I've made mention before that I'm a night owl by nature. This alone poses problems when you're a parent, but on top of that, I have a whole other sleeping thing going on. I like to call it irresponsible exhaustion.
Now pay attention, here's how it goes:
At no time during the day do I get more than five minutes, if I'm really, really lucky, of uninterrupted time to answer emails, work on projects, complete loose ends with work, return phone calls, and work on that pesky dissertation. By the time bedtime rolls around, I'm itching to get some things done.
Usually, around 7:30 or so, while the girls are winding down, I plop myself on the couch with them and doze a little. A little powernap, if you will.
Once the girls are in bed, I'm doing all the things I wish I could have done all day long. Oh, and I do the things I didn't (and don't) want to do, but need to be done. While this also includes things like getting school bags ready, loading the dishwasher, and generally preparing for the next day, there are also a ton of 'me' items on that list of things to do once the kids are in bed.
On the rare nights when I've finished all my tasks, I still find myself sitting downstairs, not even making an effort to go to bed. Even when I'm done on those busy nights, I linger downstairs. I look at houses for sale on the internet, poke around Facebook, browse Pinterest, watch an episode of some show I've seen before, organize files, edit pictures... yes, I waste time. But for some reason, I can't bring myself to go to bed.
I stay up too late every single night because I want that time to do whatever the hell I want to do, even if it means I am mindlessly wasting my time.
Now, logic would tell you that this is a stupid idea. And it is. Inevitably, I can't fall asleep once I'm in bed or someone (repeatedly) wakes me during the night, causing me to get less sleep than I can survive on. What follows a late night with interrupted sleep is an early, grouchy morning. And then? A grouchy midday. I am exhausted, day in and day out because I do not make myself go to bed, even when I can.
You heard it here first folks. I'll start the support group, you write the twelve step recovery program.