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Mom Needs Sleep: This Mom of Teenagers Will Never Get Enough Sleep

This might sound like a minor issue to air, but I have to put it out there. Like other middle-aged moms of teenagers, this mom needs sleep!

I stay up until midnight for two reasons:

  • I’m a night owl
  • I want to grab the last few months with my teenage daughter before she heads off to college. (I am storing our time for next year, when my husband and I will be empty nesters.)

You can imagine my excitement when “Emily” told me that tomorrow was a late start because of teachers’ meetings. I would get to sleep in! These late days are once a month and school started at 9:00 a.m. instead of 7:25 a.m.

My daughter takes after me in this one respect: She’s not a morning person. Emily has never been able to wake up with an alarm clock. (I know what you’re thinking: “How is she going to make it at college?” My answer: that will be her problem.)

So for several more months, I’m my daughter’s human alarm clock.

When she doesn’t wake up right away, I always offer to drive her to school. She prefers the bus to my singing along with the radio and waving to her friends in the parking lot, so she drags her exhausted body out of bed.

The Joy of Sleeping In

Today was going to be different. Today we were going to feel well rested. Who cares that we both stayed up until midnight? We could sleep until 8:00 a.m. I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

And then, when it felt like my head had just hit the pillow, the phone rang. I looked at the clock. It was 5:30 a.m. My heart began to race; I was worried that someone had just died or was seriously injured. I fumbled for the phone. It’s not an emergency; it’s Robo call. Phew. Wait. WHAT? At 5:30 a.m. I am receiving a call from our public school system informing me there is no school for middle school because of a water main break. But Emily is in high school.

Now I was really ticked off—woken for no reason—and on the one day that I could have slept in! Everyone knows, moms of teenagers need every bit of sleep they can get! After lying in bed, tossing and turning out of aggravation, I guess I dozed off again. And then the phone rang. It was the public school system AGAIN, listing more schools that were closed today. But, of course, the high school wasn’t one of them. This second wake-up call added insult to injury.

More parents share their struggles:

That’s it. I had been planning to look for full-time work as soon as my youngest went off to college. But now I’m rethinking that plan. I just want to sleep until ten each morning!

Valerie Newman lives in Connecticut with her husband and two kids. When Valerie started mixing up her kid’s college applications with her mother’s nursing home applications, she knew she was part of the sandwich generation.

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