Motherhood is a full time job

Being a mom is tiring. We have so much to do. People rely on us 24/7.

And that’s okay. I wouldn’t NOT want to be a mom.

But it is nice when we can make our jobs as mom a little easier, a little more enjoyable, and a little more peaceful. There’s nothing wrong with trying to make OUR lives better.

When you put in effort to make your life better, it’s easier to make the lives of others better, too.

Think about some of the things that tire you out as a mom……

For me, some things that I think tire me out the most are having to manage everyone’s schedule, having to get out of bed every morning (haha! “every” morning, if only I didn’t have to get out of bed some mornings!), and also trying to help every one in my family be the best them that they can be.

This is not to say that I don’t want to do these things. I actually like to set goals for my kids and come up with ways to help them improve on certain things…like helping my nine year old son get through routines with visual schedules or helping my two year old get potty trained or helping my seven year old daughter become the great girl she is by having conversations about school and friends and right and wrong behavior and simply being available for the kids when I can.

HOWEVER, I get tired. Sometimes, I do want a tiny (or a big) break.

So, let me tell you the one MUST DO strategy for keeping it together as a mom. From my personal experience and educational experiences (I even took a psychology class on the subject.), the key to managing motherhood at least a little bit better is to…..have a set, consistent bedtime.

We all know that our kids should get regular sleep. Some of us might know that it’s a good idea for grown-ups to get enough sleep, too. Some of us try and some of us just try to get by on not enough hours of sleep and some of us take naps to catch up on sleep here and there.

Believe me, having a bedtime for yourself is just as important as it is to give your kids a bedtime.

I know this can be hard for us moms because we either think we should be doing something else, getting caught up on chores, or we might just like the peace and quiet of having everyone else asleep. Whatever the reason for not going to sleep at a regular time every night, you should consider the benefits that you could gain for keeping a regular sleep schedule.

What are the benefits to a consistent bedtime:

  • It will be much easier to get out of bed,
  • you might be less “moody” with your kids (and your significant other if you have one),
  • you will have more focus at home and at work,
  • you will have more energy to get things done more efficiently,
  • you will be happier,
  • you will have more patience
  • and you will be able to be more present (in the moment) with your family.
  • You will also be able to be more of your best self because of all these improvements that come with getting enough sleep.

Some of you may be in specific situations that might prevent you from being able to get enough sleep, such as having an infant, having a special needs child who doesn’t sleep through the night, or having a health condition which interrupts your sleep (like sleep apnea). However, if any of these are the case, there is still hope, hope that you can get better sleep.

An infant grows 🙂

A special needs child can be provided with the right training, medication, and/or professional help to learn to sleep through the night. 🙂

A health condition can often be remedied with the right treatment. 🙂

So, what should you do now?

Step 1: Identify Wake Up Time

What time do you have to wake up in the morning? This might be based on when you have to get up to get ready for work or based on when you get your kids up to get ready for school. Decide the time you should wake up in the morning (not the very last second that you should wake up but the time that would give you enough time to get everyone ready in the morning plus an extra 20 minutes or so to account for unplanned events and slow mornings).

Step 2: Subtract 8 Hours

Generally, everyone has a different exact number of hours that they need to sleep per night (according to my sleep psychology class professor and other sleep-related research). However, that can be figured out specifically in another post. For our purposes, let’s just say that the average mom needs 8 hours of sleep per night. Subtract 8 hours from your wake up time.

For me, my wake up time should be 6:00 am, so my bedtime should be 10:00 pm.

Step 3: Establish a Bedtime Routine

We can delve more into details on creating an effective bedtime routine in another post, but for now, simply consider the 20 minutes before your bedtime and write a list of the things that you should do to help yourself go to bed on time.

Here is an example:

9:40: Finish what I am doing on electronics
9:45: Electronics off
9:50: Quick drink off something if I want it (should be water)
9:55: Brush teeth and floss; Wash face; Start walking to bed
10:00: Body is in bed; Do deep breathing exercise to physically relax my body; Don’t get up!

Step 4: Go to Bed on Time Every Night

To gain the most benefits from having a regular bedtime for yourself, go to bed at the same time every night. I do like to stay up a little later on the weekends but if you do this try not to stay up more than an hour past your bedtime. And be sure not to sleep in too late.

Consider purchasing one of my Ebooks (just click on the book cover below):

Sibling Rivalry: How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry so You Won’t Have to Anymore

Discipline & Parenting Strategies for Kids with ADHD: How to Stop the Tantrums, Whining, Complaining, and other Problem Behaviors

Have Peace: How to Have Peace in Your Busy, Chaotic Life

I would greatly appreciate you supporting my eBook sales. Thank you so much.

image credit: via Fotalia