Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Teen Sleep Does Not Suit Mama

Wee Willy Winkie, Runs through the town.
Upstairs and downstairs, in his night gown.
Rapping at the windows, Crying through the lock.
"Are all the children in their beds,
for now it's eight o'clock."

One of the most difficult transitions for me to deal with as a mother of teens has been my children's gradually later and later nights. I'm still not doing well with it, and I have a 17-year-old (we've been dealing with it for several years now).

Ever since my oldest children were little, I have not been able to relax until they're in bed. I mean, how can you work on a craft or really get into a book when you're constantly interrupted by little ones. Now I just have one little one, but I still postpone most relaxing activities until after she's in bed.

The problem is, no one else is in bed, and I am not adjusting well (I'm whining, can you tell?). First, it was just the oldest. And he usually stayed in his room after we went to bed, just turning the light out later than we did. But now, things have gotten out of hand and all of the boys are up later; even if the light is out, they are still awake.

Last night I was awakened four times after falling asleep, and that was before the huge thunderstorm in the early hours of the morning. Doors slammed because the windows were open, kids voices were too loud for the night, Doug was still up, etc., etc.

I feel like I need to build myself a padded dark room, just so I can go to sleep and stay asleep.

Other than send them away (which eventually we will do, I guess), what do I do? We've told them that they are being inconsiderate; that even though they think they are being quiet when they get up to use the bathroom, that they are not. The other night my oldest son dropped something in the bathroom (who knows what) no fewer than three times. And that was trying to be quiet. Urg!

I'm a crabby mama, and you know they say ---"When mama ain't happy..."



  1. I didn't even think that I would have to deal with this some day. I hope you share any insights you have as I see this being a problem for me down the road. Once they are tucked in bed, then I relax. Maybe if I close my eyes real tight, they won't grow up any more?

  2. Good luck on that one (they won't grow up any more)!

  3. My children are twentysomethings, all in grad or law school, two married, one engaged. When they come to visit, they still stay up late! : )

    I have learned to go to sleep, and earplugs can be helpful if they are watching a movie. Or I just grab a snugly blanket, popcorn, and hang out with them, which they love.

    Perhaps I'm saying that this isn't going away, but it will transcend from annoying to comforting when they leave home, then come to visit and want you to be a night owl with them.

  4. Thanks, Suzanne. I appreciate the words of comfort. I think my problem right now is that I have the older guys and the younger one. I'm sort of trapped between two worlds!

  5. I don't know if this will help, but in my home growing up, my mother made all of us go to our rooms at 9:30 pm, then she felt she had some Time to Herself. She, too, had Olders and Littles, and felt she was going from sunup to midnight, *dealing* with people.

    I understand your feelings--six of mine are grown, and, oh, those high school/college years!


  6. Thanks, Barbara. I do think that having them in their rooms is the solution. If only they would stay put! I think once school starts it will be better -- their late nights end up being late mornings and it's a vicious cycle.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Barbara, we have kids from 20 to almost 3 years of age so I understand about needing some quiet time at night. With my olders staying up so late, they go to their rooms at a certain time and then I get quiet time to myself. I think you're right--once school starts it'll get better.

  8. That storm was a "doozy!"

    Summer has always been such a difficult time for "settling down", in our family. Extended daylight, no "school", company coming over, etc, seems to throw the bedtime schedule into complete chaos.

    I have olders, middies and littles. The "olders" aren't as big a problem, they seem to stay put, when instructed. I did discover that the "don't leave the bed" rule is fairly effective if you give the middies and the littles a book and a booklight...no overhead lights. They seem to drop off faster.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to the start of our homeschool year. We don't start until September...things normalize a bit, but it's never perfect.

    I have this feeling that right about the time I have a peaceful evening (which will be when they are ALL grown), I'm not going to be able to relax because I'll be wondering what they are all up to...sigh...it never ends, does it?


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!