For The Love Of God I Need Sleep – The Teen Years

Our oldest is 17 years old which means that it’s been 18 years since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep.

I miss sleep.

I covet sleep.

I am starting to wonder if all those times when I was partying in my 20’s and laughed saying, “Hah! I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” is coming back to haunt me. I swear to God it is. Because I’m really starting to buy into the thought that when that time comes, it may be the next good, solid sleep I have.

I have a vague recollection (sleep deprivation and pre-menopause prevents any clear memories) of the things that kept me awake at night when the girls were babies and toddlers. It all seems so simple compared to what keeps me awake at night now.

Some are oddly similar no matter the years between. Let’s compare different scenarios (that may or may not have actually happened):

Younger Years:

Freaking out because they lost their favorite “lovey”, toy, or blankie.

Teen Years: 

Freaking out because they lost all their texts when they accidentally synched their phone back to factory settings.

Younger Years:

Staying up to finish gluing 100 “whatevers” onto cardboard to celebrate the 100th day of school.

Teen Years:

Staying up to bumble-f your way thru PhotoShop to make a SnapChat GeoFilter for the teen’s school.

Younger Years:

Stayed up till’ 10 when they were at a sleep-over just to be sure you didn’t have to go get them.

Teen Years:

Stay up all night when they’re at a party just to be sure you don’t have to go get them.

Younger Years:

Stay up because you have to produce enough cookies for the Holiday/Winter Party

Teen Years:

Stay up late because someone volunteered to bring beignets to French class but then forgot they had a French exam to study for and can’t make it themselves.

Younger Years:

Midnight run to Walgreen’s for Vicks Cool Mist vaporizer and cough drops

Teen Years:

Midnight run to Walgreen’s for tampons, Midol and medicinal chocolate

Younger Years:

Stay up all night listening to them cry during the “cry it out phase”

Teen Years:

Stay up all night listening to them cry over a broken heart

The biggest problem that I have is that our bedtimes are flip-flopping. Whereas they used to go to bed at 8 and I stayed up till’ 12, now I’m wishing I could go to bed at 8 and they’re staying up till’ 12. I used to insist on having at least one hour of “no kid awake time” in my life until a couple of summers ago when I realized I would probably kill myself trying to keep that pattern up.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind staying up with them. I mean, I’ve been doing it for 17 years so what’s another few years added on? I also fully realize that my time left in this job is short, so while I may joke around about it, it’s nice to still be needed. Even if it is just for a tampon run.

So until the time comes again, I’ll dream about sleep and love the nights I get when all is well with the teen world.

This article was originally published on Kristin Daukas’s blog, Four Hens and a Rooster. Featured image via.

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