My darling children,

I need you to keep something in mind as you hear what I’m about to say: I love you with every fiber of my being and I would move mountains and slay dragons to guard your precious hearts and shield you from harm. 


Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., I cannot stand you. 

(Reminder: I love you.) 

By the time bedtime rolls around, we’ve had an incredibly full day. I get you up and ready for school which basically feels like prodding a pack of surly cats towards water. We ping all over town in our disastrously messy car, shuttling between after-school activities, Target and everywhere in between. I fix you breakfast, lunch, dinner and about a thousand snacks. I keep you brushed and clipped and washed and fed. 

It’s a lot, kids. I do a freaking lot in a typical day for you. 

So, once I get you tucked into your beds, is it so much to ask that you just STAY ASLEEP?

(Reminder: I love you.)

Exhibit A: Your father and I stayed up too late (again) because the only quiet moments we can steal happen after 10 p.m. When we went to bed we must have tripped some alarm only babies can hear, because you, sweet daughter, were awake as soon as I was finally asleep. A nursing session and rocking was all you required, but it pushed my bedtime even further back. Yay!

Exhibit B: I kicked your dad out to the couch because he has a man cold. I sprawled across the bed and sank into my pillows, finally ready to drift off to dreamland. Just then you, darling three-year-old, tumbled in with a whimper, and I lifted the blankets for you to slide in next to me. You fell instantly back to sleep and proceeded to fling limbs into my face and spleen for the next two hours, until . . .

Exhibit C: You, dear boy, cried out, those pesky growing pains seizing your shins at 3am. I shuffled to the medicine cabinet for a dose of medicine and rubbed your legs until you calmed and sleep returned. 

Exhibit D: When I climbed back into bed, I groaned: you’d had an accident, little one. Stripping sheets and starting laundry in the predawn hours is always a joy, and by the time I collapsed onto the bare mattress and pulled a discarded sweatshirt from the floor for a blanket, I managed only an hour of sleep before my alarm went off, signaling the start of another busy day. 

I love you (remember?) but can this STOP?!

Sleep is good for all of us, I promise. When everyone is well-rested, our collective mood is about ten clicks happier than when we’re grumpy grumbly grouches severely short on sleep. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Mom and Dad are much more fun when we’ve had adequate rest. You’ll understand this phenomenon one day when you’re parents yourselves, but for now, you’ll just have to trust me. Big difference. 

So, in the interest of saving all of us heartache and me grey hairs, let’s make this solemn vow right here, right now, Daniel Tiger as our witness: I hereby promise to sleep all night in my own bed, from now until I turn 18, because I love my mother and father very much, amen. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. 


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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom