When my mom was still alive, she would sometimes call me in the mornings around 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. When she would realize that her phone call had roused me from my slumber, she would chide me a little bit with, “the day is half over, honey. Why are you sleeping so late?” When I would tell her, “mom, I’ve only been in bed for 2 hours” then she would give me a hard time about staying up so late.

Those of you that work in group home situations know that we are often working weird hours, since there needs to be someone awake and working 24/7/365. My mom worked in the business world and her idea of “work” was 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; off on all major holidays; and, two weeks of vacation every year.

I bring up this memory, because we often have to check our perceptions. My mother’s perception was that since I was still sleeping at 8:30 in the morning I must be having a lazy kind of day. My mom would regularly fall asleep watching television by 10:00 p.m. (and sometimes quite a bit earlier). If someone falls asleep at 10 p.m. it would make sense that they would be awake and ready for the day after an 8 hour sleep – so by 6 or 7 a.m. However, if I went to bed at 5:00 a.m. I’m certainly in the middle of my sleep at 8 a.m.

This cycle continued for quite a while until I finally started to tell my mom, “when you call me at 8:00 a.m. mom, that’s like if I would call you at 2 in the morning!” Her perception started to change after that, thankfully.

Of course, now that she’s been gone for almost seven years, I’d give just about anything for her to call and wake me up in the middle of my sleep, but I’m very happy that at least we had a chance to work out her perception of my sleeping habits!

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor