Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Bedtime

I love sleep.  I looooooooooooooooooooooove sleep.  Fortunately, Janie and Walt (usually) love their sleep, too.  Unfortunately, they still wake up fairly early, and I'm in the bad habit of going to bed too late.  It's a silly problem, and I really need to do something to fix it because it's a bad day for everyone when Mama Bear doesn't get enough sleep.  When I don't get enough sleep, I'm like this lady.

As I get older, I'm learning to embrace who I am and finally own up to my triggers (the things that set me off into crazy Mama Bear mode).  Aside from hormones (ha!), my main triggers are lack of sleep, hunger, and a messy house. 

I'm finally getting a handle on the messy house, and I'm discovering more and more healthy snacks to keep me fueled throughout the day.  My big, remaining trigger is lack of sleep.  

I don't have a good reason for being tired or for staying up too late.  Philip and I don't get much time together in the evenings after we've gotten the kids to sleep, and we're learning that we simply won't get as much time as we used to have.  He usually has to be up at 5:00 a.m. to be at the hospital for morning rounds, and the kiddos will be up shortly thereafter.  

We make resolutions to go to bed earlier when it's Wednesday and we're exhausted from staying up too late, but we inevitably slide back into our old ways.  We'll watch one too many episodes of Downton Abbey, or I'll waste away an hour on Pinterest after we've gotten into bed for the night.  Before I know it, it's midnight and I want to smack myself in the head for putting myself through what I know is going to be a tough wake-up call.  

So, it's time to build-in a new habit.  There's a new bedtime at the Boucher household, and it's 9:45 p.m.  That means we will be in bed at 9:45 p.m.  There are several reasons we need to build this new habit into our routine:
  1. Philip and I will both get the sleep we need.
  2. I can have uninterrupted prayer time before the kids wake up.  I have been doing my prayer time during naptime, but it's unsuccessful for a few reasons:
    • I've been so tired from going to bed so late that I need a nap every now and then!
    • Naptime is the time when I can get things done around the house uninterrupted.  I need this time to be doing other things.
    • Sometimes naptime doesn't go according to plan and I'm not able to get a good prayer time in.
  3. No more of what I call fire drill wake-up calls.  When I wake up with the kids, I feel like I'm constantly putting out little fires until everyone's settled and eating at the kitchen table.  I end up re-warming my coffee several times before it's even half-gone when I'm in fire drill mode.
  4. More time to enjoy reading together or having a little pillow talk.
  5. I can organize my thoughts before bed and relegate all of my mental clutter to the next day's daily do-it list during this time.
  6. We'll be alert enough in the evening to re-dedicate that time to praying together as a couple before bed.  
So, here's to the new bedtime, and a more-rested & happy family!  For a little extrinsic motivation, Philip and I decided we're going out for a little Dairy Queen next Tuesday night if we successfully go to bed at 9:45 p.m. every night.  Oh, how I love me some French Silk Pie Blizzard...


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