I open my eyes just wide enough to read the bright numbers of my nightstand clock…it’s 2:34 am. I slowly roll from my left to my right side and muster the strength to pull the sheets up to my chin for a few more hours of peaceful slumber.
Unfortunately, however, as I begin to enter back into REM, my eyes open wide and my heart starts racing as I realize that I didn’t stay awake late enough the night before to do what I needed to do. How could I be so careless? I pat the duvet around me, feel under the pillows and slide my hand across the bed, careful so as not to wake my snoring husband.
And then…success!! I find what I’m looking for and I pull it under the covers and begin my nightly ritual.
My finger hits it in exactly the right spot and the light comes on. BINGO!! I squint just a bit to take it all in and then…instant satisfaction. Even exhilaration. I let out a massive sigh and lay there smiling. I can now sleep through the rest of the night. My partner-in-crime has done its job.
Wait. Hold on!! Get your minds out of the gutter. It’s not what you’re thinking…
Unless you’re thinking it’s the one…the only…the Life 360 App.
Thank you, Life 360. You’ve done it again. You’ve saved me and given me the peace of mind that only a parent can understand. You’ve kindly provided me with the exact locations of all three of my college daughters. And nothing will allow me to sleep better than knowing that they’re safe. In their apartments and dorms. One since 10:22pm, one since 11:45pm and one since 1:03am.
You may be thinking, “Is this woman completely off her rocker? Who in her right mind would wake UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to check her kids’ whereabouts? What is WRONG with moms today?!” BUT…you also may be thinking, “I did that last night, too.”
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I’ll defend my practices with every morsel of my being. And I’m not one of “those moms.” Whatever that actually means. I’m just a mom that needs to know where her kids are. Is that so bad?
It’s not that I don’t have a general idea of the “ins and outs” of my daughters’ lives. They Facetime me every day (don’t judge). They text me no less than every hour every day (don’t judge). They tell me about their classes and their friends and their wild football pre-game parties. They tell me about their exams and their favorite sorority house meals. Yet somehow I learn more from Life 360 than my kids will ever share with me.
And I’m not crazy. I just like to know. I don’t even meddle.
I don’t ask why they switched bars halfway through the night or why at 11:32pm they went from one fraternity party to another.
I don’t ask my youngest what she forgot at home when I see that she ran back to her apartment for five minutes between her 93 minutes at the library and her Human Anatomy class.
I don’t pester my oldest when I see that she left the college football game (whose tickets I paid for) well before halftime to go out for pizza.
I don’t even ask who lives at 310 Victory Avenue when I see that last Saturday one of my daughters spent all afternoon at that address.
I keep my mouth shut when Life 360 tells me that one of their iPhone batteries is down to 8% (though ALL I WANT TO DO IS TEXT HER AND TELL HER TO CHARGE HER f-ing PHONE).
I mean…I’m not…NOSY. I’m just…a mom.
I’m a mom who doesn’t need to CONTROL her kids, but I’m a mom that wants to know they’re safe. I’m not a mom who needs to know EVERYTHING, but I’m a mom who needs to know SOME things. I need to sleep at night.
And so at 2:35am…back to sleep I go. In my comfy bed with my comfy duvet and my comfy husband and my sleepy iPhone. My kids are safe and in place. Their phones are charged. My husband is next to me. We’re all okay.
And I swear to myself that I’ll stay awake the next night until Life 360 tells me that my girls are all home. And if not…I’ll be back again tomorrow night. At 2:34am. Or sometime around that time. See you then.
About the author: Wendy Siegel is a suburban, working mom with three daughters in college (three different colleges, no less). She and her husband are the owners/directors of a children’s sleepaway camp in the Pocono Mountains, and when she’s not running around camp managing kids and counselors, she can be found on her Peloton bike or yoga mat or sorting out her CVS receipts and coupons. Her greatest accomplishment is figuring out which daughter ordered which items on her Amazon account. Wendy is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and has written for Huffington Post, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Latinista Magazine and for her own business blog and website.
Instagram @tylerhillwendy and @tylerhillcamp18469