Recently my husband and I were laughing about how much our lives have changed over the course of 20 years.
When we were teenagers we slept until noon, or longer.
When we were in our twenties we went to bed at 3 AM.
When we had babies, we woke up eight times a night.
Now, we really don’t sleep much at all.
Being a parent wreaks havoc on your sleep. Being a working parent? Well, what is sleep?
Recently a reader commented that she wanted to read a post about not working until midnight to get it all done. I’ll do that, I said! I can write about that!
Then I realized: I am very rarely in bed early, and I am always up early. I get about 5-7 hours of sleep, not all in a row since one or the other of the girls is always waking. I stay up late to work and I get up early to work and I work when they nap . . .
I wish I knew how to get it all done without working so much. Sometimes I’d like to sit down and read a magazine, but then I feel guilty that I am sitting down reading a magazine when an article is due or a web design is waiting or I have homework from one of the programming classes I’m currently taking.
And that doesn’t count the laundry that needs to be folded or the dishes that need to be washed or the house that needs to be dusted, since nothing ever stays dust free here in dry Southern California.
I know that creating a schedule is important, and I have done that. I know what my working hours are: They are all of the hours when I am not sleeping, playing with the kids or running errands and cleaning the house.
Go to bed at 9? Then I don’t have two extra hours that I need to get it all done.
Get up at 9? Those days are long over, since my kids are always up by 7 AM.
I do have a schedule. I say that I will not work past 9 or get up before 5, but this is rarely followed. Sometimes it comes down to crunch time-a deadline is looming and if I don’t have my things done I will not get paid. There is no choice about working late or getting up early.
Other times I’m lucky in that I can go to bed early, and on those nights I literally drop into the mattress as though I haven’t slept in months-oh, well, I haven’t!
If you are a working parent and you have found tricks to scheduling that allow you to get it all done without spending all of your free time doing something, please leave a comment! We would love to know how you do it, so that we can implement this into our own lives.