It is a wonderful journey for a woman, growing into a capable individual with a steady career, and making the transition from a daughter to wife and then to mother.
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.
If reading the above has you grumbling, “The story of my life,” here are some pointers that can help ease the problem. Sleep deprivation is a common issue for the working mother.
However, careful observation of routine, resources and requirements can certainly be made, to find out its causes and manage time to minimize them.
Don’t hesitate to seek out and accept help
Working mothers need to realise 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 is 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. Don’t 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.
Sometimes you just can’t have those relatives over; the visit can happen later. This also applies at work. Draw a line and say no to 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. In cases where domestic help is not available, each person can clean his/her own dishes.
Likewise, each family member can fold their own clothes from the laundry basket; even kids above a certain age may participate and actually benefit from such early introduction of basic self-dependence.
Your husband and you can take turns to attend to the studies and homework of children. You can even do their revisions with them while you cook. Getting pre-washed and cut vegetables is yet another timesaver, which you can further improve by finding quick recipes.
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 shall bring a marked rise in the general efficiency and balance in your life.
Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and the author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women. In the book and online course, you’ll learn how to throw off the shackles of your own limiting beliefs, come into your power and design your destiny.
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