Alright, I’m just going to say it. I hate sleepovers. There. I’m a mean mommy. I’d like to say it is for wonderfully altruistic reasons, like the safety of my children. And there is some of that. My Federal Agent uncle (whom I lived with during my teen years) used to always say “nothing good ever happens after midnight”. And then he would go on to give us many, many examples of the ‘nothing good’ from his own experiences as a Federal Agent. This was usually done in response to my sister and I wanting to stay out after midnight, which we never got to do.
Also, my kids need their sleep. I am a big fan of sleep. When my kids were little NOTHING interfered with their sleep schedule. Naptimes were observed with a religion-like seriousness here on the Hilltop. If something went awry and the sleep schedule was interrupted, snarkyness and whining ensued like clockwork.
My kids are really well behaved and easy and fun to be around…so long as everyone gets their sleep. I make sure everyone gets their sleep.
Since sleepovers rarely include actual sleep, they tend to interfere with the religious sleep schedule kept by my family.
Okay, but really, here’s the thing. I, the mom, hate sleepovers. It’s like a parenting sprint inside a marathon. I NEED for them to go to bed. I NEED to have a quiet moment before I go to bed to be an adult and have a complete thought. And I really, really need the few precious hours/minutes of peace. It’s not like when they were little and I needed the physical rest that the kids bedtime allowed. I don’t spend all day bending over to wipe noses and scraped knees. I don’t have a toddler constantly on my hip or a baby nursing all day. What I do have is a lot of input. There is a lot of talking in this house. I need to have a few hours at the end of the day where I’m not ‘on’.
If there is a sleep over, I must be on. When someone spills red soda in the RV while watching a movie (whose idea was red soda???) I must help find the proper cleaning supplies. When the commuter inexplicably turns off in the middle of the movie, it is I who must help locate the power cord. And on and on it goes. This is all okay. It is what it takes to be a mom. I’m okay with it…but not after 10pm. After 10pm I turn onto a not so nice person. I become Grumpy-Mom.
It is better for everyone to be fast asleep before Grumpy-Mom emerges. It is also better if there are not bonus kids around when Grumpy-Mom comes out. Really it’s just better for me to go to bed around 10pm then Grumpy-Mom never has a chance to arrive.
I am just glad that birthdays only come along once a year. Once a year (x4 kids) I relax the no sleepover rule and by 10pm every time, Grumpy-Mom is wondering why on earth I did that.