I'm not sure what it is.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Or maybe it's that fourth child thrown into the mix of things.
Whatever the case, I've been noticing some things more about myself lately. I've noticed that exercising regularly keeps my spirits up and that if I don't have enough adventure in life I start to get restless.
And I've also noticed that I get pretty cranky when I don't get enough sleep.
This isn't exactly rocket science, you might be thinking. Everyone knows that when someone doesn't get enough sleep they get cranky. I mean, isn't that what I keep saying about babies all the time? Isn't this what your mom told you when you were a child?
The thing is, I've always known that I'm not at my best when I don't get enough sleep (think, late nights, teenage years and sharing a bathroom with siblings!). I just hadn't really noticed it with a fully mature non-teenage brain until recently. The crankiness emitting from me now when I don't get enough sleep is almost palpable. I try really hard to be patient with my children (and husband-after 13 years I am no longer in newlywed lala land). I try whispering instead of yelling when I think I might just about pop after one of them whines or bugs their sibling (for the millioned time) or spills their cup of water on the floor (don't cry over spilled milk?- ha!). I try hard to show affection when all I feel is frustration. But as much as I think I'm tricking them with my nice-parent facade, I'm sure I'm not.
The kids can tell when the last thing I feel like doing is being a mom. When I just want to take a nap, hide in my room and be left alone. And when I am forcing my affection and attention.
I HATE feeing like this. It isn't always sleep related, because parenting can be hard and draining and just plain overwhelming at times, but lack of sleep always adds negatively to the picture. And lately, I can seriously feel every minute of lost sleep in my interactions towards my children.
I have being trying really hard to make sleep a priority in my life. For my sake, and for the sake of my children.
They deserve the best mom that I can be.
It can be so hard to get enough sleep! As far as I'm concerned, adults are just as bad about being wise with their sleep as young children and adolescents. I even have this bizarre habit of staying up even later doing odd things that need to get done whenever I find myself going to sleep later than usual. It's really weird. It's like I think 'hey, it's really late, might as well be really, really late!'
Getting enough sleep, or at least better sleep than you've been getting, is something that I challenge you parents out there to start doing. I've had some parents tell me that they do perfectly fine on almost no sleep. But I promise you, you will be even more amazing with more sleep. There's no way you couldn't be. You're children (and spouse) deserve your best you. And you deserve to feel and function at your best too.
This might mean that it's time to prioritize life a bit, to look at your screen time and maybe to sleep train (because sleep training is for the whole family). Better sleep is sometimes hard to get, but I bet most of you can get it! If you're struggling with sleep habits for yourself, I wrote a post about this a while back that you can find here.
If you've got some tips on how you've been able to get more sleep or on how better sleep has helped you, please comment below!