I gave up sleep to gain back my identity.
Momlogic's Yvette: Like so many other moms out there, I woke up one day and wondered what the hell had happened to me. Why on earth was I so unsatisfied and often unhappy? Here I was, a mother of two great kids, married, gainfully employed ... on paper it looked like the total package, but in reality something was missing ... and that missing something was making me miserable.
For the longest time, I couldn't put my finger on what the problem was. Every day, I'd wake up, go to work, come home, take care of the kids, take care of my husband, take care of the house -- go to bed and wake up to do it all over again. There was nothing outwardly wrong -- but that doesn't mean everything was right either.
Finally, one day, it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks -- I was spending every waking moment taking care of everyone else in my life and I had completely forgotten about taking care of myself. No, I'm not talking about indulging in a mani-pedi now and then. I'm talking about REALLY taking care of myself -- doing the things that I like to do, the things I used to before I had children, the things that made me happy and made me feel good about myself. I couldn't remember the last time I felt really good about myself. I missed that feeling -- and I was determined to get it back. I missed running, I yearned to once again feel that runner's high -- not to mention that once tight little butt that had long ago stopped being so tight or so little. I had always dreamed of writing a book. I had started and stopped a few times but once the kids came along, I barely had time to read a book, let alone write one.
I knew what I wanted to do -- I wanted to write and run again. Those were the two things I knew I craved and needed to get back in my life. But how? How the hell was I supposed to do that when my day literally began at 6 AM and did not end until the last dish was emptied from the dishwasher at about 11 PM? By that point my brain was too fried to put two words together and I was too exhausted to even think about exercise. Weekends sounded like a possibility -- but in reality, we all know how hard it is to run all of our errands and race to all of those damn kids' parties. My weekends were even busier than my weekdays. I was miserable.
But finally, one day I figured out what I had to do. I would need to sacrifice something I loved in order to get my sanity back. Now, as the mother of a child who was a terrible sleeper, but who finally and thankfully was sleeping through the night -- I loved and cherished my usual 6-7 hours of sleep. As much as I hated the thought of this, I realized the only way to have any time for myself was wake up an hour earlier than normal and use that time for writing, running, or even just sitting on the couch alone with a cup of coffee.
I started doing this a few years ago and at first it was really hard. But eventually, it got easier and easier and now, I don't even need an alarm clock any longer. My solitary early mornings are without a doubt my favorite time of day. I love the quiet, I love how it feels to exercise regularly and now, just this past month, I finished writing my second book.
Sure, I miss my bed and I'm a little tired sometimes. But for me, losing a little sleep was a small sacrifice for gaining back my self-confidence and identity ... as well as my sanity. So for all you moms out there struggling to find a little alone time, I highly recommend an early wake-up call -- as well as a really good under eye concealer.