How many of you here are a work from home mom?
What about major hobby at home mom (yes, I just came up with that term)?
Or those who work outside of home and have to catch up on home stuff after bedtime?
What I am trying to ask is, how many of you, when it’s past bedtime and the kids are asleep, actually get up to go do something meaningful?
And I don’t mean to say that binge watching 16 episodes of Game of Thrones isn’t meaningful… Ok I do mean to say that. We all need some down time, so I get it. I used to be a binge show watcher. Before Lexi, before I had 3685208605 things to fit into 24 hours.
So if you have a hobby that you go to after kids are asleep, or a job/project/business that you work on, how do you manage the mental argument going on in your head?
This is how my evenings usually go, let me know if you can relate or what different struggles you go through:
Put kid to bed. Luckily, bedtime is a breeze now. That is if you don’t count Lexi trying to play just ONE MORE GAME OF LEGOS (she loves making up stories with the sets she builds from scratch, that often involve witches and potions and, of course, her favorite, KITTENS). After I manage to peel her off her sets, she instantly announces she is hungry (oh the hungry/thirsty game).
Because I vowed not to be a parent who just assumes that they know better what their child’s body wants or needs at any given time (which started with child led breastfeeding, weaning to solid foods, weaning off milk, potty training and sleeping through the night without training), I take her to the kitchen and give her a healthy option for a snack. Unless she had just eaten. I know she often does get hungry before bed, and often it’s a ploy to get more time. Since I cannot be the judge of which is which, I give her the benefit of a doubt and offer a snack. Sometimes, she readily eats it because she was hungry. Other times, she pretends to want it and continues playing without touching her food, which of course earns her a walk upstairs to brush her teeth.
So I thought step one would include the whole putting to bed process now but I feel like teeth brushing is a completely separate step. Teeth brushing is non negotiable. You can cry, scream, complain, sign songs, run away from me. Your teeth are getting brushed before you go to bed. Period.
When I am feeling lazy, I insist she brushes her own teeth. But most of the time, I allow my “little for only a few more years” girl to lay in the bed spread eagle, clearly exhausted from the day and have the “buggies brushed from her teeth” by her mommy. She still whines, but who cares. (post on products for bedtime is here, insert link when published)
Then we do one of two things. If I’m mean like a mean mommy that night and can see that Lexi can handle the mile long walk from the bed where we brush her teeth to the sink, I will tell her to go do “rinse and spit”. Otherwise I do it the “daddy” way (who is a softy and would literally rinse for her if he could. Not saying it’s a bad thing, just not always necessary, but I’m glad my little girl gets the special treatment from her dad, because mom is way too efficiency oriented to handle that). The daddy way is where he brings two cups to bedside with him, brushes her teeth, then has her drink from one and spit into another. Sigh. I guess we can let daddies spoil their little girls as long as there is also someone to set it all straight afterwards. haha
So then, we lay down. She lays on my shoulder wrapped completely around me and I turn on her favorite song of the moment. Right now it’s “Me Muero De Amor” by Natalia Oreiro (a song I adored as a child). It takes her about 1-3 minutes to fall asleep on a school night. Before she fully falls asleep, she rolls off of me and drifts off to snoozeland.
And yes for those curious, she has weaned, herself, completely naturally. With maybe a tiny push from me. More like a talk or a few about the time when it is going to be over. (Anyone want a post about the whole process?)
So here we go, bedtime in 2 steps. I wasn’t being sarcastic when I said it is a breeze now. I really mean it. To me, some bedtime toothbrushing struggle and “hungry” calls is a far cry away from the hours it would take me to wind her down from all the excitement and get her drowsy enough with breastfeeding that she would actually fall asleep. And now breastfeeding is no longer needed either. It’s amazing!
(wow this post is getting long)
So here is the step I sat down to write about that I want your experience on.
Step 3: The Mind over Body struggle.
So when you have finally heard the slow deep breathing of your child and realize it’s FREEEEEEEEEDOM, what do you do?
Because I go through an internal argument that goes something like this:
-Ok, she is asleep, I need to get up and get stuff done
-Oh but the bed…It’s so comfy, these cool sheets, and it’s so dark that it’s impossible to keep your eyes open. And I am half asleep now.
-yeah, but you are always complaining about not having enough time to do everything. Take these precious minutes and go get shit done.
-but if I get up and start working, it’s going to be another late night. I am not going to get up for just an hour. (Lexi goes to sleep at 10 pm). It has to be 3-4 hours to make it worth it and then I will be exhausted in the morning (I need to touch on this point later, because it is possible to wake up completely refreshed after even 4 hrs of sleep with a few simple steps). I’ll just get up early and get some things done in the morning.
-bwahahahaha who are you kidding?
Fine, I will just check my email on the phone right now and then get up.
10 minutes later, still in bed, email and messages checked, everyone texted good night, Elena’s body has won “Fuck it! I’m too tired. I am going to sleep!”
Then once in a while during an early bedtime or if she falls asleep in the car, I am able to stay up and work without the whole “in bed in the dark” struggle and it’s awesome and I stay up till 3 am and get a ton crossed off my to list and even a little bit for my own pleasure (Like editing). But I just hate the struggle. I want to be lazy, I want to just sleep, I want to sleep 9 hours a night. Or 12 preferably.
This happens every night. Even as I am sitting here typing this at only 12:13 am, I am literally imagining how good it would feel to lay down in bed. I swear it is partially to the mattress and bed that I have now (read about it here), or maybe it has more to do with my increased work out routine… But omg I just can’t wait to put my head down and snuggle up to Lexi, my warm ball of cuddles.
So that’s my dilemma every night and every night a different side wins. I am out of control, they just do what they want. Stupid brain and body. One needs productivity and satisfaction, another wants rest and recovery.
On that note, I have talked myself into going to bed now. And while I am sleeping, those who are up right now, let me know your bedtime mental, physical and kid struggles!