Posted in Baby sleep, Blog, Emotional wellness, Featured, Life as a mom, Mother, Rebecca, Recovering from childbirth

Above all else…get SLEEP

Of all the parenting advice I’ve received and given, this is what I would say. Above all else, get sleep! Profound, isn’t it?

My son is now 19 months old and sleep is still a big issue. Not necessarily a negative issue though. It’s just VERY important. Important that he gets sleep at nap time and gets quality sleep at night time. Any Mom will tell you that there are tons of significant factors that influence this every day.

In the beginning with a newborn, I slept ANY chance I could get. Sometimes this was 10 times a day every time my newborn was asleep. I guess this is why I felt those first weeks fly by so fast. I slept through them. HA. 🙂 Because I had a C-section and was limited on taking walks and doing pretty much ANY physical activity, I spent most of the time on the couch. This was a nice excuse to also sleep or rest whenever I wanted.

After my recovery period was over, I still took a lot of naps. I am not a person that can survive on 4-5 hours of sleep every night. Those people would make the perfect Mom! I was constantly trying to analyze my son’s sleeping habits and patterns to figure out how I could get more sleep…and also have him sleep more hours continuously. I will never forget the first time I slept for 8 hrs in a row. AHHHHHH, it was heaven. I woke up feeling like a completely different person.

Here’s what I really want to say. In the last 19 months, sleep is what I have thought about most. If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m cranky, crabby and don’t feel great. I don’t have the energy I want or need to chase after my son or deal with challenges. I don’t feel like working out if I don’t have the energy. I dread working out and then worry about not getting enough sleep that night to get the proper recovery.

I also worry more, stress out over little things more, bicker with my husband more, and complain more. When I have adequate sleep, I am refreshed, full of pep, motivated, and can think with a clear head. I notice this is SO true for my son too. When he sleeps through the night, he is a happy camper. The more he tends to wake up, the crabbier he is upon waking in the morning. If he doesn’t sleep long enough for naps, he’s unhappy and cranky until bedtime.

I would say 90% of the time, if I needed a nap, I would choose to sleep over anything else. I would choose it over a shower, time for myself, reading a book, working out, or getting a pedicure. I know myself well and you may be different, that’s fine….but sleep is just very important to my well being.

Sometimes I hear new moms struggle with this issue. I can totally understand. With “alone” time being something we all rarely get, it can be tough to choose what to do with that time once we do get it. It all depends on what matters most to you and your priorities. For me, I would choose sleep. And I should point out this one important thing. I am mainly just talking about choosing sleep over something else if I am sleep deprived. It’s not like I sleep for 9 hrs every night and then also take a 2 hr nap every day that I can. That’s a little absurd.

Most of the time nowadays, I go workout during my son’s nap time in the middle of the day. Or I will go work at a coffee shop for a few hours. Or I’ll do something for myself. Or I’ll do laundry. It depends on the day.

If you do some research, you will find many many studies and reports on the importance of sleep. It’s vital to our health to get good quality sleep AND good quantity of sleep. Our body needs this time to recover and renew itself. Make sure you take the proper time to recharge your batteries with sleep. As Mamas, we are in constant demand from things around us, our spouses, our children, our jobs. We need to take care of ourselves so our tanks don’t run empty.

Getting sleep is one of the most important things you can do not just for yourself, but as a gift to everyone around you!!!

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  1. Gorgeous picture…!

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