I have been operating on an average of five (5!) hours of sleep for the last several months. Despite every effort, our newest baby continues to wake up in the night. I have changed my prayers from “please help her to sleep through the night” to “please help me to endure and still be a good mom with such little sleep.” I am trying to surrender and just learn whatever I can while I am in this season. That said, the lack of sleep does impact my physical energy, and, at times, my patience. I also find it harder to be productive and to stay focused and on purpose. It is challenging to be motivated to do everything when one is so tired!
Today I just wanted to stay in bed. I could hardly force my eyes open but willed myself out of bed to go take care of my children. They deserve my best and I want to give it to them. However, by lunchtime I really just wanted to give in to my fatigue and call it a TV day. I was tired, my house was a mess, I felt unproductive and Josie-grossie, and every noise made in my house sounded like the dreaded nails on a chalkboard. My nerves were shot and I had fallen into a hole of negativity.
I knew I could just let my children watch TV all afternoon and get a bit of rest. I knew they would be occupied and safe and I was tempted to give in to the urge. However, I don’t want my kids to be couch potatoes. I don’t want them to remember mom just laying in bed. I want to teach them to work and play. I want to be in their midst showing them how to love life, how to treat one another, and how to be happy. I can’t do those things if I am in bed! And don’t get me wrong, there are times where the best decision for the entire family is for momma to get some sleep! But today, I decided to just try. I determined to give myself fifteen minutes. I decided I am the one that calls the shots around here. I decide if each day is good or bad, and I have the power to impact the success of my day. I can have a less than desirable morning and still save the day by making conscious choices to participate in our family life in positive ways! I can choose to smile through it and focus on gratitude instead of wallowing in my fatigue. So with fifteen minutes on the clock, I left my bedroom to face the music. I asked my children to help me and we picked up the messes. We cleaned the kitchen and the family room and started a load of laundry. I cut some fruit up to serve as a snack and I began doing energy work to shift my attitude and chase out the effects of sleepless nights. And you know what? Fifteen minutes was enough to change my bad day into a good day. I was able to reengage in my life. It was a simple choice and resulted in simple actions, but it was enough!
Getting busy for fifteen minutes may not be the answer every time, but it made all the difference for today’s set of problems. I didn’t climb any mountains or set any records, but I did enough of what needed to be done. I was able to be pleasant with my children and accomplish a few tasks that help keep our home happy. And for today, that is enough. Should you find yourself wanting to quit midway through a bad day, give yourself fifteen minutes and see if the landscape does not change! Whatever it takes, you deserve a great day and you have the power to make it so.