Sleeping on the Campaign Trail

While most of us will never have to experience the kind of stress that goes with a political life, our interior design man, Randy Florke, provides rare insight on how to make sleeping on the campaign trail, (even with kids) a real possibility. For once, here's some advice that's not just politically correct, it's bedtime basic!


As some of you may or may not know, my partner of twenty years is running for U.S Congress in NY-18th District.  There is no way to predict how a process like this will affect your life and certainly how it might affect your sleep! While I usually write about decor this time, I thought it might be more timely to write from a very personal, experiential point of view.

I sincerely believe that no job, (no matter how busy or demanding) can compare to that of running a race for public office. The amount of stress, work, "meeting and greeting," as well as the need to be, "on" at all times takes a toll on even the strongest.

Having said all that, one might assume that my partner, Sean Patrick Maloney, would be sleeping a lot worse than he normally does. I, however, think the opposite is true. Certainly, he is sleeping fewer hours than he might or should if he were working a typical job, but, I believe he is sleeping better in no small part because he is doing something he loves.   He feels this work will be ultimately important to our country and that brings him peace of mind like no other job.

That said, my job in all of this has been to make sure he has the space and location he needs to take advantage of every scarce moment to rest and recharge in order to head back out the next morning and start anew. I believe I have done that by making our bedroom as comfortable as possible and, by keeping the kids as tame as possible while he is trying to rest!

The campaign affects me quite differently. I've gotten use to sleeping alone more often.  It is strange how quickly one may adjust to being single in the bed. I would never have been accused of being a "cuddler," so having the entire bed to myself (I hate to admit), has been a treat for a light sleeper like myself.  Now, the adjustment period comes on weekends when it can be hard to adapt back to our previous lifestyle.  While sleeping in the same bed, I have to adjust to his snoring, tossing, turning and worst of all, early morning wake-u time. I can certainly appreciate how older people end up sleeping in separate beds and, how sleep eludes them more frequently.

As far as our kids go, they seem to have adjusted just fine. Perhaps, it is because since birth we have always slept between various homes. We usually spend the week at our place in the city and then pass the weekend at our farm in Sullivan County. Adding yet another home and location (in Sean's new district), into their lives doesn't seem to have had any negative impact on their sleeping schedule. Waking hours, however, are a different story! They seem to sense that we are feeling guilty because of our crazy busy schedules.  Therefore, they tend to increase the drama and attention that they require when we are around!  Maybe it's my imagination, but I don't think so,

In closing, I think the most important lesson here, it to do what you think is important. Everything else, including a good night's sleep and your family life will eventually fall into place!

See you in November!