Mama Mantra: Stay Up Late
Posted March 21, 2023 by Prairie Wife -
“Stay Up Late” may be one of the easiest yet most impactful Mama Mantras I’ve shared so far.
And it’s one of the reasons I quit my job at the radio station.
Working on the Morning Show at My Country 95.5 meant that I was usually out of the house by 5:15 AM (earlier if the roads were bad), and on days I had to look nice, that meant a 4:00 AM alarm.
More often than not, I was in bed by 9:00 most nights, which worked great for The Cowboy, who would happily head to bed at 8:00 if I’d let him.
For our teenagers, this early bedtime wasn’t the best fit.
I discovered the “stay up late” mama mantra entirely by accident.
It was a week when The Cowboy was gone the entire time for work, and I had multiple writing/blog deadlines to meet. The result? I stayed up way later than usual to peck away at my computer.
About day three into this schedule, I noticed something shifted in the house after the Little Cowkids went to bed.
A teenage Cowkid would shuffle out about 30 minutes later and sit down near me. As any mother would, I looked up and asked them a question, leading to a conversation about anything and everything.
Sometimes I found two teenagers at once willing to chat and laugh with me.
I made a mental note.
Moving forward, a few days a week, I made sure The Cowboy and I could be found in the living area hanging out. Rather than turn on a show right away, we would sit and chat or stare at our phones…and sure enough…it happened again.
A teenager would come into the kitchen for a drink of water or walk past us to put their chrome book in their backpack, and we would end up having a great little conversation.
We’re in a weird time now where our High School kids can drive and transport themselves, and without me even noticing, our time to catch up in the car on the way home from practice disappeared.
When our teens don’t have sports activities, they go out with friends or hole up in their rooms with their phones (get ready for a post coming soon about how we ALL need to be better about this). And while family dinner is something we do every night, it tends to be rushed rather than filled with leisurely conversation.
And believe it or not, your teens NEED this time with you. They WANT this time with you…and it’s up to YOU to make it happen.
The need to stay up late so I could spend time with my teenagers when they were ready and willing to talk absolutely influenced my decision to leave my radio job.
And I have 100% seen the positive impact.
Earlier this week I sat on the couch and snuggled up to The Cowboy after the two littlest Cowkids went to bed. We were surrounded by four teenagers (our Spanish Son was, of course, included in the group) that sprawled across chairs and couches, and we were laughing away at a show we found on Netflix that we all enjoyed.
It was 45 minutes of talking, bonding and relaxing.
It made my mama heart SO happy to sit and soak in the joy of that simple moment.
Stay up late.
Make the time to meet your teens when and where they’re ready.
Find a show they like that you can tolerate and invite them to watch it with you a few times a week.
Wait up for them with a snack when they’re out with friends, and let them tell you about their night before you go to bed.
Stay up late.
Photos Erin Potter Photography
Categories: Life As It Happens
Previous Post « Have You Stopped Writing Your Own Story?