My mom has always been a great mom who has constantly poured into her kids. She’d take us to school every morning, didn’t push us too hard, and always listened without judgement.

But one, tiny thing, never made sense to me: it was always a real pain to get her up in the mornings. And as I got older, I wondered why this crazy lady didn’t just go to sleep earlier if she was so tired. Why did she do this to herself?

(I say as I write this at 3:45 a.m.)

Now that I’m a mom, I understand a lot of what my mom did.

My daughter goes to sleep around nine every night. Sometimes earlier, pretty much never later . . . and for a while my husband and I would go to sleep about the same time. But I quickly began to feel like we weren’t getting enough time together. That I wasn’t getting enough time to decompress and just be. 

So my dear, hardworking husband agreed to start staying up with me until 10 every night. Bless his heart, he never makes it. 

But it’s OK, because I have found comfort in the solitude. I’m able to write, read and relax . . . and then when I’ve had my moment, I get up and prepare for the morning—washing bottles, straightening up, folding and putting away laundry, packing my husband’s lunch. It’s all so peaceful that I don’t even mind that it’s chores and not something more “exciting”. If I’m still not quite ready to relinquish my “mommy time” I may run a bath or give my animals some much-needed cuddles (that don’t involve fur pulling from a well-meaning infant).

They say to take some time for yourself every once and awhile, and I agree that’s true, but I believe my mom had it right. Because now that I’m a mom, I realize she, too, did all of her extra duties at night, once we were all tucked away. And, like my mom, I feel like the best thing is to just have those hours of solitude when I get to reflect on the day and how lucky I was to be present for it. My beautiful daughter is constantly growing and learning, and she deserves a mom who fills up her own cup at night so it’s all ready to spill onto her by morning.

Some days, I wake up tired and think, “Why do you do this to yourself? Why don’t you just go to sleep earlier?” But then I look at my baby, just waking up and needing me, and remember that in the weirdest way possible, I do it for her—so I can be a mama for her who isn’t too stressed or close to the edge. I do it so I can be a mom like my mom, and that works for me.

Audri Little

I’m a wife to a Marine a and mom to a beautiful baby girl, just living her dream and writing about it along the way!