I have about 10 minutes before my children will need me downstairs, so I'll make this quick:
My goal is to be present and happy with my family members, get 8 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period, and work efficiently and effectively on meaningful projects when I can.
(1) I don't watch TV (except for an occasional show on Netflix once or twice a week). The average American watches more than 30 hours of TV each week, so if you cut it out, you can get a lot more done (and a lot more sleep).
(2) My bedtimes vary, but here are a few scenarios to get in my eight hours of sleep:
- Some nights I go to bed around 10 pm and get up at 4:30 am, then I take an hour and a half nap during the day.
- When I have a huge, pressing project, I go to bed at 7:30, get up at 11:30, work until 3:30, go back to bed until 6:30, and then take a one-hour nap that day. I like having four uninterrupted hours to work.
- I try not to stay up too late, but maybe once a week, I'll work from 8 pm until midnight, then get up at 6 am, and take a two-hour nap that day.
(4) I do the Mind Organization for Moms program every single day. That way, when 15 minutes pop up, I'm able to focus on the most essential tasks (or forget the tasks for awhile and spend time with my kiddos).
(5) M.O.M. has also helped me fall asleep quickly. When I get into bed, I am asleep within about five minutes.
(6) My situation is a little unique because my husband is actually busier than I am, so his momentum keeps me going. I know that not everyone has a spouse who shares their same drive, so you have to make your schedule work with your spouse's needs. If my husband wants "down time" together, then I take that opportunity. Nothing that happens in my office is more important than him or my children.
(7) I'm excited about what I do (I honestly feel like being a mom and working with Saren and our board on The Power of Moms is the dreamiest of all jobs in the whole entire world). That gets me up in the morning/middle of the night. My work is not something I dread. It's my playtime.
(8) If I'm having a tough week (hormone-wise or stress-wise), then I make early bedtimes a higher priority. This week, I was "recovering" from the Retreat and prepping for some pretty big projects, so I felt more tired than usual. For the past three nights, I've gone to bed at 9:30, gotten up at 5:30, and then taken a 90-minute nap each day.
(9) Whenever I feel grumpy, I simplify my day and get to sleep ASAP.
(10) I probably need to say that my children typically sleep from about 8 pm until 5:45 am. We start the bedtime routine around 6:30 so it's totally quiet by 8. My three "older" children are a huge help with Spencer, so if I'm needing more rest, they're more than happy to get him breakfast, turn on a little cartoon for him, and help keep him quiet for me. My children also do all their own lunch-packing, school prep, etc. I just help brush their hair, have family scripture study with them, and then take them to school. My husband helps out in the mornings a lot, too. We consider ourselves to be on the same team, so we do what we can to make life easier for each other. (This is something I never take for granted because I know it's not the norm.)
Okay, maybe that was more than you wanted to know? Or maybe I didn't answer your most pressing questions? Please let me know what ideas you have or what I left out.
Sleep is a beautiful thing. But so is family. And so is working on exciting projects. My goal is to have the best of all three.