Night Owl, Morning Buzzard

Isn't it pretty awesome* how the older you get, the more sleep deprivation sucks?

*And by "awesome" I mean "stupid and unfair."

There was a time in my life when three or four hours of sleep was the norm. In my college days and early twenties, I could party study all night and still make it to class or work the next morning, fresh-faced and relatively unfazed. But these days when I get three or four hours of sleep, I wake up looking like something that's been dead for like a month. And I feel even worse: like I'm hung over. Only without having so much as a drop of alcohol. Which is also "awesome."

Still, I'm a glutton for punishment. Because I can't. Seem. To stop. Staying. Up. Late.

It's just ... the irresistible allure of quiet time. You know? Those precious hours after the kids go to bed. When nobody is bickering, or shouting to be heard over his brothers who are also shouting. When nobody is asking for a drink or help with wiping or the umpteenth snack of the day. When my TV is not monopolized with video games or Nickelodeon. When I'm not yelling things like "Stay out of the window! You're naked!" and "Go put some pants on!" and "You cannot possibly still be hungry!" and "Stop hitting your brother!" When I'm free to do basically whatever it is I want to do, privately, uninterrupted. Whether it's a shower wherein I actually have time to shave, some solo toilet time, or watching stupid videos on the Internet, I can indulge without hearing, "Mommy, I want ..." or "Mommy, can you ..." or "Mommy, he's ..." a hundred times.

But then the next morning, when my alarm goes off just after six, I feel like I spent the previous night clubbing and slamming down shots instead of sitting on the couch in my fat pants watching Teen Mom and eating ice cream. My eyes are scratchy and dry. My head is pounding. I'm disoriented and groggy and do things like accidentally serve my kids frozen waffles that are still frozen. No wonder the butter didn't spread right.

Sometimes I feel all indignant about it. Like, if I'm gonna feel this way I might as well be out having fun first. But then I realize that at this point in my life, lounging on my couch with a snack and some cheesy TV and a few precious, uninterrupted moments to chill is fun. Much more so than stuffing my poor boobs into a pushup bra (okay, rolling them up and lifting them in with heavy machinery) and going out to a crowded club and forking over my hard-earned cash for overpriced drinks.*

*Which is another problem I never used to have, because dudes are generous when you're young and cute, but that's a story for a different post.

So tonight I'll stay up until I realize I'm drooling on myself, and then tomorrow morning I'll wake up like, "Why? Whyyyy?"

But it's okay. Because one thing is still the same, even after all these years: sometimes, a little fun is worth it.


  1. I end up staying up late most nights- it's the lure of peace and quiet.

  2. Yes. Sometimes I find myself staring at the wall because my brain is logging off from doing all the things.

  3. I still do that, even now that I'm retired and living alone. I guess old habits really are hard to break!

  4. Just came across your blog and while I'm not a mom, I can so relate to a lot of your posts about aging, technology passing us by......oy! Look forward to reading more. :)

  5. I'm a night owl as well. I force myself into bed by 11. It's tough!

  6. Rita, my husband programmed his phone alarm for ten thirty pm, it says "go to bed, dummy". We tried, but it's just a joke now.
    mom of four


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