How many late nights have I actually had during my raising kids?

This is something that comes up regularly for us.  Do we sleep? 

Yes, we do.  But, yes, we probably sleep a little less than before we had kids.  Maybe sometimes we sleep more.  Late nights.  Check.  They are certainly a part of the deal.

But, the answer for late nights may be different than you expect.  You see, late nights became a norm so we could study, do our passionate creative work, or spend time together.   Really early on, late nights were part of the deal because we had babies and we were up around the clock caring for them.  And I don't think I really embraced the crazy schedule until my third child.  I tried to with the first and second, but everything was new and I felt like I was still figuring things out. 

As the kids grew, though, late nights became an expectation; even started to become our choice.  And, if we wanted to go to bed early, then we would.  As a matter of fact, as I write this now, we decided tonight would be an early night.  We drink tea and come to bed and enjoy the quiet of our house with kids all peacefully asleep.  We know the importance of our sleep.

But, other nights, we make a commitment to work an hour or two on our creative endeavors--our music, our writing, our other work. 

Sometimes, yes, we do have to stay up late for functional things, like school forms and paperwork, emails, planning, or a project that wasn't complete, but needs to get done in time for the due date. 

There is a key to all of this--we choose and we embrace the moment.  Even on those task nights, we recognize the only way through it is to just simply do it.  And know that truly, our late nights are only for a season--it won't be long before all our kids are grown and on to their own lives.  And we don't want to miss a thing.