What does the darkness bring to you? I find it brings a much desired time for solitude, but it also brings the fatigue described in yesterday’s article Mom Tired. My favorite moments occur late at night and early in the morning, when the world is still and simply mine. At night, I hear the ocean waves playing from the hallway, helping everyone sleep soundly. I hear gentle snores and puppy adjustments from my bed. In the morning, I hear the birds singing to each other, and I watch strands of light permeate the darkened sky.
These quiet moments are almost always worth the sleep deprivation. I’m going to be tired either way tomorrow. Why not have a few minutes of peace in the darkness to help set me up for success in the daylight? It is in these moments I accomplish everything of importance. This is when I write, clean the kitchen, do laundry, pay bills, catch up on emails and text messages. This is when I do everything that needs to be done.
And that is the incredible part of being a mom. All of these things we do are not seen but felt. We’re like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy who sneak in at night, bestow gifts, and leave unseen. Our family doesn’t witness these small acts that make the house run smoothly, but they enjoy the benefit of it. And they definitely notice when these acts are neglected.
How do we balance and juggle it all? I’m finally beginning to accept that my house will not be as clean as I would like it to be, if I want to invest in other priorities: taking the kids out of the house, writing this blog, exercising, cooking healthy meals, spending time with friends. We can’t have it all, and we need to establish what demands priority over something else. I take care of as much as I can during the day, but I reserve the evening for anything that really involves investment or brain power.
I have a hard time focusing on paperwork when the girls are fighting, crying, playing, laughing, which is why I have relegated it to the night. Dealing with my insurance company and medical bills after baby V’s arrival has been rough, as I can’t call them at 9pm once everyone is asleep. Being on the phone in our office, with toddlers banging on the door and peeing on the floor is stressful before adding a crying three month old.
The night has become my sanctuary. The moment of the day where I can do something without being interrupted “to go potty.” The moment of day where I can eat whatever I want without someone trying to take it from me. The urgency of the day is done, and I can finally experience stillness and serenity, or as close to it as a mom ever comes.