Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Night: Party or Sleep?

It's Friday night! It's 8:30 PM and the weekend is here! What are you going to do to celebrate? Go out for a late dinner? Dessert? Perhaps you'd like to go dancing? Maybe catch that movie you've been wanting to see? Hang out with friends? Party?

There are a lot of good options for how to get your weekend started on a Friday night. But you're not going to be doing any of them, are you?

No, it's 8:30 on a Friday night. That means you'll be going straight to bed.

Why? Are you some sort of loser? Are you a senior citizen? Why in the world would you be going to bed at 8:30 on a Friday night?

That's easy: You are a parent.

The thinking is pretty simple: "The kids are asleep? Well, I better go to bed and get some sleep, too. While I can."

Who needs sleep? (Me.)
Gone are the nights of late night partying and going out with friends. The energy that used to be used for such activities was already sucked away earlier in the day by picking up things off the floor, even though you've just vacuumed, so that The Baby won't put them into her mouth. And making sure you get The Boy a blue cup at lunch because the milk won't taste nearly as good if it is in a yellow cup. And arguing with The Girl about the veracity of leprechauns.

Seriously, unless you are a parent you just don't understand how draining it can be to try to keep The Baby out of the cat food. (Over and over again.) Or how much it takes out of you to listen to The Boy yell into the megaphone he got for his birthday. ("Thanks" for that, Auntie S!) Or trying to explain to The Girl why she can't wear her Elsa slippers to school because they are slippers, not shoes.

You used to do things. You used to have fun. You used to have a life. And now, you go to bed at 8:30 on a Friday night. It's really pretty pathetic. When the phone rings at 8:45 PM you angrily yell, "Who in the heck is calling this late?"

The whole situation would be very, very sad if it weren't so worth it. It's worth it when The Baby smiles because she has figured out all of the hand motions for the "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." It's worth it when The Boy gets excited because he just sounded out the word "Tyrannosaurus" all by himself. It's worth it when The Girl jumps around the room in giddy anticipation because you told her that Grammy is on her way for a visit.

Yes, every once in a while you might look back fondly to the time when you actually used to do things on a Friday night. But, you wouldn't change it for the world. The kids may sap all of your energy and leave you a sleepy, boring husk of the person you used to be, but it's all worth it. The kids are worth it all.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to bed.

Edited from a post originally published on 4/15/16.

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