I've always been that kind of person who cannot, will not, is incapable of staying up late. Sleep is something that - as a single person or before parenthood - I highly, highly valued. As soon as 9 p.m., I was already looking at the clock thinking about bed some nights. Heck, some nights before parenthood I came home from work, ate dinner, and then immediately went to bed. After having Little Lady though, something changed.
When Little Man was born, I definitely did the whole sleep-when-they-sleep thing. Turns out though, that Little Man slept A TON. Because he slept so well, I was able to still accomplish all of my daily tasks before he woke in the morning, during his nap times, or after he went to bed at night before I went to bed at a still reasonable hour. But then Little Lady was born.
Not to say she isn't as great of a sleeper as Little Man, because she typically tends to be, but after Little Lady was born, I just don't always get the time I need during the day to accomplish things. Naps are off-timed to where one is up and one is sleeping, someone needs a little extra love one day, or I was up all night long with a teething baby and just need to nap for a few minutes if I get a chance some days. It happens.
But that has the consequence of rendering me now almost incapable of finishing any cleaning, cooking, organizing, etc. during the day. Sure, sometimes I start tasks. But the finishing of the task is the hard part. Either baby wakes up, needs to be held, wants to play, or needs to be fed and all of a sudden it's four hours later and DH is walking in the door and I have nothing done.
Because I'm still massively off-kilter if I don't finish a task before I go to bed, this often means I'm up late into the night trying to just do this or just do that one more thing.
Tonight's task? I just need to wait to put the diapers on wash after they soaked and rinsed.
Half the time I end up staying up way later than I'd originally intended, mainly because I always find something else to do even after the original task is done.
When I became a parent, my dad told me at one point that his sleeping habits were totally changed by the new lifestyle as well - in this exact same way. He mentioned that he needed to continue to get some "me time" by working on his cars, building his computers, etc. and the only time he was able was in the middle of the night. He also mentioned at a certain point that it just seemed to stick as a habit, and he still stays up late into the night now, even though my sister and I are both grown adults ourselves.
I think I'm finally getting to that point and in that habit now as well. Somebody bring me a coffee tomorrow?