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“You can sleep when you’re dead.” I remember saying that a lot, but as a work at home mom, prioritizing sleep is a must.
Every now and then, I’ll think about working more instead of sleeping. That usually happens when I have some sort of big deadline coming up or I’m writing more to be able to take some time off. There are still times that I’ll tell myself “you can sleep when you’re dead.”
As a one-off now and then, I don’t mind it. The last time I worked a lot and had little sleep was when I was having surgery. I knew I would need the rest after surgery. Before that was when I went away for a few weeks in the summer and I wanted to be able to enjoy the vacation.
Most of the time, I try to prioritize sleep as a work at home mom. You should too.
Sleep isn’t for the weak
If you were told that you were lazy for sleeping, it’s time to get out of that mindset. I know it’s hard. My sister still thinks I’m lazy but sees absolutely nothing of what I do every day of the week. She can’t see that me prioritizing sleep and my own mental health at times isn’t being selfish. It’s making sure I can be the best work at home mom possible when my kids are around.
You need to get into the same mindset. Sleeping well means a better mental health. You’ll work more productively, and you’ll be happier. You can also be a better mom.
Sleep isn’t for the weak. Our bodies and brains need sleep, so you need to allow your body to rest. It’s not an unproductive way to use your hours.
The amount of sleep you need will depend on you. I work best on between 6 and 8 hours. I know some who will work best on 9 hours and others who function extremely well on 5 hours.
Why prioritize your sleep as a work at home mom
Why do you need to prioritize sleep? Is it really that important when you’re working and being a parent at the same time? Absolutely!
When my ex was around, I would survive on 4 hours sleep a night. I wouldn’t have the time to get work done during the day that well because of him, so I would have to work late at night. I’d be going to bed at 1 a.m. but not able to sleep until 2 a.m. Then I’d be up against at 6 a.m. to get the kids ready for school and do everything else that was left for me during the week. He worked out of the house and would make comments about doing dishes when I took breaks. (What breaks?)
Now that he’s gone, I get more time. My workload has increased but I get through it all during the working day. If I have some time on the weekends I don’t have the kids, I can get ahead if I want, but I don’t feel the need to. I rarely work past 6 p.m., and only write about something late at night if the inspiration strikes. And sometimes it does!
Now I get to sleep more, and I’ve noticed a world of change as a work at home mom. I’m:
- More patient
- Able to do more with the kids
- More productive at work
My kids have noted how I have more patience to do things with them. They now get to help me cook rather than me asking for a few minutes peace while I do it. They get to spend more time with me when they’re home, whether it’s watching a movie together, painting, or building their Playmobil.
I do put it down to sleeping more and sleeping better. I know when I’m running low on energy that I feel it in my patience and mood. Now I have fewer mood swings and the whole house is happier for it. If people want to call me lazy for doing something that is benefitting me, my kids, and my work, well, they can grumble to a brick wall about it.
MORE: Why children need to see your work-life balance
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