This is Why I, and a Million Other Moms, Stay Up Late » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle


We wake up every morning regretting staying up way past our bed time but we do it again each and every night.


By Loraine Balita-Centeno


I’m writing this at two a.m. in my part of the world. I know tomorrow or more like later, the early morning rush will kick my butt.

But I am willing to trade a few hours of sleep for this much needed alone time.

You see right now I am staring into my mug of hot chocolate and thinking “Wow I really have time to stare into a mug!” Right now I can feel my body breathing, I can hear air going through my nostrils.

I can feel my heartbeat, I feel alive.

I feel like I’m here, I exist. I have time to think. I finally have time to think about so many things. I have time to feel tired, I have time to miss my mom.

After putting my kids to bed at night, I get up and enjoy my alone time. I savor the sound of a quiet house. It’s a little dark now so I can barely see the mess or the doodles on the walls.

People used to tell me “You have to sleep when the baby’s asleep so you’ll have the energy to go after him when he wakes up.” I used to say “yes I probably should do that” but each night I still stay up late.


Because, where do I begin?

It’s my only time to have a long warm bath without a toddler banging on the door asking for me to come out and open a bottle of juice, a pack of biscuits, or a cup of jell-o.

It’s the only time I get to do number two without a kid screaming: “What you doing mom? What you doing in there?”

It’s the only time I get to go through my Facebook and watch stuff on Netflix without anyone interrupting me every 10 minutes because they want to pee/to poop/ to eat/to drink milk/to know who else is in the friggin’ finger family.

It’s my only chance to watch violence and people make out on TV. It’s the only time I get to paint my nails without anyone throwing a fit because she wants to color her nails, too (and my laptop, and the wall).

Each night I stay up way past my bedtime and tell myself I’m going to regret this in the morning. And each morning I wake up regretting staying up late because I know I would barely be able to keep up with the toddler who’s already sitting on my gallbladder while prying my eyes open at 6 a.m.

I sometimes wake up almost as if I have a hangover from lack of sleep and watching too much TV or maybe dizzy from the insane amounts of salt running through my body because you wouldn’t believe how much chips I devour at night when my kids are asleep.

And yes this is why my kids’ chocolates magically disappear in the morning because my child, my dear child, mommy eats them at night while you’re sleeping.

So in the morning I walk around like a mombie, with half open eyes, messy hair, and eye bags the size of Brazil.

Is it worth it? Heck yes it is. Each day I look forward to this moment like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I and a million other moms wait for our kids’ eyes to close so we can have some semblance of a night life.

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