From The Confessional: This Is Why Moms Stay Up So Late

by Karen Johnson
Why Moms Stay Up Too Late and Are Always Tired
Yiu Yu Hoi/Getty

One universal truth of moms in the exhausting trenches of motherhood is that we need some quiet. We need time to ourselves. We need moments when no one is saying “Mommy Mommy Mommy,” asking us to wipe their butts, asking for snacks, or making us referee over iPad time. And, because the days are busy actually wiping butts, getting snacks, and refereeing over iPad time, we often only get those quiet hours (or even minutes) to ourselves late at night when everyone else is asleep.

We know that we, too, should be asleep. Hello, self-care! Take care of Mom! Mom needs to be well-rested! And seeing the dark circles under her eyes just makes her more depressed! But another crucial part of her self-care is taking those quiet hours for herself, to clear her mind, to truly rest her soul, to recharge, whenever she can get them.

So if that means we stay up until after midnight binge-watching Schitt’s Creek and scrolling TikTok videos, just let us. Don’t lecture us about going to bed. We know. We also need this too.

My kids will be up VERY soon, but I’m still staying up late to have a glass of wine, eat carbs, and play games on my phone.

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I stay up late after everyone goes to sleep so I can snack with no judging eyes.

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I'm gonna stay up late tonight watching scary movies and eating ice cream until my stomach hurts. Because I'm a grown up and that means I'm allowed! Yessss.

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Late at night is when the really good snacks come out of hiding.

I’d be a nicer person if I slept more, but I stay up late just to have some time alone. I just need some time to be in my own head.

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The only way I can get any sleep is to stay up late until I',m almost passing out from exhaustion. If I go to bed any sooner than that, I just toss and turn. I have to be exhausted for my body to be able to overcome my racing thoughts.

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I have so much work to do. I stay up late into the night to do it. Tonight I decided to go to bed early. Instead in awake THINKING about what I should be doing.

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This is the time we let our minds finally rest. The mental wheels of pediatrician appointments and homework assignments and paying bills and did everyone poop today?? and someone needs to feed the dog! spin all day long, without ceasing. Late at night we can breathe, soak in the quiet, and let some of that noise filter out while we zone out in front of a screen or get lost in a good book.

My dh is out of town and it is so nice! I cook what I want or not at all! I stay up late and go where I want to go! I don't have to justify the things I want to do. Living with him is like living with a boss! When he gets home the party will be over:(

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The only reason I can't sleep when DH is away is because I'm so excited to have him gone! I have energy and want to stay up late and watch the shows I like, or have the late snack I want. I don't want to sleep away those glorious few extra hours.

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When DH tells me he'll be out of town for work, I become quiet and very put out that I have to handle our DC alone. But what I'm really thinking is "Woo hoo!!! What should I eat/drink/watch!!! I stay up late and love it!!!

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Okay, the secret’s out—we actually kind of love it when our significant other travels occasionally. Having the couch and the remote and all the good snacks to ourselves? Yes please.

Sometimes I stay up late to avoid sex

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I stay up late ready confessions and browsing Pinterest so that DH will be asleep by the time I go to bed. If I don't, he'll find ten youtube videos to show me, seven jokes to tell me, and at least one annoying song to sing. Bed is for sleep, moron.

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Sometimes I stay up late because I'm jealous of my husband, who does not have to deal with the kids all day...

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And yes, sometimes we are avoiding sex. Or having to talk. Or we just want to be alone because we don’t ever get that, like ever. And our spouses do.

Every once in a while I stay up late by myself with a bottle of wine a watch Magic Mike XXL. Yes, it’s a dumb ass movie, but it makes me happy.

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Taking a afternoon nap so I can stay up late and watch my shows in peace. Wish I had some junk food

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I stay up late so I can "get things done." But I only end up watching TV and surfing the internet.

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After hearing the sounds of YouTube and Fortnite all day long, we finally get to listen to and watch what we want to watch. And it’s fucking glorious.

I stay up late because I don't want the day to end. I don't want it to end because tomorrow will begin and I absolutely despise my job. Shits gotta change, I can't go on like this.

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I feel like a failure as a mother, and a wife, and an employee, and a boss. But I'm too tired to do anything about it. And I stay up late because it's my only time alone.

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For many of us, we stay up late because life is hard and we simply don’t want tomorrow to come.

I stay up late playing on my phone but bitch & complain the next morning how tired & miserable I am

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Every morning I swear I’m not going to stay up late drinking wine, eating sweets, and binge watching horror movies. I fail every night. It’s my only time to enjoy the things I like ALONE. But I’m so tired and don’t want to mom every morning.

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I often stay up late at night, almost to the point of delirium, simply so I can get some freaking time to myself. I almost always regret it the next day... but it doesn’t stop me from doing it again!

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I stay up late almost every night so I can be alone, but then am exhausted every day. My H gets up with the kids in the morning and I sleep in. I feel so guilty but I can't stop.

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And yeah, we’ll feel like shit and regret it tomorrow. But then we’ll do it again tomorrow night too, because motherhood. So if you’re a member of the late-night crew, we get it. Those precious hours of having the TV to yourself, the good snacks, and no one climbing on you or wanting to tell you about the latest Fortnite skin they got are incredibly valuable. Tomorrow morning will suck, but that’s what coffee is for.