You know those days where setting the alarm is important? It hardly exists in my household anymore. Asher loves waking up early in the mornings. We rejoiced when he wakes between 6-7am. Sometimes it is between 5:30-6:30am. It’s what makes parenthood interesting. You never know what time you will wake. Take this morning, he woke up at 6:50am aka meaning I had a SLEEP IN! How good was that!
I’m finding it really tricky to sleep earlier though. Since starting work, those quiet evenings when Asher sleeps becomes even more precious. He usually goes to bed between 7:30-8pm. It does varies depending on his nap times and if we are out on weekends. Generally though, he is asleep by 8:30pm latest. Hubby and I would then clean up, prep for the next day, put a load of washing on and watch an episode of Masterchef with a bowl of fruits and hot tea. That is when we attempt to have a decent conversation and plan for the weekend or whatever event we have on. That means we try to get to bed by 11pm, though realistically, it’s closer to 11:30pm.
So if we have sleep between 11:30pm-5:30am, that’s around 6 hours. Give and take an additional hour or so. Hey, pretty good right? Not on the nights where Asher has difficulty settling or falls sick. On average, Asher will wake once a night. Most nights, it doesn’t take long to re settle him. He just want to know we are around and nearby. A comfort hug and light strokes and he is back down in 15 minutes. Other nights, we have NO idea why he is up. We would have gone through the list and he would still be upset. It could be toddler nightmares or teething. Whatever the case is, we try to comfort him the best we can by being present.
So really? On some nights, one of us will have less than 5 hours of sleep. Maybe 3-4 hours. How do we manage to get through the day?
– Hubby and I try to take turns. We learned that it is easier to take turns by days. So at least one of us have a decent night sleep on some nights. This usually makes the next night more bearable.
– Coffee. I would need a shot by 4pm. I try to delay drinking coffee till the late afternoon when I really need it. Some people struggle with sleep having coffee so late in the day. I need it to stay awake till 11pm!! hubby would have his earlier in the morning though.
– We have a mattress in Asher’s room. Some nights, it is just easier to sleep there or with him on the mattress. That buys us an additional hr or two sleep. Plus it’s more comfortable than sleeping on the carpet.
– Eat well. I cannot stress how important nutrition is. Just keeping vegetable sticks, nuts, protein like eggs around helps to keep the sugar level balance and not range for sweets when the 3pm slumps hits. Also, breakfast. If I have to wake at 5:30am, give me my food!
– I may look like a zombie at the gym at 5:30pm but I always feel better after a workout. That endorphins hit is so good…
– First thing I do when I wake up is to hit the loo, brush my teeth and wash my face. Part of my morning routine is put on make up and going out clothes. That helps me feel a little more human and look slightly more presentable.
– Keep busy. I try not to think about how little or much sleep I have. I just have to keep moving and doing things.
– On days that I do not work and put Asher down for a nap, I might rest with him. It might be between 10-20 minutes but it makes a big difference.
– Having something positive to look forward to. On weekends, we have family lunches. A good coffee always makes me happy. And a trip to the farmers markets.
I like to think that I can be more productive if I wake earlier. On my work days, I tell myself that I get an extra 30 minutes or so with Asher before work begins. On my non-work days, I might do a quick vacuum around the house before our swimming class. I might schedule in an activity with Asher. Like these cakes for instance. Asher has developed a curiosity around what we do in the kitchen. Plus he loves oranges.
Using the pressure cooker, I steamed the orange for 15 minutes while he ate breakfast. Then all I did was to sit him on the bench, and get him to tip measured out ingredients into the food processor. He watches it whirls while giving me a cuddle (It still scares him a little!), and then we try spooning it to the little cups. I place it in the oven, and tell him that he made it. He patiently waited for those cakes to come out of the oven, cool and had one before his swimming class. Then he looked at me and said “asher made” with that bright look in his eyes.
That made me melt a little. Perhaps that 5:30am wake up was worth it (who am I kidding…?!?)