It’s a statement you will hear made by many a parent … that the typical day seems to go on forever yet there are never enough hours in the day! Ok, this probably seems to make no sense whatsoever … if you don’t spend the day trying to juggle a million things at once.
Personally, I can relate to this so well. My days start early, they are rarely empty and they finish late. Every morning, I wake up for the morning school run rituals and curse myself for staying up so late the night before. This is the point at which I will normally make myself the promise … “I’m gonna have an early night tonight!”
This seems to be the single most difficult promise to keep. For me, anyway.
I don’t know about you, but there is always something that stops me from getting that early night that I am absolutely adamant is going to happen each morning.
Here is a list of some of the things that most commonly put a halt to that self-care promise that I keep making (and breaking!) to myself …
It’s everywhere, isn’t it? Something is always bleeping away with its little notifications. Technology definitely belongs at the top of my list! Being self-employed, my computer is my work so I am rarely away from it. This makes it very difficult for me to shut down mentally and therefore almost impossible to sleep soundly, even when I do finally settle.
If I wait until morning to reply to the email which has just come in I may lose the job to someone else – I best reply straight away!
Mums, Dads … we all know what I’m talking about here. Isn’t there always something that needs tidying? I like my surroundings to be tidy when I manage some rare relaxing evening time, so like most parents, after the kids have gone to bed, I’ll have a quick tidy up of all the bits and pieces the kids have left out … Then, 20 minutes later … “WHYYYYY did I even start this?!” as I sip wine whilst knee deep in toys that I intended to give a little shuffle around but ended up in a very bad, irreversible situation, cursing Santa Claus the whole time … Cue late night!
The Amber Nectar of the Gods … but a swine in the evenings! Wired … housework … writing … emails … late night … Damn.
Late night snacking
We all do it, right? Because, let’s face it, any other time of the day and said snacks require sharing, and no-one wants to share that blessed chocolate bar that’s been calling to you since tea time. However, I find the burst of energy (however little) that these snacks can trigger mean I am then wide awake … meaning another late night.
One thing that is important to me is my little bit of time in the evenings. Whatever it is that I am doing, I like to do it child free once it reaches a certain time of day. Sometimes, the kids have a rough evening settling, sometimes illness, sometimes they have a late night because it’s the school holidays or because we’ve been out for the day. Whatever the reason, if the kids have been late to settle, it will have a knock-on effect on my bedtime.
This is a regular occurrence for me as Emmy just HATES sleep – she is a night owl like her day and rarely falls asleep early, no matter how tired, this is something I have written about so many times.
Having no ‘Me’ Time
Sometimes, work gets crazy. The kids are demanding. The school seems to have a different event every week. Emails need sending. And what is the first thing that gets neglected? Our ‘Me’ Time. Because of this, I quite often find myself having to squeeze the smallest amount of personal time into a spare hour of the evening when I finally get the opportunity … and this is often way too late at night, resulting in … yep, another ridiculous bedtime.
Isn’t it so much easier to get the housework done when the kids aren’t around? But you know what housework is like! It’s hard to stick to one thing. One job leads to another, which leads to another, and before you know it you’ve completed every chore, both necessary and not so, you have a lovely clean house, but … another late night!
Looking at this list now, it makes me wonder how I ever manage to reach my bed before 3am each night!
What are the things that keep you from getting an early night? Do you share any of my confessions or do you find completely different reasons to stay up late? I’d love to hear them …