tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys

Why sleep when you could blog? The fight against closing eyes

Why don’t I ever go to bed when I should? I’m total exhausted and think, “I’m going to bed early tonight” most of the day, but then the kids go to sleep and I’m suddenly not so tired. Yes, I get that they are part of the reason I’m so tired, but an even bigger part is that I don’t get enough sleep. So why don’t I go to bed and get that much needed sleep when I have the chance? I even stay up past my husband many nights. No, it isn’t because I’m doing something terribly important or interesting. The reason I stay up so late at night is because it is the only time the whole day that I get any “me” time.

I’m with other people, usually little other people, all day. I really don’t get a moment to myself. Some people are early risers who get up and enjoy their coffee in the quiet of their home, but I have small children, so my three alarm clocks go off as early as 5:30 and I’m not a morning person, how could I be after the lousy night’s sleep I just had (see “Sleeping around”). Working people get to zone out or enjoy morning radio on their commute to work. When I get out of bed in the morning, I’m already at work. Even when I did work, most of the 3 1/2 years of kids in day care, I had to do the drop off, which was near work, so I only got about 10 minutes to myself by then, and I was usually already running so late because I had to go back for 50 more kisses before leaving my kids, that I had no time to enjoy the quiet. Anytime during my day when a normal person might get a moment to them self to zone out or think, I usually have a little person in tow. When I shower I have at least one little person standing, banging on the shower door, while I’m in there, if not in with me (my oldest’s newest thing because he’s a big boy and big boys shower). If I have to go to the bathroom, I have an entire crew that follows me in, including the dog. I don’t get to go out to lunch as part of my job, unless I’m taking three kids to Chic-Fil-A to enjoy the play area on a hot summer’s day. If I have to go anywhere, run errands, I have little people along with me, usually demanding something. I don’t have the luxury of going to the gym to burn off the stress of my day. My exercise usually consists of pulling a wagon or pushing a stroller to the park, lifting children overhead for airplane rides, or fighting small ones off the balance board while I attempt to do Wii fit. In the evening, bedtime is a process from which I do not emerge until 8:30 or 9:00 and then I must nurse the baby, who usually falls asleep on my lap, so even tv time with my husband includes a little one. Even once I get the baby down for a few hours, I’m still not alone, that’s when I enjoy another coveted time, time with my hubby. Still a person needs a certain amount of time to them self to think, feel, veg. So I stay up after my hubby goes to bed because I also know that not long after I climb into bed, I will be joined once again by little ones, whether it be the baby waking, or one of the other two sleepily stumbling into our room, hoping to stake their claim on a place in our bed. Then even my dreams are infiltrated by the kids as their kicks and snores work their way into my dreams.

So it isn’t that I’m not tired as I type this, I’m exhausted, it is just that this is the first real chance that I’ve had to be alone with my thoughts all day. So I’m up right now, way later than a should be, trying to enjoy some “me time,” but I’m so exhausted I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I think I’ll edit and post this tomorrow.

*Within minutes of finishing this and closing my eyes last night, the baby woke up. Within the hour, yet another little one joined me and proceeded to kick me all night long. Yet, here I am, up late again tonight. It’s a vicious cycle.


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