Friday, April 13, 2012

Sleep? What's that?

I started this blog back in '07 because a friend encouraged me to write as a way to communicate with others who share similar interests and also as a way to keep writing; something I love but don't find time to do. Part of my frustration back in '07 was that I was recently divorced and busier than ever. When I had been been married I was always busy but now as a divorced woman, working two jobs and raising two girls, the word "busy" took on a whole new meaning. There were days I felt I had to schedule my potty breaks. I know there are many of you out there in similar situations, who have equally, or quite possibly even more demanding schedules. This blog was intended to share my struggles with being a single working mom, a graduate student and a runner and perhaps find ways to "make it all work," despite the demands that were placed upon me. However, this blog itself is proof that there is simply NEVER enough time, as I rarely post.

I am a perfectionist by nature. Type A personality all the way. Work is what I do. I often wonder what it would be like to be more laid back and sit and read a book while the dishes are piled in the sink, and the laundry sits undone. My kids will tell you I don't rest until it's all done. The problem is that it is rarely ever ALL done. There is always something to do. As I have grown older I have tried to find balance, in fact if there is anything I have strived for in life it was to find balance in all that I do. From exercise, to work, to eating habits etc. Extremes in anything rarely pay off. But that work mode, that drive to get it ALL done, has been hard to curb (I blame my Dad for that. Darn his work ethic that rubbed off on me). And because now I am the only adult in the house I have what I call the "mom duties" AND the "dad duties." Sometimes, I'm mopping floors or baking banana bread, nursing sick kids and doing girl stuff but other days I am mowing lawns, cutting down trees, fixing leaking pipes or cleaning out the gutters. It just comes with the territory of being a single mom. And so comes that battle to find the balance. The search for extra time in the day to get it all done. And then there's the ME TIME. How and when do I find time to run? Better yet, when is it OK to call it a day and just sleep?

I titled today's post: "Sleep? What's that?" because in many ways I feel like I have been trying to sleep since I was 17 when I got my first job. Since then, it seems that sleep has been something that eludes me. There are days where I feel like the only time I will ever get to sleep is when I'm ill or when I'm dead. As parents, we know that with the birth of one's children sleep is something you will probably never do again, at least not until they're out of the house and by then, your body has gotten so used to living on such little sleep that you just automatically get up early. Ha! And so goes life right?

Today is the last day of my Spring Break. It has been a good week off and I've accomplished quite a bit. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough to feel somewhat productive. I told the girls last night that I was going to "sleep in" on Friday morning, my last day of Spring Break. With my oldest being 18, I am now afforded the privilege of having her drive my youngest to school sometimes. So, despite the fact that my To Do List is as big as ever, I told myself to take a day and sleep. A gift to myself if you will. A way to find that "balance." And so I went to bed at a decent time on Thursday night and relished in the fact that I was going to just sleep and sleep until my body had had enough. I have never had a hard time falling asleep and it was no different last night. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out. The girls came in the morning before they left for school and kissed me goodbye. I felt a little guilty actually, but I just laid there and sleep overcame me again and I slept. I could hear the rain hitting the skylight and I wrapped the blankets closer around me until the jolt of the phone awakened me and my youngest's voice said: "Mom, can you come get me? I don't feel well." She'd been at school for maybe an hour. Sleep? Who needs it?

Vanessa on our 22-mile training run last December. She rode her bike while we ran and carried extra water for us.
And so it goes folks. I sit here writing this blog as my daughter is sleeping in her bed nursing a sick tummy, my dishes are piled in the sink, I have a stack of papers to grade, laundry waiting to be washed and folded, gutters that need to be cleaned after yesterday's storm and I'm thankful. Thankful that God saw fit to fill my body with energy and a stubbornness that just won't quit. Yes, I often do not get enough sleep and because I am a working mom, I don't get to go on all the field trips or soccer games or see my daughters perform in all their plays and choir performances and sometimes I have to have my oldest take my youngest to her doctor appointments because I've used up all my sick days. And on those days I often feel guilty. Guilty that I am not able to be supermom and do it ALL. It's life though. And it's a good life and I have to acknowledge the fact that I am not supermom and it's OK to take off the cape. I often wish that I could have been a stay-at-home mom and enjoyed all those moments with my girls. Each of us is dealt a hand of cards when we are born. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just the way we play the hand.  

And so I'm thankful. Thankful that I am strong and have two jobs that supply for our needs. Thankful that I have the energy to run when times allows it. Thankful that I have two wonderful girls who are growing up to be beautiful, strong, independent young women. Thankful that I was home today when that phone call came through and that sweet little voice at the other end of the line said: "Mom? Can you come get me? I don't feel well."

"I'll be right there babe."

These are the cards that I was dealt and I will play them to the best of my ability and maybe, if there's still time, I'll go for a run.

1 comment:

Linda said...

You are a lucky, blessed women in so many ways. Let us praise the Lord for his mercies in every day life and in every way.
Your children will raise up to call you blessed. Never it will happen one day when you least expect. They will be bragging on their mom for who she is.
Your biggest admirer