If there is one word that describes the typical family these days, it's "busy". We're busy learning, working, cleaning, playing, helping others, cooking, eating, meeting friends, running errands, shopping, driving...and the list goes on...and on. We are a culture distracted with getting everything done. I read just the other day that the one thing that has been sacrificed along the way is sleep.
Children, however, let us know pretty quickly when they are in sleep deficit. They get irritable, they fuss, they get on their siblings' nerves. That being said, I remember being a novice mother and being oblivious to the signs in front of me. I was getting annoyed at my 4 year old boy who wouldn't hurry up and eat. Saying a chiding remark about not taking so long to eat, I turned around for literally under a minute to some sort of task. When I looked back to check on his progress, my poor son had his head resting on the table and was sound asleep. And I felt like I had failed motherhood. Ironically, it was a time in my life when with 3 small children at home, I was the one running on too little sleep.
I took a picture and left it on my fridge for years. To remind me to be more patient and read the signs.
That was years ago, but I notice that my energy stores still start to run dry when I'm not getting the sleep I need. I get frustrated more quickly, my mind is more forgetful, I'm definitely hungrier. So my goal is to get to bed sooner each day. I don't want to call it a "New Year's Resolution", because that has an almost built-in expectation of eventual failure. I prefer to think of it as a gift. A gift not just to me, but a gift to those around me.