Exhausted Night Owl By Choice


I am a night owl.  I love staying up late.  I almost never hit the pillow before midnight and a lot of times it is 1 or 2 am.  I’m not saying it’s healthy, I’m just saying it’s true.  I also get up by 6 or 7 every morning, so it’s not like I am just adjusting my schedule.  I am voluntarily giving up sleep to be up this late.  I know it sounds crazy.  It sounds crazy to me too.

All day long I am the caretaker for my family.  I get up before everyone else (unless some little person has decided 5 am is the designated wake up time for the day), and I go to bed last.  I am quite happy with that.  I love caring for everyone and my husband works super hard at two jobs while going to school to provide for our family.  We are a team and this works for us and I wouldn’t change a thing… right? But I pour out all day long. I am touched and needed and called for and engaged to “watch” them do stuff and it’s amazing, but, with the exception of a few brief moments here and there, I am giving.  This is that season of life, and I am perfectly content with it except that… I could use a moment where no one needs me.  

I stop Mommying at 8:00, 8:30 at the latest.  Unless you are barf-type sick, maimed in such a way that you will bleed out before morning, or there is an actual fire, save it Sammy.  Mom is done.  I will spend time with dad before he goes to bed and then it’s Mommy time.  This is where I shine.  I can do laundry, or prep for the next day, or just binge watch Hulu eating all the snacks I didn’t want to pull out in front of the kids because I didn’t want to share.  I am alone.  It is quiet.  No one is pulling on my pants for any reason.  There will be no dangerous things happening in the next room to investigate or hurt feelings to assuage.  It’s just me; and I can’t stop.  

I know what a reasonable bedtime hour is for someone my age with my schedule.  I’m not an idiot.  I am VERY tired during the day, everyday, and sometimes I take naps. Ok, a lot of times I take naps. I used to think I was tired in college.  19 year old me deserves a kick in the pants for that kind of lunacy.  This is on a whole new level. I know why I’m tired, but I’m not willing to change it yet.  I need this time.  I spend time with God and with myself.  I hear myself think, I solve the world’s problems, I text my other night owl friends, and I just generally re-engage myself.  I know I am trading one type of restoration for another, but at this stage in the game, my nights are my places where I find myself. And so, for now, I am an exhausted night owl by choice. 

Maybe one day, when the baby owls need me less and I regain some of my day, I will want to sleep earlier.  I have always appreciated the night, but with age I have come to see the value in sleep as well.  It is a tough balance, and maybe one day I will be better at it.

What about you, tired mama? How do you refresh and engage?  Is sleep your primary motivator or do you love the quiet of the night like me? 

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Jessica was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, GA (Go Braves!) She has a BA in Psychology and a teaching certification, which she used to teach K-2 self-contained autism classes before her children were born. She moved to Memphis 6 years ago following a job for her husband. Their whole family fell in love with this city and now her mom and brother-in-law’s family have moved here too! She has a 9 year old daughter, a 6 year old son, another 6 year old son (not twins – adoption rocks!), a five year old daughter, and a live-in mom. It’s a busy house but always an adventure! Jessica home schools 3 of her children and one is in public school. Two of her children also have chronic illnesses so she spends a lot of time on the phone and in doctors offices, and just trying to keep up with life in general – not to mention the laundry! Jessica and her husband, Jody, are planting a church in downtown Memphis called Riverdeep Church. They just celebrated their church’s 1 year anniversary and spend most of their free time renovating their 100+ year old building. When there is any other down time, Jessica has developed the ability to sleep on command and does so whenever possible. She also enjoys cooking for her daughter who has very specific dietary needs, coffee with friends, dating her husband, and watching people’s faces when she blasts the rap music in the minivan.


  1. This post describes my life to a tee! I know I should be sleeping but I love the quiet of the night as it’s difficult to come by during the day.

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