My husband asked me a silly question the other day: “Why do you stay up late if you’re always so tired the next day?”
I’m not sure if he’s just sick of my complaining about being tired, or if he knows I basically turn into a tantrum-throwing toddler when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Or maybe he really is genuinely worried about my sleep habits. Well, dear husband, I’ll tell you why I stay up so late, despite my better judgment:
When the kids go to bed, that’s when I get my life back.
This is the quiet time when the house is mine, the snacks are mine, the TV is mine, and “personal space” actually means something.
This is when I can feel normal again because the only needs I have to meet are my own.
The quiet house reminds me of what life used to be like before things got so crazy and different. When I’m hearing tantrums and crying all day, sometimes it’s hard to remember why I wanted kids and I yearn for our “old” life. But when I get this chance to miss them, I’m reminded of the blessing that they are and it strengthens me for the next day.
And honestly, there are times I don’t even want you around because I feel so touched out. So these late night hours give me that alone time I crave so much.
Late night hours don’t demand a different meal when I’ve slaved over an entrée already.
Late night hours don’t crawl all over me and knee me in the face or boobs.
Late night hours won’t destroy my house with toys or pee all over the bathroom floor.
Late night hours don’t care if I put off work or chores to spend too much time on Facebook.
Late nights won’t stare me down while I eat a Twix and salivate until I share my goodies.
Late night hours provide me emotional rest, until I’ve calmed my mind enough to go physically rest.
So even though I usually end up getting only 5 hours of decent sleep, night after night I still stay up later than I know I should because these benefits outweigh exhaustion, for now. And you know what? I’m not going to apologize for that! Sure, I’ll try to act less like a brat and pick fewer fights when I’m so tired. But I’m pretty sure I’ll still stay up late most nights because that time is too important to me. Eventually, I’ll train my sleeping habits to be more responsible, but in the mean time, just nod along and turn a deaf ear to my complaining. And please pretend to have sympathy for me, even though I’ve done it all to myself!