What I need most is what every parent of 3 small children needs – sleep. I’ve been sleep deprived since mid-2009 — I joke that I have a blood caffeine level that I have to maintain just to make it through the day. Except that it’s not really a joke.
It’s easy to say “Tonight’s the night I’m going to bed early!” But when it comes down to it, by the time I get home from work, and then we have dinner and do homework and have a bath now and then and maybe a book and a few minutes with each kid as I tuck them in, then nurse the baby down to sleep, then watch a show with M – I’m lucky if I’m in bed by my nominal bedtime of 10:30. I’m treating this as one of those things that will pass eventually; they all have to sleep through the night eventually, right? (If not, lie to me and tell me it’s true.)
There are other things that I use to replenish: running, reading books, going out with M for dinner and a cup of coffee, lunch with my girlfriends, the occasional lazy Sunday spent cross-stitching. Those are actually easier to get worked into my schedule than a nap. I feel like if I start going to bed earlier, then I have to give up some of those things, or time that I spend with my family members, or chores around the house. There are so many things that have to get done to keep this family working, and then so many more things and events that I want to do and participate in. I don’t want to live a life where I get up, go to work, come home, barely see anyone, don’t do anything, and then go to bed. That doesn’t sound like any kind of life worth living to me. I’d rather down a pot of coffee and keep on squeezing out the joy in as many moments as I can cram into my day.