I may be late to the party, but I know I’m not the only fan of Glennon Doyle Melton‘s Love Warrior. Her no-holds-barred honesty and beautiful prose made me laugh out loud and nod vigorously to myself in agreement with tears in my eyes.
As I was listening to the audiobook (sorry not sorry) in my parked car with a napping toddler, something she said made me pause and rewind 3 times. “A mom will get done what she’s willing to lose sleep over.”
It hit me like a smack. So simple, so true, and such a personal SOS. There is no magical block of time gifted to moms. During every single minute of your waking hours there will be a child in need of your hands, your hip, your snuggles, your attention. There is no gray area. If you want to do something badly enough, you have to get it done while the tiny dictator(s) sleep. So after almost two years of approximately 600 wishes for a good night’s sleep, I’m finally ready to lose some sleep, and gain some oomph from all that I will gain in return.
I will write. I’m my most authentic self in words on paper or tapped out by my fingers on a keypad. Sometimes it pours out of me, and sometimes it’s like squeezing water from a stone. I can’t explain it, but writing feels like me in the most personal of ways. It’s therapeutic, it’s creative, and I feel such catharsis from a good unloading of words and thoughts. A writing session is like therapy, pulling stuff from your insides to the outside. Sometimes it gets stuck inside for far too long, but it’s always worth the effort, the release, and the sweet afterglow.
I will exercise. I grew up swimming competitively, and it shaped me in ways I’m still discovering. I learned to appreciate and meditate to the sound of my breathing while I swam, I learned to compete with only myself and drown out the noise, and I learned to thrive off of the pain caused by sheer fatigue. I’m not interested in the gym regimen I had before I became a mom, that’s time I’m not willing to carve out for goals that no longer feel important. But a 20 minute breathless run, a good spin class that leaves you dripping with sweat, and the calming lull of lap upon lap in the pool while your arms scream at you? That’s a religion, and it’s time for me to get back to church.
I will cook. Things people never tell you about having kids: you will spend what seems like an eternity each week meal planning, shopping for food, cooking, and feeding your family. Am I the only one that loathes this? Do I want to do food prep at night before bed? Um, no. Do I want to get up early to make breakfast? Not usually. But when our family is fed and happy, I’m proud. When stuff is ready to go and planned out, that’s extra hours each week I’m not scrolling through Uber Eats wondering what can get to us fastest due to a rapidly melting down toddler. And the times I manage to get healthy non-delivery food on the table? Even prouder.
I will read (no cheating). Getting sucked into a good page turner is the original binge watching, and I miss it. I’m not talking about parenting books, those are for audio books in the car. I’m not losing sleep to learn about more (probably unsuccessful) ways to deal with the crazy behavior of toddlers, thanks though. I want to get lost in novels that beautifully describe someone else’s problems and life events, and I want to fall asleep with a book in my hands like I did as a kid.
I will work. I’m not sure what this looks like yet, and I’m sure that’s not a foreign concept to most SAHMs. It’s been almost two years since I had a boss other than my daughter, and while I don’t miss alarm clocks, office politics or conference calls, I miss work. I miss solving problems or accomplishing things other than finally finding a lost baby doll. Does that mean I’m ready to hang up my SAHM yoga pants? Nope. Working for her is a delicious privilege that I’m not letting go of yet. This means mapping out things I can do without sacrificing my time with her, and that’s admittedly complicated and challenging, but I’m ready to try.
I will use my voice. The bubble of motherhood is so wonderful, so quiet, and so sacred, but not impenetrable. Your child grows, and you realize with a fire in your heart that you are in charge of your child’s future, so it’s time to get to work. My voice in political decisions, education decisions, and medical decisions is my daughter’s voice as well. I’ve got to be extra educated, extra loud and extra strong. No pressure, right?
One year ago, you would have never convinced me that there was anything I would rather do than sleep, but things are ever changing when you are in charge of little humans every day of your life. I see a lot of morning alone time with me and my Nespresso machine in my future, and I’m ready.*
*Please note that this post will be deemed invalid in times of catastrophic sleep events, namely the impending doom of my kid getting her 2 year molars.