I've never done any sleep training on my children, and have never insisted they go to bed by 8pm. I don't know how other parents do it, but I do envy them. I don't know why I never got around enforcing it. I just went with the flow. I don't even remember when my eldest son slept before 10pm. I do remember that I used to put my younger son to sleep at 9pm, ahead of the older brother, but somehow the little one started thinking he was missing out on some fun then, he too, went to bed around 10pm. By the time the third one came along, whatever ideal nap/sleep routine was totally out of the window. She would just go along with whatever the brothers were already used to.
On good days, all three children will be asleep by 1015pm. The hubs and I would have time to wind down and watch some US TV series. Sometimes I would still stay up even after the hubs has turned in. It's not as if I'm not tired after the long day of minding the children and working. Yet at times I simply feel compelled to spend my "me time" even when it's the witching hour.
It's the dead of the night and the children are sleeping. The entire house is quiet, and peaceful. There's no child crying or calling out "Mummy". No questions asked that I need to answer. No train tracks that I need to help build. No building blocks constructed that I need to see. It was just me, myself and I. How could I give it a miss when I'm deprived of such moments in the day? I simply cannot resist!
At times I read a book and escape into a fictional landscape. Other times I browse through social media and see what my friends have been up to. On occasions, I would do some crafts, mini projects that I set out to do but don't have enough time to see through in the day. Or I would look through my phone's photo gallery and reminisce moments captured of my children. Which I find rather amusing, actually. I mean it's not like I miss my children, since they are sleeping right next to me and I've been with them the entire day! Yet sometimes days pass by so wildly, looking at these photos remind me of precious moments of their laughter, creativity, happiness and important milestones. Not to forget, late-night retail therapy. There have also been nights where I just have long conversations with God, lifting up my concerns and worries unto Him. These days, I spend my nights blogging and managing my website.
Such times at night are very precious. These are times when I feel I could connect with myself, sort out my thoughts, reflect on the day's happenings, plan on the week's activities and devote my energy and creativity on a new project, all without being interrupted. I need to feel that there's still ME -- a girl who enjoys mystery thrillers, a woman with bigger dreams, an entrepreneur exploring different business opportunities... all these apart from being a mother who's so needed by her young children and giving all her attention to minding them and managing the household in the day.
Yes, I'm tired and sleep is ever precious. But my secret life at night is a source of motivation and inspiration. It allows me to focus on my other interests, which I find hard to pursue in the day, and re-energises me. It provides time for a different type of intellectual stimulation as compared to the mundane chores in the day. It takes my mind off my children and my complaints for the day and lifts my spirits. All so I could face another day of being a better Mummy.
The secret life at night is here to stay.
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