Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking Care of Yourself and Other Priorities We Ignore

Why is it when we are stressed or over scheduled we cut down on our sleep?  Don't look over your shoulder, I am talking to you.  Don't tell me you have never pulled a series of "all nighters" to get something done.  We all have.

In fact I am doing it right now.  Although you may get this post bright and early in the morning, I am actually writing it late at night, long after I should have been asleep.  You may ask why I would do such a crazy thing, and I will tell you.  I am afraid I won't get everything done in the morning.

Mornings are crazy for me.  With young kids my mornings are full of 'the routine."  I get people out of bed, showered and dressed.  I feed people breakfast, make lunches, pack bags and put people on buses.  I take care of household chores, get things organized for the day, get the next round of kids out the door, shower (well at least we all hope I do...), eat and run out the door myself.  If it wasn't lined up, set out or prepackaged the night before it just isn't going to happen.  Most of my day is then spent at a dead run until I once again stay up late getting things done.

You may wonder why I find this to be a problem.  It is obviously working for me, right?  Well, not really.  I like sleep.  In fact, I love sleep.  Before kids I could sleep 9-10 hours a night and wake up happy and refreshed.  Now I am excited about 6-7 hours of sleep and wake up ready for a nap.

So why do I continue to make myself a sleep deprived ninny?  Why else?  Because I can.

I have found my life to be an endless cycle of to do lists.  You have heard me whine about this in the not so distant past so you must know I mean it.  I always feel behind the 8 ball.  You would think it would have occurred to me that what I am doing isn't working, but no, I'm not that smart.  I have decided it would be even better if I was sleep deprived when I was stressing about getting everything done.

Your issues may not be the same as mine, but we all have something for which we sacrifice.  Don't get me wrong, sacrifices are great and I really enjoy the rewards of being a mom.  I just know I would be a better mom if I didn't sacrifice my sleep.

If I start sleeping 8 hours a night I am going to have to give something up.  Wow.  That is a scary thought.  I don't want to give up mommy time.  I don't want to give up me time.  I certainly don't want to give up quality getting things done time.  The answer must be there somewhere...

Ah yes, there it is.  If I take care of myself first I will be better equipped to take care of others.  I will be a better mommy, I will accomplish more and I will enjoy my me time more if I am well rested.  You can't pour water from an empty well, or at least that's what I've heard.

So raise your right hand and promise to take care of yourself.  For you it might be sleep, or eating right, or getting exercise. You might need to spend more time outdoors or read more.  Whatever it is, do it.

I started by asking why we stop sleeping when we are stressed or over scheduled.  What I really meant is why do we put our needs last when other things seem more important.  I would like to say it is because I am such a wonderful person that I willingly sacrifice for others. (Those of you who know me can start laughing now...) The real reason is we don't have our priorities where they should be.  While there will always be exceptions such as sick kids, mid term exams and the school science project due in the morning, these things need to be the exception and not the rule.

Now that I have made myself a huge hypocrite by staying up late to tell you to go take better care of yourself, I am going to bed.  Sweet dreams.  May all your priorities fall into place, and may all of your projects get finished! zzzzzzzz


  1. I could not have said it better myself (which is why I read your blog instead of having one of my own!). My sister and I have been telling each other this for a decade but haven't quite figured out how to put it into practice. You are right on the money, though. And by the way, I recieved my Prepared Binder and have gone through the contents and will start inserting our information. I am also going to add my resume and our business information.this is great!!!

  2. Thank you for your kind words. Check out tomorrow's blog as I expand on this subject. There is nothing like a combination of a battery metaphor with that of a soda pop to really make a point...hehe. Have a great evening.