I’m exhausted: But here’s why I stay up late, anyway (hint, hint ... alone. time.)

The truth is, I stay up late because I want to be alone.

I’m exhausted: But here’s why I stay up late, anyway (hint, hint ... alone. time.)

For the last several weeks, I've stayed up way too late binge-watching “Gilmore Girls" (yes, I know I'm late to the party). But it's not just my newfound obsession with Lorelai and Rory that keeps me up late. If it isn't them it's a good book, or “The Bachelor," or painting my toes, or anything and nothing at all.

The truth is, I stay up late because I want to be alone.

So, I wait them out. All of them. Because long after my kids are tucked into bed, and hubs finally throws in the towel, I can be alone. A-L-O-N-E.

I can watch what I want and eat what I want, snuggled on the couch with my favorite blanket that I don't have to share. All alone, late at night I don't have to share anything. Not my lap, not my snack, not the television, not my personal space. I don't have to compromise. I don't have to be a mom. I don't have to be a wife. I can just be me.


Before you judge, hear me out. I have young kids, and I stay home with them. Even when I work, I work from home. All day, every day I am surrounded by my kiddos, and kiddo things. Which is so great. I am beyond grateful I get to spend my days with them. And, I really, really love being with them. But, my kids are always there—touching me, needing me, making noise. So much noise.

All day, every day I try to give 100 percent to my kids.

But, if I'm being honest, some days I don't have 100 percent to give.

There are days I leave it all on the table, and I find those days painfully hard. I feel tired. I feel taxed. I feel like I have run a marathon with two heavy, whining monkeys on my back. I feel like a shell of my former self. And that self needs to be filled back up. So I stay up late.

I get that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If I'm taxed and tired, why don't I just go to bed? I can't. I need to do something that's mine—to be conscious as I fill my tank back up.

Some moms get up early to experience the same sense of peaceful aloneness. They shower, do their hair and makeup, drink coffee, reflect. They set their alarms, knowing that those precious morning minutes will be all their own. I've tried this, but mornings are not my jam.

While I may not fall in their camp, I still get these morning moms.

Because it makes no difference if we are night owls or early birds. We share a common truth. We are all trading sleep for “me time."

We are all just trying to fill our tanks, so we can give 100 percent to our kids and husbands.

So, while staying up late may rob me of precious sleep, it's what I need right now. My late-night routine (along with a few strong cups of coffee) allows me to be a good mom—to play in the dirt, to make lunches, do laundry, clean boo boos and be fully present.

This article was originally published on Simplemost.

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    Why right now is the best time for a drivable getaway

    Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌

    Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.

    In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."

    Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?

    Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.

    Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.

    Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.

    After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)

    With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.

    We’re embracing off-season deals.

    With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!

    Vacationing is a way to give back.

    If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.

    Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.

    While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.

    This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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