Whether you’re a fellow tired mom reading this (hello there!) or a husband who wonders why the mother of your kids is always tired but stays up late into the night, you’ve come to the right place. I’m sure I am not the only mother out there who needs more sleep than they get but will sometimes choose to stay up late anyway.
It’s 3am and I am sitting in the dark typing this with a nice cup of hot tea in my hand. I’m tired after a long day at work but I’m determined to stay awake. For at least 8 hours everyday, I do stuff at work that’s completely unrelated to raising my family and as soon as I’m done with the day, I rush home to embrace the crazy evenings we have at home.
Related: Here’s why working moms can’t work late (and it’s not because we don’t want to)
It may only be 2 to 3 hours that I get to spend with my 2 boys every week night but they really can exhaust me emotionally, mentally and physically at times. I am not proud to confess that sometimes on bad days, I wish their bed time would come sooner. :X
I’m dead tired by the time they are asleep. It’s 10pm but I haven’t had time to wind down. I actually really miss the “fire-gazing time” I used to have before the kids came along. Now it’s like such an indulgence.
I am always wishing for more time to sleep but once my kids go to bed (and if I don’t get knocked right out alongside them), I’m usually determined to stay up late.
I rather stay up late.
So why exactly do I, and most moms actually, complain about needing more sleep but when they do get the chance to, they choose otherwise?
Here’s why Mothers choose to stay up late.
Yes I need sleep but sleep is at odds with what I need for sanity, and that is “me time”. And this is exactly why moms are always tired. Because we tend to sacrifice sleep for solitude.
And this is coming from me, someone who works full time. Imagine how much more down time a stay at home would need.
Every night when I put my kids to bed, I wait them out. I wait till they are dead asleep before I creep out of bed like a ninja and that’s when my down time begins.
The house is AMAZINGLY quiet at 1am. The home is perfectly still.
I do whatever I want, I eat whatever I want… and I don’t have to share anything – food, lap, personal space, anything!
I don’t get asked questions and I don’t have curious little minds carefully observing what I’m doing.
I don’t have to prevent sibling fights or fix train tracks or pick up toys, or clean little fingers…!
I just want some time when the house is completely quiet and no one is screaming or arguing… and I can actually hear myself think and do something without getting interrupted.
I binge-watch a TV Series, write on this blog, do some e-shopping, scroll through social media mindlessly, make a snack, basically, just really chill out. This it the only time of the day I get to reach for that hidden ice cream stash tucked deep inside my freezer and just sprawl out on the bed and zone out
This precious time of my day is carved out to catch up on all non-work, non-mom areas of my life.
It’s my sacred time to be ME.
Not a mom, or as an employee, but ME – as a human, adult ME.
Parents need to emotionally recharge, so we stay up late and take a quiet moment of consciousness for ourselves.
We love our children but one can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of everyone else
We have to mentally unwind. For me or most of us, that means we will be up after bedtime — for however long that takes. Once I’m done, I feel calm and relaxed and I feel prepared to do it all over again. Those quiet moments of solitude can do so much to restore me. Sure, sleep is important but this sense of peace is more important than sleep.
I sometimes wake up feeling like a mombie, or I have a headache from watching too much TV or sometimes I wake up feeling bloated because I ate too much chips while the kids were asleep but it is all worth it because I feel peaceful and I feel emotionally and mentally recharged.
I’m tired, but I’m grateful and one day when the kids are all grown, there will be plenty of time to sleep. :)
Tell me how you unwind in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.