Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

7 Easy Ways to Get More Rest

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My kids beg to get online all the time.

Everything in the house is password protected, but they still plead for permission to use electronics.

What’s it like at your house? 

Moms, are you ready to start taming the internet dragon? 

As I mentioned last week, we are going to look at one of 5 positive disciplines mentioned by Michael Hyatt in this podcast to re-order our family lives to use the internet for good and avoid its destructive impact.

If you haven’t read the Newsweek article Michael discussed, Is the Web Driving us Mad?, or listened to the podcast, the short version is that new studies show that the internet really is changing our brains, and not for the better.  To some degree virtually everyone is addicted—truly addicted.  The brains of internet addicts look like the brains of alcoholics or compulsive gamblers.

Is this really what we want for our kids?  Ourselves?  Our marriages?

Hyatt’s five positive disciplines of the heart help bring our lives back into balance.

During August, I want to focus on the discipline of rest.

Maybe this seems a silly thing to write on a blog that’s directed to young moms.  We are all exhausted!  I have hardly gotten a full night’s sleep in over 11 years.

But most of us can still make better choices.  Christians believe that rest is even important to God.  After Creation, he rested, and he instituted a day of rest for his people in the Old Testament.

This week, I challenge you to go to bed earlier.

Choose a time.  If you usually go to bed at midnight, maybe 10 is a good goal.  If you normally hit that hay at 10, maybe you could shoot for 9.  I know it seems early, but if you are getting up several times with small children, it’s actually very reasonable.

I know that precious time after everyone is in bed is like gold.  It’s a time to have quiet for a change, to watch a relaxing movie, or to visit with your husband.  I’m not saying you have to give those things up, but maybe you can modify them a little.

Watch a TV episode instead of a full length film, read one chapter instead of ten, or cut everything off and just focus on your husband during that time.  Personally, I have found that on weeknights, there is no way to watch TV and have time with my husband.  It’s either/or—otherwise we’re even more wiped out.

A few other practical suggestions:

Start your bedtime routine during the day.  If you lay out everyone’s clothes the night before, don’t wait till after the kids are in bed.  Think earlier.  You could do it after lunch, or as soon as you get home in the evening (if you work).  Fill the diaper bag during the afternoon.  Don’t wait till the last thing at night to pack your husband’s lunch for the next day.

Get the kids to bed earlier.  Remember, this challenge is for their well-being too.  I have noticed that especially in some homeschooling families, kids sometimes stay up pretty late.  They are growing fast and desperately need their sleep too.  Start getting them ready 15 minutes earlier and work backward from there.

If that is the only time they get to spend with dad, you’ll need to be flexible, but think about the small changes you can make.  Maybe you could bathe them and have them pick up their rooms before dad gets home.  Small things can make a big difference.

Cut off the phones.  If your friends are used to being able to call or text you late in the evening, let them know that you are turning off your ringers after a certain time.  Then follow through!

As tempting as it is to have caffeine to get you through the afternoon, try having it only in the morning so you’ll feel sleepy at bed time.

Good mornings really do start the night before.  I have pooh-poohed the idea of going to bed early at times because it seemed so hard.  But when I do, I am amazed at how much better I feel and what a better wife and mom I am.

So how about it?  What is one change you can make this week to help you get to bed earlier?

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This post is part 1 of the Disciplines of the Heart Challenge.

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Linking to:

WIP Wednesdays

Works for Me Wednesdays

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8 thoughts on “7 Easy Ways to Get More Rest

  1. Thanks for popping in to my blog the other day. You have a beautiful blog on all the topics I love! Thanks too, for this post. I have been struggling with sleep deprivation since our 2nd baby and it is hard to avoid the temptation of coffee. I did manage to get to bed early last night – by not even turning on the TV. Made such as difference. Blessings.

  2. It does make a big difference! It seems like when I give in to the temptation to watch TV before bed, it’s fun at the time but I always regret it.

  3. I’m reading this as the clock approaches 10 which is my bed time with still a million things to do. I know I need to rest though. I’m a big grouch when I don’t sleep!

    Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday!

  4. We used to be always early to bed, early to rise, but our schedules have shifted the past few months. Thank you for the reminder! Even for older kids, these routines are important…and fall is always a time for me to reign in and tighten up the schedules, so I look forward to it!

  5. Now it’s my turn…The day took an unexpected turn and I’m either going to have to go to bed early and leave it all till tomorrow (ugh!) or stay up and finish. Bed should win, I know!

  6. I was early to bed/early to rise for years, actually my whole growing up, even through my teens. You are right, it’s important for olders too. After having babies that changed, although the kids all go to bed early. I’m determined to see this through and get back on track!

  7. Good ideas! Thanks! 🙂

  8. Thanks for visiting, Tonya!

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