When my mother was my age, I had just finished graduate school and was starting my career. I, on the other hand, have a daughter who is just finishing the sixth grade. And I am not alone. Many of my friends have children even younger than mine.
At the time, when I was having children in my mid-30s, I never considered the fact that I was a decade older than my mother had been when she had me. I waited to have children until I was well into my career. I felt like this, combined with financial security and a certain level of maturity and wisdom that came with age, would prove to be the best foundation for being a parent. What I didn't think about was just how tired I would eventually be as I entered mid-life and my younger daughter entered into middle school.
It's not unusual for me to go to bed before my daughters these days. I hear my bedroom door open, the bright light from the hallway streams in, and then I hear a not-so-whispered voice.
"Mom, Mom, are you asleep?"
And then there are those unusual weekend afternoons when I stop my usual state of perpetual motion for just long enough to lie down on the couch or a lounge chair on the porch and shut my eyes for a few moments.
"Mom, Mom, are you awake?" I hear, jarring me back into the world.
The funny thing is I don't ever remember my parents sleeping in, taking naps, or going to bed early. So somehow, in the back of my mind, my need for sleep seems like a failure of epic proportions. But truly, I know its not weakness. It's just the reality of mid-life that makes me need more sleep than I did before.
And for the most part, I do a pretty good job of keeping up with my girls, I really do. But if you're looking for me late in the evening and can't find me, especially after a long day of work, there's a very good chance I've snuck away to engage in one of my favorite pastimes ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.