I Used To Think I’d Sleep Better When My Kids Got Older. I Was So Wrong

My head hits the pillow almost every night by 9pm, but only when I can be disciplined enough to make this happen.

Honestly, there are days when I look forward to going to bed more than anything else. I crave sleep in a deep way since having kids and often think back to the days when I could fall asleep in 2.2 seconds. But alas, those days are long gone.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the temperature is perfect, the sheets feel amazing, and all is seemingly well with the world: sleeping doesn’t come easy these days. At least not a sound sleep.

My days of waking up to nurse, feed, and lull one of my kids back to sleep when they’ve had a bad dream, or didn’t feel well, have been in my rearview mirror for a long time.

mom sleeping
I slept better when my kids were little. (Twenty20 @ninaidea)

My Kids Sleep All Day, But I Still Don’t Sleep Better

I’m smack dab in the middle of doing my best to raise three teens who sleep more than any human has, ever.

They are old enough to call their own bedtime. They no longer sneak into bed with me. They no longer need me to bring them a drink. They no longer wake me at 4:30 am ready to face the day with their recorder and a donut craving.

These days, I’m lucky if they stumble out of their rooms so I can kiss their faces before noon during vacations and weekends.

These days they nap in the middle of the noisy living room without a story or a swaddle.

These days, I should be joining them in their slumber and taking the time to get the much -needed sleep I need but it’s not happening. Not even a little bit.

Because these days, I sleep worse than I have since I became a parent. And if you are a parent of a teenager, you know what I’m saying. It’s as if your sleep isn’t yours at all. You lie there and try to relax but somehow, your bed has become the catalyst to open up a container of all your worries including everyone’s schedules. And lord knows, if they are out with friends, there will be no sleep happening regardless of your tired-factor.

What did I forget to do today? I know I forgot to do something.
I should have given my son another talk before his date.
What if he forgets all the things we’ve talked about?
Did I remember to set a reminder for the orthodontist appointment?
Where did I put the damn slip?
I need to buy more almonds. We are out of almonds.
And Tylenol, my daughter and I are both due for our periods and we need to be ready.
Okay, turn off the brain, go to sleep.
Wait, when is that PSAT prep course?
What am I going to do when they are all in college and moved out and don’t live here anymore?

You are up half the night worrying, and despite that you wake up at the usual early hour because you’ve been conditioned by the younger years, but your kids sleep soundly until lunchtime.

As much as you’d like to follow suit, you can’t. You aren’t programmed to sleep in until the half the day is  over. Not to mention you have a house to clean, bills to pay, groceries to buy, and a spin class to go to because you are determined to invest in yourself now they are older, and sleeping doesn’t really accomplish that.

I’ll never forget when my first-born was a little babe and I was trying so hard not to wish the time away. I was so sleep deprived that I was only a quarter of the person I had been before, and I kept wishing that my son was old enough to put himself to bed, so I could regain some consciousness.

The time is here and oh, how wrong I was. In fact, all three of my teens not only put themselves to bed, they doze all over the place and I still cannot get my sleep habits to a good place.

Maybe one day I’ll sleep like I used to before I had kids, but I have a feeling those days are long gone. Someone, anyone, please hand me the coffee.

You Might Also Enjoy Reading: 

Grown and Flown: The Book

If You Don’t Love Being A Mom Of A Teen, You’re Not Alone

About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

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