I’m a morning person.
I’m a good Morning Mom.
Morning Mom gets up around 5:30AM and spends a quiet hour reading or writing or praying or studying.
Morning Mom packs lunches and fills water bottles and signs planners then wakes children quietly and lovingly with backrubs and kisses on the temple.
Morning Mom helps find lost articles of clothing without a fuss and makes oatmeal or scrambled eggs or toasts English muffins and serves them with fruit.
Morning Mom carries on light conversation in the car and notices the sunrise over the mountains then sends kids off to school with well wishes and forehead kisses.
Morning Mom plays play-doh or builds couch cushion forts or teaches her five-year-old to read in between the breakfast dishes and a load of laundry or two.
I LOVE Morning Mom.
Morning Mom is patient and loving and kind and fun and efficient and sweet and exactly the kind of Mom I always hoped to be.
I wish I could be Morning Mom ALL DAY.
But then something happens.
The winds change.
The tides turn.
And lunchtime means it’s practically naptime which means it’s almost time to get the big kids from school which means it’s nearly dinnertime which means I have to drive kids around like a taxi driver to basketball or soccer practice or guitar practice and back again which means it’s basically bedtime.
And then I become Bedtime Mom.
Bedtime Mom is TIRED.
Bedtime Mom has already worked a 16-hour day and she just needs everyone to get in the shower and brush their teeth already.
Bedtime Mom grumbles and huffs when everyone whines about a snack before bed so she throws a few chocolate chips in a bowl and calls it good.
Bedtime Mom doesn’t like to help with pull-ups or PJs or ‘Where’s my blankies??’ or ‘I NEED my babies!’ because she CAN’T DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE!!
Bedtime Mom has absolutely no tolerance for sibling squabbles. None. Just NO!!!
Bedtime Mom is snippy and impatient and worn out and counting the minutes until she can go get in the tub for a some quiet time so she shushes a lot and says things like ‘LAAAAY DOOOOWWWN!!!’
I always feel a little guilty about Bedtime Mom.
But here’s the deal.
I love her too.
Bedtime Mom stays the course. She has stamina and dedication.
Bedtime Mom reads books and rubs backs and whispers prayers and kisses temples and steals a few whiffs of the tops of heads as she turns out the light to ‘Love you…see you in the morning’ before she collapses on the couch for some ice cream knowing in just a few short hours she’ll be up to do it all over again.
Bedtime Mom has grit.
And that’s exactly the kind of Mom I want to be!
This post originally appeared on the Today Parenting Community, published with permission.