We flew back from California on the red eye this Sunday and my sleep has been a bit screwy.
I had a hard time falling asleep. Baby M stayed insisted I take the mattress off of her crib and put it on the floor so she could sleep on it. (She pointed to the matress screaming “OFF OFF!”) Around 10:00 she probably rolled off of it and began crying. I scooped her up and put her back in our bed (I KNOW, IT’S A MISTAKE)
I have a web series to produce, a cranky actor to deal, a crisis with a key member of my team…and what the heck is for dinner?
Since I’ve been hit with many many sleepless nights, I decided I had to come up with some rules of how to deal with it or I shall lose my mind. I’ve found that “giving up” and “losing my mind” doesn’t really help anyone. Neither does bucking up and just steam rolling through. There has to be a happy medium.
1. Acknowledge that changes with your kid’s schedule is bound to screw things up. Plan for it. I knew Baby M’s schedule would be a wreck when I came back. Mentally I prepped myself for it. I didn’t plan any rehearsals or meetings for this week. The goal was to make sure Baby M has a consistent week of Mom time. This is better for all of us.
2. When in a major major pinch, there is Thomas The Train, Elmo etc. I’ve taken Baby M out of daycare because I want to spend more time with her. It’s a bit of a transition because I spend more time with her. On nights I have no sleep, I must get SOME rest. There is time to plop on the couch and rest while Baby M watches some TV. This is NOT ideal, but sometimes absolutely necessary.
3. Exercise. I always feel a lot better when I either walk, run or do weights. A new yoga studio has opened up in my hood and I’ve committed myself to do yoga everyday.
4. Meditate A perfect way to combat the mind junk and stress. Sometimes you can even fall asleep when you meditate. This means you are probably very tired.
5. Create an evening ritual. I don’t really have an evening ritual but I’ve decided to reinstate one. In a way it’s telling yourself that you are to be taken care of and resting your mind and soul are vital. Ritual is defined as: an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite. For all my joking and smart assery, I don’t believe it’s far fetched to treat yourself in a reverent way.
Here is my [re-established] ritual:
Plan next day
6. DO NOT LOOK AT THE COMPUTER AT NIGHT. This was my mistake last night. I probably could have gone to sleep a lot earlier.
7. Be gentle to oneself. Instead of saying what you SHOULD be doing or how you SHOULD be sleeping, just be curious and kind to yourself as you would a friend. No need to self castigate. In fact, a warm bath, aromatherapy and a nice pair of pajamas might make sleep more fun.
Sleep is one of the best anti-aging and anti-depressant remedies. It’s one of the most important things for our mental and physical health. Unfortunately as parents, it’s seen more of a luxury. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity and it’s important to remember that in order to be a good wife, husband, mother, father, doctor, steamfitter, taxi driver, politician, etc you have to take care of yourself. And if that means hanging out on the couch for a little bit to catch some Z’s…so be it.