Every afternoon, while I’m putting the kids in bed, my brain works furiously so that when I get downstairs, I’m ready to dive right into writing. Often, prolactin kicks in while nursing, and I think longingly of the comfy couch. But I always grit my teeth and push through my sleepiness, knowing that nap time is the only writing time I have some days.
But then I’m always exhausted. And Christian and I argued all weekend, a byproduct of my inability to rest. Then, on Sunday evening, I received an email from my grandmother.
I want to introduce Grandma, but there is no way to do her justice without a blog post all her own. Suffice it to say, Grandma raised ten kids, and now she takes care of grown grandchildren and small great-grandchildren when we come to visit. She is an amazing, holy woman and one of the people I aspire to be when I grow up.
Her email said:
Kate I have taken time tonight to read much of your blog. You comment on lacking in rest. Let the Mother of ten give some advice for what it is worth. I think you have comparable activity with all of your extra activities on top of your parenting. My Mother in law gave me this advice which I implemented successfully during my very busy days. She said her doctor told her that if every Mother would take fifteen minutes out of her day, throw herself onto the bed, put everything ( I mean everything) out of her mind, and reap a 5 minute nap, there would be less nervous breakdowns.
I know it took some practice because I would think of all I had to do ( no time for a nap). I would say a Hail Mary telling the Blessed Mother that I just had to have 5 min. sleep. Finally it worked and I would wake up refreshed and raring to go while the babies slept and the older ones sat quietly with their story books. Good luck if you try it.
Remember you need to do it when things are quiet (children either napping or sitting quietly with books) not to bother Mother while she is napping. Mother must learn to put ALL out of her mind for 15 min, with a prayer to let her have at least a 5 min. snooze. Phone calls I can’t advise on. I have never had to contend with many calls. Love, Grandma
Actually, she has offered this advice before, but I never gave it a fair try. I always think I have too much to do. But my brain is muddled and slow when I’m sleepy, and pushing through it is a recipe for frustration. So today, when my brain and prolactin went to war, I decided what I wanted to work on and then quit thinking about it. After putting Nicholas down, I set the timer for fifteen minutes and lay down on the couch.
I woke up two minutes before the timer went off, ready to work. Grandma, you rock!