I am a mum of a 1-year-old and I always say: Get sleep whenever possible. Especially in the first couple of months when your baby is not sleeping much during the night. And my son became a good sleeper over the last couple of months and on some nights he sleeps 12 hours straight. So this means I should be able to get plenty of sleep myself and do not need to talk about sleep deprivation any longer.
Well, this would be the ideal world. Often you don’t practise what you are preaching, right? Instead of going to bed, let’s say around 10 pm, I do everything else but sleep. And I often end up going to bed just after midnight, which leaves me just over 5 hours sleep until the alarm rings.
Sounds silly to stay up that late. And my mind tells me every night the same. I know I should go to bed and get rest because my body gives me all the signs. My limbs feel heavy, I cannot think as clear anymore. I slow down. I am just exhausted and tired.
FRIDAY NIGHT – BEST EXAMPLE OF GOING TO BED LATE
Yesterday was a great example. It was a Friday morning and my alarm rang at 5:50 am. It took me a while to get out of bed because I was so tired. Anyway, I made it up half an hour later, got myself ready, took the dog for a walk and then got my son ready for daycare before I head off to work. After a long busy day from my job, and battling traffic on the way home, I arrived at 6 pm.
My husband already picked my son up from daycare and I knew the moment I step into the house, this is where my second job would begin. Those next two hours are always like a crazy ride and are the peak of my busy day.
In the middle of cooking dinner or heating up leftovers from the previous night, I tried to squeeze in cuddles with my son whom I missed during the day and often feel so very guilty of leaving in the hands of someone else than me.
After dinner, I tried to get my slowly overtired son to have a bath. 5 mins of almost quiet play time, while he is enjoyed his bath. The time after, while trying to get lotion and nightgown onto my precious toddler was more of a hassle but we managed, as we do every night.
At last, just a bit more of quiet play time with my son while my great husband cleaned the dishes. The house was in full swing, but we slowly managed to calm down.
Finally, 8 pm and the little one was snoozing away in his bed. Another tick off the list.
Then my husband and I had our dinner and we had some time to chat and relax on the couch.
Husband doesn’t even ask me anymore if I want to go to bed, he knows the answer.
An hour later and my husband is saying good night because he is tired and knows he has to sleep because he needs to get up early and may even wake up when our son doesn’t sleep through the night.
He doesn’t even ask me anymore if I want to go to bed as well, because he knows what I would say: “Yes, will come to bed very soon as well, just staying up for a little longer”.
And this little longer usually stretches to two or more hours.
Why I don’t want to go to bed when I know that I should? When I know I am craving a long night’s sleep? And don’t feel like someone hit me in the face when my alarm rings in the morning and I have to drag myself out of bed?
I NEED those last two hours of the day for myself. And this is worth the sleep I am missing out.
Finally, the house is quiet. It is peaceful. There is no little person shouting my name and wanting my constant attention. And there is no husband I need to talk too either. I enjoy the time where I only have to think about myself.
This is my time to be selfish.
But don’t be fooled, I am not yet sitting down. Finally, I have time to prepare for the following day. But with the difference that there is no stress. I can work at my own pace. There is no one I need to watch or entertain while I am doing my tasks. I like to do some paperwork, pay bills. On some nights pre-cook dinner for the next evening or just pack my cloth for the next day in the office.
Often I even do some work from my laptop and replying to emails.
Or I am writing on a new article for my website.
An hour before bed – the body screams as it is tired – but Mum’s mind is still wide awake.
And then there comes the time where I know, the important tasks are done – now I SHOULD to go to bed and have my all so well deserved sleep. But nope, this rarely happens. My tired body rarely wins over my inner voice. The little voice which is telling me, that now I can spend time for myself.
And you know what? I need this for my own sanity. As a Mum Dealing With Postnatal Depression, it is important to do things which make me happy and staying up to have time for myself is a massive plus.
On many days I just get carried away scrolling through my phone. Get lost in Facebook or Pinterest with no real outcome. Sometimes texting with my family and friends in Germany, as they are right in the middle of the day due to the time difference. I am simply trying to catch up with life outside.
Sometimes I just have a tea or a hot chocolate and sit on the couch and think about my life.
On other nights, I watch an episode of Netflix. At the moment I am enjoying watching “The Crown”. Of course, my husband would love to watch them with me, but I like to just to watch them on my own. And many times I then fall asleep on the couch because my sleepy body overwhelms me. So the next evening I start again where I stopped watching earlier.
MIDNIGHT – Finally time for bed
Time flies when you are having fun, they say. And when it hits midnight – again – I am finally ready to go to bed. Quickly checking on my son, while he is sleeping. Then going into my own bedroom. And when I get under the doona, trying to be quit as not to wake up my deep asleep husband, putting my head on the pillow – I smile – happily – and drift off to sleep.
Until the alarm rings the next morning…
What is keeping you up at night? What is your selfish ritual to feel like a human being? I am interested to find out.