your heart, that they care as much as you do.

You deserve to share the experience with someone who understands what you offer and trusts that you're doing your best. Work on that – and take it seriously – before you jump to the next step.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts on mornings and partners and kids?