Generally I try to post tips, suggestions, or links to websites that might offer the working mother some advice to make her life easier.
Not today, I´m afraid.
Today I´m pondering the question of finding time for sleep. I´ve seen a lot of information that says you should get enough sleep each night, but I rarely find great tips for actually fitting sleep into the schedule.
We are excitedly expecting number two in December, and we have a two-year-old daughter. I work from home, and also take care of the usual: grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and errands. My husband works long hours as well and generally gets home in time for dinner and our nighttime routine. We spend about an hour each evening as a family, eating and then reading stories together.
At that point, it´s 8:30 and my husband and I are exhausted. We could probably fall right into a deep sleep, but if we were to do that, we would have had no time during the day to just relax. Talk. Watch a silly show. Discuss our days. And even to catch up on some last minute work, laundry folding, or dish washing.
So we stay up, usually until the late night news (okay, 11:00 PM news, but once you hit 35 anything after 10 is really kind of late) flickers across the screen.
I´m pretty tired a lot of the time, and I´m wondering if most working mothers feel the same. I´m sure they do, as I hear my friends complain about this all of the time. We have so much to get done: work items, exercise, house tasks, spending time with our children, taking care of our children, and finding some time in the day for ourselves, whether it be ten minutes of downtime or hanging out with our spouses.
When are we supposed to sleep?
As I thought about this problem this week, I realized that the reason we sleep a lot as babies and teenagers is to save up some extra winks so that when we turn into adults and have hectic lives we can use that reserve to keep going.
We´ll sleep again, during retirement. The kids will be grown and living lives of their own. They´ll be tired. Our jobs will be in our past. Other workers will walk around with deep circles ringing their eyes as we putter in the garden and take mid-afternoon naps.
For now, though, we get to enjoy the beauty of a hectic day on little rest. It´s worth it, of course. As soon as my daughter and I start singing or painting my tiredness fades away and all I really can think is How did I get so lucky?
I´d trade in an hour or two of ZZZs for that feeling any day.