In a sometimes desperate push to always be planning more, preparing more, accomplishing more, (and yes, knitting more) I have found myself awake far later than I should be every night for many years now. I have not set personal limits for myself in places where I should have. Sleep, one of the very basics of self care has fallen to the wayside. Add to that multiple night wakings by multiple children over the years, and you have one tired mama. True, I am not a good sleeper, so without “perfect” conditions I have trouble falling asleep. So on the nights I have forced myself into bed early, early being 10 p.m. or so, I have laid there awake, stressed that I can’t fall asleep, until a wee one has woken up and joined me, leaving me wondering why I didn’t just wait to get in bed when baby needed me to begin with. Think of all I could have been doing during those two hours….
But, this must change. Surely I can convince my body to sleep earlier if I keep trying. Two nights ago I accomplished what I thought impossible. I drank Tazo rest tea, took a hot shower using lavender bath products, coated myself in sleeping potion (it’s not just for babies!) and chose bedtime reading that didn’t leave my mind racing about all the things I could do to make life easier, more organized, more, more, more, etc. and I fell asleep before midnight. The following morning I was out of bed before the sun, and most importantly, before my children. I took a photo of the dark sky, and a photo of the rising sun. Proof. I filled out daily lists for each of my children, did a bit of knitting, checked in with email and the few online things I check each day, made breakfast, and the list goes on. I like a productive morning. I definitely prefer a productive morning to a productive night. So, I am going to make this change, I am.
We were finished with lessons by lunchtime, and made an afternoon run to the library. My girls tend to choose books that I think are tacky. They each get a couple of their own choices, but I choose most. When we got home, Jonny came in for a break and exclaimed in mock happiness, “Oh, new library books!” The girls would have him reading all day long if they could. And as much as he loves reading about Fancy Nancy (His exact words, as if they pained him, were: “Oh heavens, Fancy Nancy’s favorite words from accessories to zany” exhale with a sigh….)
And about those daily lists….I got tired of reminding my boys to do things like brush their teeth and get dressed. So they each have a simple checklist with basic self care, chores, and schoolwork. It really is nice not to have to remind them constantly to do this or do that. Although, I need to come up with some incentive for getting it all done, because one of them is still leaving things undone…head in the clouds…gotta love him. (edited to add: I replaced my daily planner with a simple pad of paper alongside my kids this year. I have a basic monthly planner for appointments, but all the daily stuff, including meals for the day, go on my daily list.)
A couple of years ago I actually sewed a series of linen pouches to hold laminated hand drawn chore cards, and even embroidered initials on the pouches, and then an entire scene across the top of the thing. It was a work of art man. I never could implement it though. Too complicated. So this time around, it’s a piece of rusty metal dragged up from the shed hung on a screw that already happened to be sticking out of the side of the chimney, bulldog magnetic clips, and cheap pads of paper. Of course my kids wanted to add artwork. I had to put a stop to it after a few minutes because they kept messing up and smearing paint everywhere. Ideally, at the end of the day they will each write their list for the next day. I don’t live in an ideal world though, so I am writing their lists for them most days.
Last night I couldn’t fall asleep despite having been up since the crack of dawn. This morning I couldn’t sneak away from Silas in the bed, so I didn’t get up as early as I wanted to. That’s okay. I’m flexible, and I won’t forever have a warm little baby to snuggle up to on a cold winter morning.
p.s. Last two photos of Beatrix are unrelated.