One Exhausted Mama + One (or More) Over-Tired kiddos = A Major Recipe for Disaster
~ Rosann Cunningham
From Weary Mom...
Okay, I have to be real with you. (no teasing allowed! )
When I was growing up, I was the teenager at the sleep-over who would fall asleep at 8:30 or 9:00, just before my friends would pop in a scary movie and munch on snacks and soda until the wee hours of the night.
There I'd lay...snoring away. Missing all the fun. Then bright and early around 6:30 or so, I'd be wide awake and ready to change out of my pajamas, have breakfast, and get the day started. Sadly my friends were in their deep just-fell-asleep-an-hour-ago slumber. And so it went.
The reality is I need my sleep. It's gotta be 8 hours or I can't even think straight. It's just who I am and the way God wired me. I can easily get up with the roosters but you can bet if I do, I'm yawning before the sun goes down.
My first daughter did not like to sleep. We had to be up with her all night, every night. Rocking her. Bringing her into bed with us. Doing the low-crawl across her bedroom floor in hopes that she'd not realize we were leaving her room. It was hard. I was frequently a giant wad of tired mommy mess.
Then I got pregnant with my youngest daughter and it was a difficult and uncomfortable pregnancy, so loading up on sleep just didn't happen. Thankfully she was a mild baby and to this day she thoroughly enjoys getting her beauty rest. Still, I'm tired. All. The. Time.
I love being a mom! But since having kids I've had to make a huge shift in my schedule. I'm juggling a lot in my various roles and responsibilities. If I'm to make everything fit into each day, sleep takes a back seat. The result has been a very tired, very cranky, very brain-fogged me.
Lack of quality sleep affects me so negatively - as a mom, as a wife, in my ability to respond with love and grace, in being able to focus, as a writer, in my sinful nature, in my attitude, in my faith, in how I handle crisis, and as a homemaker.
If I really want to do it all and do it all well, I need to get more sleep.
Today's Goal: Start by taking a nap. Even if it's only a 15 minute power nap. Push something else aside and get some shut eye. You can do it! Make it happen.
Remember when we talked early on in this series about determining what's most important? Well, dear friend, if you didn't place your own health and well-being somewhere on your list of priorities you need to go back and re-evaluate your list.
How on earth can you function as a great mom and wife if you're exhausted? When you're not getting enough sleep, you set yourself up for a whole lot of health related drama. Can you afford to be sick right now?
I didn't think so.
Sleep is important. Let's look at some ways you can make sure you're getting more shut eye.
- Exercise regularly. Choose morning or afternoon workouts to help improve your chances of sleeping well.
- Eat healthy and avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime.
- Be consistent. Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule, even on the weekends when there is a temptation to sleep in or stay up later than usual.
- Dump your To Do list so it's not clouding your mind with stressful thoughts.
- Spend time with God. Pray and read a few verses of scripture.
- Make your bedroom comfortable. Keep the thermostat set to a lower night time temperature, run the ceiling fan if you have one, slip into a well-made bed (not one with blankets or sheets disheveled and hanging off the edge), and use window coverings that are easy to switch to dark room mode.
- Avoid keeping (most) technology in your bedroom. A Facebook notification on your smartphone will light up the entire bedroom at 5am, disturbing your sleep. Bedroom TV's only encourage you or your husband to fall asleep with it still flickering in the background. The "ding" sound on your iPad may be annoying if you get a lot of emails throughout the night.
- Create a bedtime routine. Drink a mug of Chamomile tea, take a warm bubble bath, read a good book, engage in intimate conversation with your husband. Whatever works to get you sleepy, do it.
- Schedule time for a nap when you've been deprived of your normal sleep. Your body needs to get caught up again. Just don't nap right before bed.
- Avoid drinking a lot of water before bed (this is always my mistake) as you'll be up all night going to the bathroom. If this happens, keep a flashlight in the bathroom so you can do your business without having to turn the light on.
Pray About It
Gracious Lord, I am one tired mama. You know that. Father I know You are my strength when I feel weary, but right now Lord I need You to help me sleep. Remove the stress from my mind. Pour Your peace over me. Help me find creative solutions so I can fit more sleep into each day. And as I sleep, renew me Lord. Make me fresh for the days to come. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
When I was a boy in father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live."
~ Proverbs 4:3-4
Pump Up the Power, SuperMom!
Pick a day in the coming week or so where you can help a fellow tired mom out. Take the load of her day off her shoulders. Send her off to her bedroom to sleep while you watch her kids, do some light housekeeping, or handle any errands she needed to attend to for the day. Then have her bless you the same way the following week.
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Here are some other blog posts from the 31 Days to SuperMom series you might find interesting:
Latest posts by Rosann Cunningham (see all)
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