Whether you are caring for a newborn or a grown-up teen, your day as a working mother is bound to be packed with tasks and responsibilities, often leaving you with little or no time to get your precious eight hours of sleep.
The multitasking supermom very often becomes a perpetually stressed, sleep deprived creature who is, according to recent studies, more prone to depression, heart disease and other stress-related maladies.
Here are some pointers that can help ease the problem.
Do not hesitate to seek and accept help: Working mothers need to realize that it is sometimes all right to let others pitch in with a few small things which would save a lot of time and energy. For example, if a close friend or relative is going to the supermarket, you can request them to bring in some groceries for you as well while you grab some quick shuteye. You can do the same for them on your next trip to the store. Doting grandparents will be happy to have children over for the weekend, which would leave you with plenty of time to relax and catch up on sleep.
Scheduling your routine: Encourage your children to follow a routine, especially during weekdays. If they are done with homework, feeding and other tasks by a reasonable hour, you can safely retire to your room and unwind. Late night TV watching and eating out are best left for the weekends as these activities interfere with sound sleep. If you have a small baby who needs to be attended to at night, get your husband to take turns or split responsibilities.
Create a relaxing environment: After a stressful day, it helps to come back to a room that is welcoming and soothing to the senses. Use dim lighting and aromatherapy lamps to create an ambience that will help you forget the day’s worries and lull you to sleep. Some essential oils like lavender are believed to induce sleep, even in insomniacs.
Learn to let go: Sure there are a million things to be done but some of them can certainly wait. Do not take it upon yourself to accomplish everything in a single day and be ruthless enough to say ‘No’ and reject things that are not essential. Draw a line on over-commitment and additional workload. Promise to end your day at a particular hour and save the non-urgent tasks for weekends or holidays.
Sort, delegate, divide, rotate, synchronize, reject: Take an overview of the things you do throughout the day and mark out the most essential ones that take top priority. You will find many activities you do apart from these both at work and at home, that take up your precious minutes of sleep. At work, try to delegate more of smaller tasks to your juniors if hurrying around after every little job is keeping you at the workplace longer than necessary. At home, divide some of the chores that get done much faster if each member does a bit.
These are but a few of the many ways that aid the survival of a working mother. Take a little while to analyze your situation and creatively apply these tips and more to your day. You will most definitely be able to get the very essential sleep that you were deprived of, which in turn will bring a marked rise in the general efficiency and balance to your life.