Sleep: a mother’s most valuable resource

Do you love bedtime as much as I do?  Sleep is a healer.

At the end of a long day, the only thing better than three small children tucked into bed is their haggard mother pulling up her own covers, wrapping them around her shoulder, tucking them under her chin and closing her eyes.  Breath flows slow and deep and there’s silence. Part of the reason that I love the time when children are sleeping is because it’s how I refuel in almost every way:  reading, talking to Matt, blogging, watching a show I recorded, talking to a friend on the phone… but I think the most important thing during that block of time is that I get two prayers and scripture study and rest before they’re up again.  That’s some serious mom ammunition.

I remember when I got married, some well-meaning person said “Never go to bed angry.”  I can only assume that 95% of her brain doesn’t stop working at about 7 p.m. like mine does.  If I walk away from stress and tuck myself into bed, I am so much better prepared to face a new day.  Frustration fades, small infractions are more easily forgotten, and I’m just in a better mood all the way around.

Some women have fantasies of shopping sprees or exotic vacations or that the game Candyland might come to life.  Those would all be nice, but when I get overwhelmed or anxious, I tend to fantasize about 36 uninterrupted hours in a hotel room all by myself with a huge comfortable bed.  Sigh.

Anyway, I saw these two quotes the other day, and they helped me see another reason sleep is precious.  It’s a mark of victory, evidence of another day conquered.

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall.  Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day.  Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down.  And this is all life really means.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  ~Victor Hugo

We only have to do our best one day at a time.  Then we rest and start again.  It’s practically like being born again every day.  So go to bed already; tomorrow’s gonna rock.