10 Reasons Why My Plan To Go To Bed Early Fails

It’s been a long few weeks for me.  I’ve had a number of responsibilities all cross paths and it’s been tiring.  Exhausting even.  At the end of the day, all I really want to do is go to sleep.  But for some reason, my head never seems to hit the pillow until at least 11pm.  And as I lay there drifting off to sleep, I tell myself “tomorrow will be different”.  But it’s not.  I get drawn into the same traps every night.  So I started thinking: why do I keep failing at this whole ‘going to bed early’ thing?  Here are just a few reasons I came up with:

Read a book:  I have this problem where if I start a book, I can’t stop reading it.  I will literally ignore every non-essential thing in my day so I can read.  And then once my kids go to bed, I keep reading.  As a teenager, I used to stay up way past my bedtime so I could read and then I’d wake up for school the next morning so tired.  I guess some habits die hard.

Watch a show/movie:  I have a love/hate relationship with Netflix.  I love that I can watch a good series multiple episodes in a row.  I hate that pushing the pause button is so hard.  Just one more episode, I say.  (Two episodes ago.)

Do a craft:  My kids are still little and the concept of not touching my craft stuff is foreign to them.  Any time I open the door to my craft room, it’s like they are drawn in by some invisible magnet.  Hence, the reason I don’t get to work on crafts nearly as often as I’d like to.  Often, I’ll be thinking how nice it would be to work on (fill-in-the-blank) after the kids go to bed, only to find I am too tired, or it’s a much bigger project than I expected and starting it keeps me up so I can make it worth pulling out all the supplies/materials to work on it.

Catch up on the blog:  A question I hear often from my husband: “You bloggin’ it up tonight?”  My response is usually “yes”.  Try as I might, I can’t see to quite get ahead on this whole blogging thing.  I really enjoy it, but it is time consuming and there are many nights (like tonight) when I’m up working on a post, editing pictures or researching topics. 

10 Reasons Why My Plan To Go To Bed Early Fails

Straighten the house:  Before my husband and I had kids, it was easy to keep our house clean.  Now, it’s a rare thing.  There are constantly piles of clothes or mail or laundry that need to be put away.  Dishes that need to be loaded or unloaded.  Bathrooms that need to be scrubbed and floors that need to be mopped.  Even when I’m cleaning up messes throughout the day, there is always, always, something else that needs my attention.

Desire to relax but I don’t want to go to bed yet:  This is a weird, but true one.  I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it.  You can be dead tired.  Ready to hit the hay.  You look at the clock and see that it’s only 8:30pm.  What?  you think, I can’t go to bed at 8:30.  I should do something productive with my time.  And this is when you turn on Netflix and waste 3 hours of your life.  All because it seems weird to go to bed early.  Hello, self!  If you got more sleep, you’d realize this is actually a really dumb way to think.  Never mind the fact that you’d probably think a lot more clearly if you just went to be at 8:30 in the first place…

Have adult conversation:  Sometimes at the end of the day, all you want is a conversation that doesn’t involve any of the following words or phrases: potty, boogers, get down from the table, no you may not have another cookie, potty, change your bum, stop fighting, talk quieter, or (my favorite) potty.

I get hungry: The longer I stay up since eating dinner, the more likely I am to get hungry and want to eat some food before I go to bed.  Then I have a dilemma: eat some food or go to bed with a grumbly stomach.  More often than not, my stomach wins and I stare at the fridge or pantry looking for something that sounds good, but my brain is having a hard time computing what I’m seeing so it takes a while to decide what I want and then I’m really tired and hungry.

Social media:  How is it possible that certain parts of the day can pass by so slowly, while others simply speed by?  The time between the kids bedtime and mine always goes by so fast that I often wonder what in the world I just spent my time doing.  That’s what happens when I am sitting in bed, just scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest.  *yawn*  Maybe I’ll just lay down while I scroll instead.  Ah, yes.  Much more comfortable.

10 Reasons Why My Plan To Go To Bed Early Fails

Shower:  And last, but certainly not least, a reason why my plans to go to be early fail: I take a shower at night.  Taking a shower at night requires that I do one of three things: blow dry my hair, leave it wet, or take a shower early enough that it simply air drys.  Why not get up early?, you say.  Because, I say, I am not a morning person and I avoid getting up before I absolutely have to.  I love taking showers at night because there’s no reason to hurry.  I can take a 30 minute shower without worrying that there won’t be enough hot water for someone or something else.  No one is pounding on my door or barging in wanting something.  No, thank you.  However, the downside of taking a shower at night: it wakes me up, so I end up staying awake even later, probably doing one of the other reasons I just listed.

Can you identify with any of these reasons?

It’s OK to Want (& Take) A Break from Your Kids

It's OK to Want (& Take) A Break from Your Kids--a nice reminder that taking a little break from our kids is totally OK
This post originally appeared on Muddy Little Toes where I was previously a co-contributor.

After my daughter was born, I remember thinking, “How could anyone ever get tired of being with their kids?”  I know what you might be thinking: “That chick was seriously sleep deprived if that’s what was going through her mind.”  Yes.  I was extremely sleep deprived.  But I also remember feeling so amazed by all the little things I saw my daughter learning and how she seemed to grow overnight.  However, I also remember the days when I felt like I couldn’t take another moment of being mom to my beautiful, screaming, daughter.  My husband would come home from work and I’d hand him our baby and shut myself in the bathroom for a half hour just to get a little alone time.

It's OK to Want (& Take) A Break from Your Kids--a nice reminder that taking a little break from our kids is totally OK

Now I have two kids and while I love them with all my heart, I just can’t keep them entertained all day, every day.  And honestly, I think sometimes they get a little tired of me too!  And now I’m going to tell you a secret: it’s totally OK, even normal, to want a break from your kids.  To take some time away from them.  Time away from being mom.  Time away from the stresses of running a household.  Time away from breaking up sibling fights and trying to think of creative ways to keep your kids busy for a few minutes so you can use the bathroom without an audience (can I get an amen?).

Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a husband who actually pushes me out of the house as I’m reminding him to give the kids a bath before bed and not let our daughter have a treat because she didn’t eat enough for dinner.  “What am I going to do by myself?” I say to him.  “I don’t know.  Just go somewhere,”  he tells me.  So I do.  Sometimes I run an errand that I’ve been putting off because I didn’t want to take the kids with me.  Other times, I wander aimlessly around a store.  And then sometimes I just bring a book with me and read it at the park.  This time away from my kids rejuvenates me and restores my energy.  It gives me space to organize my thoughts.

It's OK to Want (& Take) A Break from Your Kids--a nice reminder that taking a little break from our kids is totally OK

But there are also times when being by myself isn’t what I want.  I want to be with my friends, doing something we enjoy.  Whether it’s chatting over sandwiches at Kneaders, discussing a book at the neighborhood book club, having backyard BBQs or going to see a chick-flick, it’s time with friends.  Friends who, for the most part, are going through the same stage in their life with their own kids as I am with mine.  They get me.  They get my struggles.  My frustrations.  They know how it feels to have a child completely potty trained, only to have them regress.  They also share in my successes, like getting up and exercising before the kids wake up.  This time away with my friends boosts me up and reminds me that I’m not alone.

When I come home and walk back through my door, I’m always greeted with hugs and cries of “It’s Mommy!”  My kids are happy to see me after my time away.  And I’m happy to see them too.  I also know I’ll probably need another break from them next week.  And it’s OK.