Am I the Only One Who’s a Zombie by 9 PM?

When I discussed my recent post about our bookless book club with my friend Andrea, she casually mentioned how she’s able to fit regular book-reading into her life.

“I watch TV for a little while after I put Eli to bed, then read in bed for about 30 minutes before I go to sleep,” she said. Makes sense, right? Now, Andrea is a stay-at-homer, and she’s always been quite my most practical, no-nonsense friend. Still, I thought, “Hey, I should be able to do that, too. I used to read novels or write in my journal before going to bed.”

Except that, since having kids (particularly after #2 came along), I am a total brain-dead zombie after the kids go to bed. I put my last gasp of energy into bubble baths and enthusiastic book-reading (in the hopes that perhaps my kids will become better readers than I am right now).

With both children tucked snugly in for the night, I immediately slouch onto the couch. My brain starts to ooze. I pour a glass of wine or pop open a Coke Zero, turn on something totally mindless (a la Jersey Shore) and settle into another evening of non-enriching entertainment until I fall asleep.

That’s it. That’s my evening. Every evening.

I simply can’t muster the energy to do anything else. I should be catching up on work, maybe take a little twilight stroll, or, ya know, read a freakin’ book.

Can’t. Do. It.

Am I alone here, working mom friends? Is there anything I can do to break out of my nightly stupor and make the evenings a little less pathetic?

5 thoughts on “Am I the Only One Who’s a Zombie by 9 PM?

  1. Um, that sounds a lot like my nights. Sometimes it is quesi-educational tv (Discovery Channel), but mostly it is bad reruns of things I don't even really need to watch.

    Maybe just aim to try something more exciting one night a week? It might feel like a treat then, instead of one more thing to add to a check list.

    But really, I have no clue. I'm a zombie most nights before the kids make it to bed. So I congratulate you on making it until after!

  2. Can't help you. I'm in the same boat.

  3. It gets better. When your youngest is about 2, something snaps. It's still work, it still takes a ton of energy, but it gets easier. I was able to read so much this spring that I am actually completely uninterested in picking up another book. I read about 10 novels between May 1 and July 1, including, to my embarassment- all 4 Twilights.

    Though… now that my oldest is six, the stakes are a little higher on homework, school prep and the occasional evening activity like 4H or music. I don't really mind though because her activities (and soon his) force me to learn new things and get out there.

    Of course, we want one more (our current kids are 3.5 years apart, and we'd like to repeat that spacing as the boy approaches 3…) so I'll get to learn how to baby-wear while helping the girl sew 4H projects and the boy at swimming lessons.

  4. Ah. The 9pm Slump. I know it well.

    Last night, though, I managed to power through it and was able to get some much needed organizing in the closet done. Yes, I am that dorky.

    As for reading, I find little snippets during the day (I work from home while Bebe is in daycare) in which to read. I catch up a lot on weekends when he is napping. Mind you he is 5 months old and does not require trips to the zoo, park, etc. Once that starts, I will really lose reading time.

  5. You're not the only one, Sister!
    I have a demanding career that I love, and two darling kids that I adore. They get all my time and energy at home. Me time suffers, and since something's got to give and it's been books since #2 came along. Admittedly, I veg-out to the Real Housewives of wherever, but, I'm often skimming The Economist concurrently, so I don't feel a bit guilty about the no-book zone I'm living in.

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