To the mom who stays up (way) past her bedtime

Ah, another night, another midnight bedtime, I think to myself (again) as my head hits the pillow.

I have always been a night owl, and you’d think since becoming a parent I would have switched from night owl to early bird…but…I haven’t.

I mean, I still have to get up early with my children. But, I also still go to bed late—for a variety of reasons. The desire to get time to myself almost always beats out getting a great night’s sleep.

But, why?

Why, when Arianna Huffington has proclaimed sleep to be the key to success? If sleep is her superpower, mine must be surviving daily on 6 hours of sleep and lots and lots of coffee. (I mean, isn’t that why there are so many coffee/mom memes out there?)

Why, when the Public Library of Science Journal tells us that people who sleep around 6 hours a night have a waistline that’s 1.2 inches larger than those getting around 9 hours? (So, if I sleep more does that mean I don’t have to exercise then? Because maybe I can get down with that…)

Why, when we are told that our sleep schedules are just as important as our childrens?

Why, when we KNOW we are working around 98 hour weeks and absolutely could use any extra rest we can get?

Why, when the mental load of motherhood is exhausting and I know that but yet I continue to push ‘rest’ down to the bottom of my to-do list?

Well, let me tell you…

I stay up late because the allure of peace and quiet—while everyone else sleeps—is too appealing to miss out on.

I stay up late because the desire to have time to myself—to do whatever I want, without answering to anyone else—is too precious to pass up.

I stay up late because I want time to zone out and binge watch Parenthood without feeling like I need to be doing anything else.

I stay up late because my passion for my work runs deep, and sometimes I just can’t seem to switch it off.

I stay up late because I want to finally start that book I bought a month ago.

I stay up late because I want to do a face mask and sit in the tub without feeling rushed.

I stay up late because I want a sliver of time to feel like “human-adult-me.” Not “mom-wife-me.” Just me.

I stay up late because I want time to let my brain think and process—without distractions and noise.

I stay up late because at 11:00 p.m. toddlers aren’t asking to go to the park or to make waffles. (Usually.)

I stay up late because I am mildly addicted to technology and often find myself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram to catch up on what’s going on in the world before I give in to sleep.

I stay up late because I can’t seem to be okay with the fact that I don’t get any time to myself during the day. Does time while sleeping count as “time to myself?”

(I don’t think I can survive on my “me time” also being my sleep time…)

I stay up late because I always have. And my life as a mother has changed enough for me. I want to keep this part of my past non-mom life in tact. (I’m stubborn like that.)

I stay up late because even the “you need to go to bed earlier!” talks I get from my husband don’t make me feel bad enough to stop this addiction.

I stay up late because no matter how many times I go to bed late, then wake up and swear “I’m going to bed at 9:30 tonight no matter what!”—I literally never do.

These late night hours are my time to be selfish. To think of me—and me only. In this world of motherhood, we don’t often get time or space to put our needs first. Because throughout the day, the needs of others must be filled. But late at night, my people are all safely, peacefully sleeping, and I can focus on whatever is calling to me in the moment.

It’s my time to be choosey in a life that consists mostly on making choices for and on behalf of other people.

Every time these free, peaceful hours are calling to me, I try to tell them I need sleep. That sleep is good for my brain and my body and my soul. But they always counter argue with the fact that staying up late and fitting “me time” in is even better for me. And they usually win.

Mostly, I stay up late because it is one way I stay sane in this very intense life of mothering young children. This quiet, uninterrupted time to myself fuels me in a way sleep can’t right now. (And yes—I’m sure sleep experts out there would argue otherwise!)

So maybe when my kids are a little older, I’ll get more sleep…maybe not.

Either way—for now—you can find me wide awake at that alluring, quiet midnight hour happily doing, well…whatever I want! By Colleen from Motherly Colleen Temple Colleen is a wife and mom to three awesome girls. She is the Motherly Stories Editor at Motherly. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

xxxxx,

Janice

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I DON’T HELP MY WIFE. YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER.

I do not help my wife.

A friend came to my house for coffee, we sat and talked about life. At some point in the conversation, I said, “I’m going to wash the dishes and I’ll be right back.”

He looked at me as if I had told him I was going to build a space rocket. Then he said to me with admiration but a little perplexed: “I’m glad you help your wife, I do not help because when I do, my wife does not praise me. Last week I washed the floor and no thanks.”

I went back to sit with him and explained that I did not “help” my wife. Actually, my wife does not need help, she needs a partner. I am a partner at home and through that society are divided functions, but it is not a “help” to do household chores.

I do not help my wife clean the house because I live here too and I need to clean it too.

I do not help my wife to cook because I also want to eat and I need to cook too.

I do not help my wife wash the dishes after eating because I also use those dishes.

I do not help my wife with her children because they are also my children and my job is to be a father.

I do not help my wife to wash, spread or fold clothes, because the clothes are also mine and my children.

I am not a help at home, I am part of the house. And as for praising, I asked my friend when it was the last time after his wife finished cleaning the house, washing clothes, changing bed sheets, bathing her children, cooking, organizing, etc. You said thank you

But a thank you of the type: Wow, sweetheart !!! You are fantastic!!!

Does that seem absurd to you? Are you looking strange? When you, once in a lifetime, cleaned the floor, you expected in the least, a prize of excellence with great glory … why? You never thought about that, my friend?

Maybe because for you, the macho culture has shown that everything is her job.

Perhaps you have been taught that all this must be done without having to move a finger? Then praise her as you wanted to be praised, in the same way, with the same intensity. Give her a hand, behave like a true companion, not as a guest who only comes to eat, sleep, bathe and satisfy needs … Feel at home. In his house.

The real change of our society begins in our homes, let us teach our sons and daughters the real sense of fellowship!

Author unknown but truly awesome…via momminghard

xxxxxx,

Janice

Someone Sweet Is Turning Two….

I am the luckiest and proudest mom of the most beautiful and hilarious little boy. My sweet baby…you are one of a kind, mini me—and I’m not just saying that because you’re my son. You are so much fun to be around; your passion for life is contagious.

BabyImage via Daddy’s Iphone. Mini me was 3 months old.

My wish for your birthday is that you will stay as sweet as you are today, and happy and healthy always. Happy second birthday, my delicious baby boy—I love you more than you’ll ever truly know.

Love,
Maman