I’m a mom of two little kids, a pediatric RN, and a self-proclaimed night owl. I used to try and change the fact that I stay up excessively late every single night. I did that because literally no one tells you it’s okay to do otherwise.
Well, I am here to let you ladies off the hook! I read up on sleep routines for myself as if I were sleep training an infant. I swore I would turn my phone off, stop reading, stop thinking, stop “To-Doing,” and instead lay in a deafening silence until I fell asleep. But then I was all, “Who am I kidding? That’s not me!” I get my best work done at night. It’s when I’m most creative. I clean at night. I prep meals for the next day at night. I regularly knock out my day’s to-do list after the 10 p.m. hour. The sooner I embraced that this is just how I’m wired, the happier I’ve been. So now, sure, when I’m scrolling through social media late at night and come across another D-list celebrity hawking a FabFitFun box in a poorly shot video, I roll my eyes and think maaaybe I should go to sleep. Especially when I’ve rolled my eyes only to realize that I lost the last 15 minutes of my life to some gal who was on The Bachelor four seasons ago. Who knew it could take so long to model every sewn corner of a blanket scarf that I don’t want?
I’ll admit, it greatly helps my situation that my husband is somewhat wired the same way. He requires almost no sleep and can fall asleep in record time. Honestly, it’s nothing short of amazing, and there are no words to accurately describe my jealously. I once watched him press play on the DVR, and immediately upon hitting that play button, he was asleep. Of course, me yelling, “No way!” woke him right up, but still, this is quite typical. He falls asleep quickly and doesn’t need a lot of it to be functional. It all ends in the same thing for us — we both stay up late, don’t get a lot of sleep, and are, in turn, quite a dynamic duo at night. Which is nice, because after doing life all day with our jobs and our kids, it’s great to have the night ahead of us and all to ourselves. Sometimes we tackle house projects, and sometimes we just spend time together. Either way, nighttime is our favorite time.
However, don’t get me wrong. I do love my sleep; it’s just that I’m not a great sleeper. So lo’ and behold, I have literally learned to survive on really sub-par sleep sessions. My best quality of sleep happens between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. And if my husband really wants to show that he loves me? He’ll let me sleep in! There have been many Saturday mornings where I’ve had grand plans trumped by his offer of letting me get a bit more shuteye. So my nights can be consistently inconsistent, but it just works.
And all in all, I just don’t think there’s enough credit given to the night-owl mamas among us. Don’t feel bad if you don’t gel with the “Early to bed, early to rise” mentality. I feel you! Whether it’s by necessity or choice, I know you’re out there. You’re the mom who puts her children to sleep and then breaks out a mop and dusting cloths. You’re the mom who rolls out a yoga mat at 9 p.m., ready to carve out time for yourself that had zero chance of being accomplished during the daytime. You’re the mom who knows she should go to sleep, but instead fully commits to the next several hours’ worth of Fixer Upper, not to be outdone by the following hour where you mentally knock all the walls down in your house, installing barn doors wherever they’ll fit. A full hypothetical design plan, and all before 2 a.m.! Your husband will thank you for those blueprints you’ve created come morning! You’re the mom who lays with one eye open because you know that at any minute, your child is going to come barreling across the house, full stampede, because he had another dream about a scary frog. You’re the mom who waits until the school night before to create a costume your child needs in a mere six hours, because you know it’s the only time you’ll have uninterrupted. You’re the mom who finds herself falling down the rabbit hole of your babysitter’s Instagram account at 1 a.m., and then agonizing because you accidentally liked her photo from 2014 (been there). You’re the mom who wraps every Christmas gift late at night because you appreciate silence and efficiency. And you’re the mom who simply enjoys a good glass of wine or tea… or block(s) of cheese (what?) at midnight. I see you. If you’re happy, if you’re getting stuff done, and if you’re enjoying your life in the process, don’t knock the night stuff!
So cheers to us, night owl mamas! We’re an odd breed who has figured out how to deposit valuable time into our days when no one else sees it. It’s my best-kept mom secret, and one that really isn’t a secret at all… and I know I’m not the only one. I see you walking your kids to school with that comically massive cup of coffee. I see you putting off everything you need to get done until the late-evening hours. And I see you enjoying your little ones (albeit a third cup of coffee in hand!) with the knowing look in your eyes that they WILL eventually give you some peace and quiet and the daily tasks WILL get done, because they WILL eventually go to sleep that night. Even if you’re very far behind them. And even if the daily tasks never actually see the day.