Occasionally, I have these flashbacks. One moment I’ll be driving through the Starbucks line, and the next a Missy Elliott song will come on the radio and — bam! — I’m teleported back in time. Back to a place where lipstick and the perfect smokey eye was a thing in my life. A place where hairspray fumes and laughter filled the air of a college dorm bathroom. A place where my girlfriends and I put our collective thangs down, flipped it, and reversed it.
All night long.
Nights that started with us getting ready as late as 9 p.m., which pretty much blows my mind now, because 9 p.m. is take-off-my-bra o’clock these days, and who the heck voluntarily wears an underwire at 9:30?
Not me. Not anymore. Not a chance, pal.
That pre-parenthood former rockstar loved the energy of a large crowd. She fed off of it, dancing with the girls until the neon lights of Taco Bell beckoned her home. And years after college, even as a married woman, that same girl would carve out space in her schedule for nights out with her friends.
Fast-forward four years, and two children later.
I must confess, my last five Saturday nights were spent at home with exactly zero people. Well, there were people, technically. But they were already in bed. There was no pregame, no hairspray. There was no Missy Elliott and no late-night runs for the border.
And to be honest, it was pretty damn glorious. Call me boring, or call me a has-been, but currently a “big” Saturday night consists of my couch, some delightful trash food, and the sweet, heavenly sounds of peace and quiet. I am the literal version of Netflix and chill.
And look, I still love my friends. They are amazing, fun, great people. It’s just that since becoming a mother, I found something I love even more:
I might have the world’s most enticing invitations coming on a regular basis, or I might not be getting invited to anything at all. Doesn’t matter, because the end result is the same: yoga pants, bra off, AC turned down, sleep.
I don’t care if you’re the Queen of England, I’m not going. Sleep wins — every time.
“But, MK! We are going to this amazing ice cream place where everything is organic and locally sourced and completely fat-free!”
To which I say, “There is no ice cream parlor as delicious as uninterrupted snoozing.”
“But MK! There’s this amazing party where everyone we’ve ever known will be having margaritas and playing board games!”
There is no party as exhilarating as an unencumbered sleep cycle.
“But MK! We are going to this fantastic concert. Don’t you wanna dance with us?”
Sorry, girls. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be at home feeling the rhythm. The circadian rhythm.
It’s not that I’m trying to be a party pooper. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time with my beloved pals. I do.
My reasons are really quite simple. Parenthood gave me massive sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation gave me a choice: Do I want to put on a pretty face, button actual pants, and get out of my house for the evening? Or do I want to sleep?
If you hesitated to answer that question, I’m going to assume that your kids sleep like the dead. Or perhaps you don’t have any. Or maybe you are superhuman. I don’t know. But what I do know is that if you’d ever experienced this eye-burning, head-fogging, brain-melting level of sleep deprivation, sleep would be your one true love.
Now, do I miss my friends? You bet. Do I occasionally pine for the good ole days, when a girls’ night out didn’t require an expensive babysitter, a heap of sleep debt, and that damn hemorrhoid cream for all the bags under my eyes? Yes.
But don’t feel sorry for me. My tub of ice cream and I are just fine here on the couch, in an oversized T-shirt with my bra thrown on the floor.
And in about 10 minutes, y’all better believe I’m gonna get my Missy Elliott on.
That is, I’ll be putting my thang down — in bed. I will be flippin’ it — the duvet, of course. And I’ll be reversing that pillow until I get the perfect cool temperature for my weary head.
Because there is one thing I plan on doing this Saturday and every Saturday yet to come…
Sweet, sweet sleep.
Because I love y’all, I really do.
But I love sleep the most.