Okay, so I know it’s pretty much a joke to have the word battle in singular form up there in the title. As if there is only one battle to motherhood. Or parenthood. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.
For real though, there are many battles, most of them individual and situation specific. Or not. The Battle of Taking Off Shoes in the Car. The Battle of Eat Your Friggen Dinner. The Battle of Stop Spitting on the Cat. The Battle of Keeping the Bathwater in the Bath. The Battle of Don’t Drink the Bathwater, Your Brother Probably Peed in it!
I’m not talking about those. Because we all know those are hopeless and we might as well not even call them battles because they will never be won. We should just call them Losses You Need to Accept. The cat is just destined to be damp and stiff. Whatever, they’re covered in their own spit anyway so who cares.
I’m talking about the Battle of Alone Time. It’s a universal dilemma among moms. At least among the moms I associate with. All day long you are tired. You can’t wait till you can crawl back in your bed. You also can’t wait for silence. For time to chill on the couch. To internet surf without someone asking you questions, climbing on you, or getting into something. So bedtime comes, you breathe the sigh of relief as you close the last kid’s door…then what do you do?
Behind door number one you have sleep. You can go to bed early, and enjoy the extra sleep we all crave so you can feel refreshed in the morning. If you have a baby that wakes multiple times a night, at least you can feel less zombie like. But here’s the thing: the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner the morning comes. Scary isn’t it?
Behind door number two, you have alone time. You can grab snacks, your iPad, the remote, whatever, and camp out the couch to do whatever your heart desires. Without interruptions. Herein lies the problem of alone time: it’s addictive. I always laugh when someone says if you get a few hours alone a week it helps tremendously. For me it’s like mama crack. You give me a few hours alone and I will go to desperate lengths to find a way to get it again. So when I’m camped out on the couch at 7:30pm, that quickly transpires to me at midnight surrounded by 3495872347 chocolate bar wrappers, eyes dry and huge, ten tabs open to different websites reading about stuff I will realize I do not need by the time daylight rolls around. But at midnight? Oh I totally need that.
So which is it? What is a mama to do? Get restful sleep so you only want to sell your children for half the day the next day? Or get some alone time but feel like a cracked out zombie the next day? Personally I like to rotate the two options; keeps me balanced. Until someone comes up with a door number three….
So much truth, Alicia!
You say this well. Very well. It’s a huge battle, I admit. It takes me a full 9 hours to feel OK during the day (and my kids, um, sometimes could get by with less!). But the feeling of it being early, and yet you rise RESTED AND HAPPY out of bed? Priceless. That’s why I go to bed early.
It was like high school, when I probably didn’t go to bed quite early enough. I had no idea I felt so bad. Then one day I went to bed at 8pm, and WOW. A different person! I was addicted to feeling GOOD in the morning and rested. So I went to bed early ever since. 8 pm all through college. I even got up early to go workout when everyone else slept. I was happy and healthy. My kids are no excuse for sleep deprivation (except maybe the newborn period in which case there is no choice). Mommy needs sleep. I have learned how to get some alone time during the day when the kids are engaged in other stuff (nobody naps around here).