It has been a year. I made it! I got through the whole first year of my son’s life. He and I both made it. Not only made it—we thrived. We crushed this first year. We owned it.
Okay, enough patting myself on the back.
Why was it so easy? Why didn’t I crack? Why didn’t I feel fried? Scrambled? (Why are all these words ways to make eggs?)
I got enough sleep. I put my sleep as my own number one priority. Taking care of Eli was the number one priority for us, and then for me—just for me, when he was taken care of—I made sleep the most important thing in my life. I made sure I got enough. I didn’t try to push myself to be more, do more. Even this blog? I only work on it when Eli is sleeping. And if I decide I should nap while he naps, I do. Nothing, NOTHING, is more important than sleep.
Think of how you feel when you have not gotten enough rest. Are you physically at your best? Mentally? Emotionally? No. Now think of feeling that way and trying to keep another, tiny, curious, needy little human alive. (Needy in a good way.) To be the best parent I can be, I first need to be well-rested. It is the ultimate. It comes before being hydrated, being well-fed, and exercising. I cannot do anything else more valuable to my health than getting an adequate (or more than adequate) amount of sleep.
If you find you can’t go to sleep because you have other things you need to get done you are doing too much. Take something off your plate. Sleep is when our bodies recycle the cells we have spent and used during the day, especially in our brains. All of those cells that no one knew what function they had, except that they were more active when we slept? They are the little recycling centers of our minds, that take all the junky beat up cells, break down the parts, and give them back to the body to be used again or shipped out. When you don’t sleep you are letting all those junky cells build up in your body and in your brain.
It doesn’t matter how healthy you eat, how often you exercise, or how emotionally balanced you are, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you aren’t doing your body any justice. Sleep comes first.
Go take a nap.
Good luck and Happy Friday! (And happy 1st birthday, Eli!)