A baby rabbit rests in an open hand.

Take More Naps – 3 Dangers of Moms Not Getting Enough Rest

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The photo above is actually a picture of a six-day-old rabbit being held by one of my daughters. Looking at this baby bunny sleeping got me thinking about rest and the incredibly important role it plays in my life.

In general, I feel profoundly responsible for my behavior. While engaging with clients and the outside world comes easily to me, conducting myself as a kind human being around my family is where the real challenge begins.

By nature, kindness is not innate in me. If I was left to my own devices, I would try to control and manage everything and everyone around me to the point of hysteria. I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to learn a new way, but the reality is, behaving myself is astonishingly exhausting.

One mission I have, specific to raising our children, was inspired by the Hippocrates quote, “Do no harm.” I am constantly trying to work on my own issues so I don’t needlessly sabotage these darling little dirtballs.

This summer I have been sharing how depleted I feel. It was only today that I realized why that is. Being cordial and loving to my kids is overwhelmingly draining for me. During the school year, I only have to keep it up for single digits on a daily basis, but the summertime is different. Day in and day out, benevolence feels like a fifteen-hour mental marathon for my soul.

If I don’t get enough rest several things happen to me:

  1. I have less patience
  2. I get overwhelmed quickly
  3. I feel ‘less than’

The tricky thing about all three of these is that when I’m being less patient, getting overwhelmed, and/or feeling ‘less than,’ I don’t even realize how it’s due to—LACK OF SLEEP. I truly believe that everyone is going out of their way to drive me bananas. I actually conclude that my life is too complicated for me to handle. I’m completely convinced that I’m not doing enough, being enough, or working enough.

I was taught that I’m a human being, not a human doing. While attempting to juggle work and kids this summer, my sleep needs are different. Giving myself permission to grab extra rest is one way I can set myself up for more patience and a clearer perspective. And, it’s also a very good reminder that the other person I have to be mindful not to harm is myself.

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