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Twenty Minutes More

Posted by daggymum , 22 February 2012 · 204 views

So, if I am up at 5.30 in the morning to deal with one of the kids and that occupies about 10 minutes, do I get back into bed to squeeze in my last 20 minutes of sleep time before I have to get up at 6? This morning that’s what I did, and the problem with that approach is that the 20 minutes sleep ends up being an hour because I am so tired I fall back into a deep sleep. And then I run late for the rest of the morning.

Or, do I just say 20 minutes sleep isn’t worth the pain of running late all morning and rushing to get two kids and two parents out the door by 8? And just get up at 5.30? The problem with this approach is that I have already been up during the early morning, from 2.30 to 3am, to deal with the other child. I went back to sleep that time pretty well too, but it means I am still tired and in need of sleep at 5.30am.

Over the last month my bed time has crept a little later and is now closer to 10pm than to 9pm so maybe that’s somewhere I could access more sleep time. It’s just that when you have the kids doing their bedtime routine and then running late when the younger has her getting to sleep issues time to oneself is hard to get. If it’s after 8pm by the time everything has settled down and peace finally reigns throughout the house, that doesn’t leave much time for me to my stuff, or time to spend with Hubby. And we need that time too.

There is also time needed to run the household. Sometimes the evening is the only time we have to do planning, pay bills, online shopping (for necessary items), and any social interactions we may have (these are few and far between at the moment). Plus chores. Sometimes the kitchen isn’t tidied after dinner until the kids are both in bed and it’s not something we can leave as if we do it’ll just mean getting up earlier to finish it in the morning. All this time cuts into the time we need to have a break and just do stuff.

This week the mum’s in my group were talking about how to find time to exercise. One mum is getting up ‘early’ (6am, half her luck) to go for a walk/run, and letting hubby deal with bubs while she is out. Another is working part-time and is using the crèche at the gym to look after bubs during her work-out. A third, the only mum besides me who has two kids is basically just forgetting about it until her baby is older. Her baby is younger than mine and she is not yet back working, so I completely understand that – it’s where I was a few months ago. She did mention that she’s thought about when to fit it in and can’t think of a time, unless she gets up early. If I try to get up any earlier I really will be getting up early – 5 in the morning? 4.30 maybe?! So the time I’ve identified to get some exercise is during lunch time on my work days. It’s the only time I actually have ‘kid free’ when I’m not thinking about going to sleep!!

My plan is to bring my lunch to work, eat at my desk while I do my work, then use my lunch hour to walk over to the nearby State Aquatic Centre and either do some cardio/gym work or swim some laps. I figure I’ll have half an hour to forty-five minutes of exercise time. But it’s better than none at all. Plus, I have the added bonus that I will actually save money by becoming a member and bringing my lunch. I’m at work three days a week and spend at least $10 a day, often more, on buying lunch. That’s $60 a fortnight. It’s a cost that gives me a measure of convenience – I don’t need to prepare lunch in the morning, or the night before. But, if I spend about $40 a fortnight on the gym and bring my lunch, I can save $20 and get fit too. What a bargain! It just means being a little more organized in the mornings, which will be a bit of a challenge, given that I am already cramming a lot into our morning routine already, but worth it. $20 a fortnight is $520 per year off our mortgage.

My other hope is that the exercise will have a positive impact on my state of mind, lift my energy levels and help me get better sleep when I do actually get some sleep. It might not help DD sleep through the night, but Mummy might be happier. And a happy Mummy makes for happy kids. So, I think from this I can conclude that my 20 minutes can be put to better use getting up early and making my lunch for that day instead of spending it in bed sleeping! I shall just have to get to bed earlier again for a little while longer. DD will have to start sleeping better soon (she says hopefully).

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