If you know me or have been following along over on Instagram you know that at the beginning of the week I often do a 36 hour stretch of being awake. I take care of the kids Monday, go to work Monday night, take care of the kids Tuesday, then go to sleep Tuesday night for the first time since Sunday. I often get asked how I do it or get called “super mom” so I figured I’d give you my secrets and dispel that rumor by giving you a peak at what our 36 hour stretch looks like.
So, how do I do it? The main reason isn’t super impressive or magical, I do it because I want to. Let me explain. The options I had were to stay working full time and get my sleep, but pay just shy of our mortgage payment for childcare for two kids, which is i n s a n i t y. Plus we like our house, being able to eat, and occasionally getting out to do fun things so that option was out. Option two was to go part-time and work every Saturday and Sunday night, which would cost us nothing in childcare and allow me to sleep, but I kinda, sorta, really love my husband and kids and enjoy spending family time with them. Especially now with two littles at our feet that weekend reconnect with Steve is a necessity for our marriage and my sanity. Plus I think it’s important that our kids see us together for more than a cumulative total of 15 hours a week. And option three was to be part-time and work one weekend night and one week night, but have no childcare during the week.
In my head option three was hands down the best option because while I love my sleep, I love my kids way more. And as much of a dream as it is to be home with the kids full time, it’s just not in the cards right now; this is the next closest thing. So on my Tuesdays yes I struggle, but the reward is so much greater. We get quality family time over the weekend, the money I make doesn’t go directly to childcare, I only miss about 10 hours of Evelyn and Heath’s wake time, and the hours that I do miss, Steve is with them. I mean, what a blessing is that?!
So what do our 36 hour stretches look like? Lots of cuddling and lots of praying haha. Prayers for naps and positive attitudes. I almost always have two happy kids, but 99% of the time those sweet little loves don’t sync up their naps the day that starts my 36 hour stretch so we pile in my bed, read tons of books, and watch way too many episodes of Princess Sofia or watch Moana for the millionth time. Monday’s before work is hardly ever productive and I overwork my screen time babysitter, but at least I get a little rest.
But honestly, its not the first day or even working that’s hard, it’s the coming home the morning after and resisting the urge to lay in bed. So I try to fill our Tuesday’s with lots of fun things because if I can keep the momentum going I’m fine, it’s the stopping and sitting that makes it hard. So we do things like go to breakfast, picnics in the park, story time, the trampoline park, peruse the isles of Target, crafts, walks, and almost always go to Chick-fil-a with friends, which is exactly what we did yesterday.
Although yesterday by some cruel, but wonderful miracle both kids were still sleeping when I go home so I went to lay down, b i g m i s t a k e. I slept from 8a-9a and woke to Evelyn jumping on my bed and then followed that with a panic attack because she had put a blanket in Heath’s crib right by his face. That rough wake up and hour of sleep made me even sleepier, does that ever happen to you?? So since I had already broken my cardinal rule by laying down, I continued that trend and sat still some more while we watched, you guessed it, Princess Sofia. Needless to say we missed story time, but got it together enough to make cow shirts for free Chick-fil-a day. And geez Louise, how cute are they? Being present for moments like these truly makes the lack of sleep worth it.
By an act of God, Heath napped and Evelyn didn’t meltdown when I enforced quiet time yesterday so I got another hour and a half nap in the afternoon. Evelyn hardly ever naps anymore and often cries if I make her do quiet time, so I usually feel guilty, but by 3pm on day two of my 36 I’m driving the struggle bus…more like I’m hitting the rumble strips and scaring everyone so I have to park it, enforce quiet time, and close my eyes.
Then I wake up, do dinner and bed time with the family, fight to keep my eyes open while putting the kids down, and right as I’m finally getting ready for bed I get my second wind of energy. And that’s night shift for ya haha.
The only kind of super I am is super tired. There are moms out there parenting alone, working multiple jobs, sleeping less, and with no family around to help. Yes some days I struggle, but at the end of the day it is a struggle I’m choosing and a struggle I’m beyond thankful to have. Thankful for a hard working hubby, thankful for two wonderful kids, thankful for a job that I love, and thankful for the bags under my eyes…and Heath’s chunky thighs. Nom.
Until next time,
Super Tired Mom