Daylight savings starts in most states this weekend. Yes, those dreaded words every parent shudders when they hear… DAYLIGHT SAVINGS! Back when there was just me I wouldn’t have blinked an eye about gaining or losing an hour of sleep, and of course gaining an hour meant an extra long lie-in. Not now that I’m a parent. Daylight savings can literally break you! It throws out any kind of routine you might have got down-pat in the last 6 months, so you know you’ve probably got a week of pain to get back to normal.
So, it got me thinking….. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about how to get your child to sleep through the night and how to set them up with a good bedtime routine. I’ve also seen lots of jokes about how little sleep parents are getting! How many memes have you seen lately about mums and their need for coffee? They’re pretty funny and dare I say accurate, but in all seriousness, has sleep become the new holy grail for working parents?
I have two toddler age children so I’m under no illusion that I’ve got a few more years of broken sleep left to go, but sometimes I wonder how I get through some days without nodding off. I think it’s just that innate drive as a mum to keep on powering through. I’m going to add a caveat here that I think I have it pretty good as I know there are people that have children with serious sleep issues, I am in awe of parents with these challenges.
For us, cold & flu season is the time that we really get disrupted sleep. Up every hour wiping noses, providing water for sore throats and giving plenty of cuddles. When you have multiple children this can mean back to back viruses spreading through the family that take weeks to work their way out.
So, as a working parent, how do you ensure that you’re getting enough sleep to get through the day? I really don’t have an answer to that because you can’t bank sleep unfortunately, you can’t bottle it either!
There are lots of articles about self-care which I find are generally aimed at people with more time on their hands. I guess for me the answer is to find those little windows of time in the day to do what serves you. Everyone is different so to some that might be a gym session, reading a chapter of a book, listening to a podcast, having a nanna nap, enjoying a hot cup of tea, or catching up with a friend. To me just the process of ‘zoning out’ for half an hour/an hour depending on my daily schedule, refreshes my brain and makes the tiredness a little easier to deal with.
What are your tips for dealing with a lack of sleep?