First, I am happy to report that yesterday went as well as one can expect! Annabel held down the fort all morning, and G slept through the afternoon while the iPad babysitter kept A&C as happy as clams.
I am proud of my 8 year old babysitter! I would not want to do this as a matter of routine (it was stressful, to say the least) but — well, we all survived. The house wasn’t even a terrible disaster (only a minor one).
G did manage to cover herself in paint & washable marker (“I’m a kitty!”) but this was actually after the work day once I was in charge again. Oops! As you can see, she was quite thrilled with her accomplishment.
All 3 kids got to order gifts from Target (A = bracelet making set with 38374 components, C = pool toys & face paint, G = puffy stickers). THEN at around 7:30, Josh got home and I declared myself finished with parenting. He took over (thank god) and I put myself to bed at 9 pm.
On that note, let’s discuss sleep. Such a cornerstone habit – yet it’s so easy to forget the importance!
First of all, I love sleep. But I almost never wake up without an alarm because I also love my mornings (and this blog, and my workouts, and my alone time). I have found that the sweet spot between feeling functional and mentally clear AND getting to enjoy my morning time is about 7-7.5 hours, plus some delicious catchup naps on weekends.
This usually looks like:
8:30 START kids’ bedtime process
9:00 Ideally kids are in bed (often run a little late. Plus, usually Josh puts the big kids to bed while I handle G).
9:15 Get self ready for bed
9:30 – 10:00 Somewhere in that window –> go to sleep
5:00 UP. Unless I have a day off with childcare, and then I can sleep later and get my usual ‘morning routine’ in later in the day.
SAME-ish schedule, maybe a little more flexibility on the ‘going to bed’ end (but not much)
5:00 UP unless I’m insanely tired and just need a sleep-in day, which does happen every so often.
1:30 NAP! Usually setting my phone for 31 minutes, but sometimes longer
I did try the Sleep Cycle app for a while and liked it, but just kind of forgot about it!
For me, getting less than 7 hours more than one day in a row is a recipe for disaster (and one of the reasons I really detest taking call overnight).
How much sleep do you need/get?