Losing sleep and losing sight of the big picture…

sleep deprived

The sleep (or lack of) factor

 

I must confess with hubby away at sea at the moment, I’m hardly sleeping. My battery is running on low and I’ve gone from being a night owl to needing to be more of a morning person, with three girls at two different schools and then somehow still be functioning around midnight most nights for blogging events and the nights that my eldest requires picking up from her part-time after school job.

 

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image credit: Brain Porn

 

Those in the know would know that sleep is always fairly elusive as far as I’m concerned but it’s worse, much worse, with hubby away (sleep walking my way UP).

 

At the moment, I seem to have two sleep styles. I either head to bed around 2 to 3 am and I’m up around 6.30 am with the girls or I… actually there’s very little sleep involved in the second style, so it is hardly worth mentioning.

 

With or without the sleep factor, trying to find balance and keep the chaos under some sort of control on all fronts is always a challenge. Without the sleep though, I’m quickly losing sight of the bigger picture and I’ve been looking for signs that I’m on the right track and to justify the chaos that I constantly find myself in.

 

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The whole juggling act that comes with being an entrepreneurial mother to three girls and having a hubby away constantly (with no contact) for up to a month at a time, certainly goes to the next level with Telstra Perth Fashion Festival (TPFF) events added to the mix.  Probably the main reason, I only accepted media accreditation for the one show this year. Especially when I don’t have a support or backup crew locally to help out when things go wrong and other issues are added to the equation.

 

While that one TPFF show did include access to the VIP tent, a glass or two of bubbly with an opportunity to catch up with and support my designer and blogging friends as well as sitting front row for the show, it is actually work for me. A whole lot of fun as well but work all the same.

 

This year, when I pitched for the one show, knowing that two of the designers I’m working with next month were showcasing, I had no idea that hubby would be at sea or that my middle daughter (almost 16) would be presenting at her netball end of year social. None.

 

This all came to light, late last week. Throw into the mix my youngest (14) at a birthday party and my eldest (17) at her part-time job and it took a whole lot of juggling for me to keep to my work commitments with things getting more chaotic than they should ever be on the home front.

 

It still baffles me that I couldn’t find at least one person from my daughter’s netball team or club that would drive five minutes out of their way to collect her and get her to the event on time, while I was on the other side of the city. BUT I did try and just as things looked more than sorted they would fall apart again but after a lot of juggling and a last minute SOS to a family friend, I headed off to work feeling on top of things for once this week.

 

On top of the world to Chaos in 10 SMSs or less

 

That was relatively short lived. Instead of sitting down and watching the show and taking a truck load of photos and notes, with my media accreditation commitments and October event in mind… I was front row, with a show under way, receiving distress flare style SMSs from my daughter at home.

 

The (last minute) lift we had arranged for her to get to her netball presentation hadn’t arrived. Her event had already started and panic mode was setting in. Not a life or death situation as far as I was concerned (my daughter would scream otherwise) but still something that I needed to be on top of, with my daughter’s safety and well-being the main priority.

 

While the venue was less than 10 minutes drive away at a beach side hotel and a cab could have been an easy option, the whole sending a teen off, dressed to the nines, with a complete stranger didn’t sit right with me, it actually had me feeling ill at ease.

 

The other option, had we known in time our lift wasn’t available, was for my three girls to walk down to the beach together (30 minutes), drop Miss 15 off and then walk home but again… and feel free to call me over protective… it just didn’t sit right. Especially given the time of night, the area and the drug and alcohol issues we’ve already experienced. But as it was and given the event had already commenced, that issue was no longer an option.

 

Thirty minutes and ten or so SMSs later, our friend finally arrived, leaving her son’s sporting presentation (that she had completely forgotten about when initially saying a yes to my SOS request for help) to help us out which had her missing the actual moment her son received his award. Thankfully the moment in question was filmed by her husband but didn’t I feel like complete and utter crap, when she broke that news the following day.

 

I kept thinking… wouldn’t it be nice if hubby and myself could have been at our own daughter’s presentation (filming or not) and why on earth am I putting work before family once again and why is hubby always missing in action (with work) when I have so much on.

 

Given the show was only 45 minutes long and I’d spent the first half of the show distracted and in a mad panic…. it was a relief to have everything fall into place but I was well and truly over it. I very rarely ask for help and things need to be rather desperate or work related if I do and things inevitably go pear shaped. Without fail.

 

There’s a lesson in this but am I ready to learn?

 

So while I’m getting better at saying ‘no’, keeping in mind I only put my hand up for one TPFF show, it would seem I now need to work on the areas of asking for help and finding a local support group I can rely on occasionally in the process.

 

I’m not sure why, possibly to do with the 22 moves and always being the new person on the block but even when things are bad, really bad, I generally find it hard to ask for help. My girls do to. The whole fly in fly out (FIFO) or in our case sail in sail out lifestyle has taken a lot of getting use to, there have been some advantages but for the most part it just adds to a whole lot of chaos and limitations to our family.

 

I also had a rather bad health scare soon into hubby being away. It was at the end of his second trip away, when I collapsed at home, hit my head on the way down and popped a shoulder. I’d been in the laundry putting on shoes to go grab the groceries for the week because the cupboards were bare and I was in a bad state and not going anywhere.

 

In hindsight and given that I was most certainly concussed and needed medical attention due to the fact I’d collapsed in the first place, an ambulance should have been called but then what happens to the girls with no one here to look after them?

 

As it was the girls eventually helped me into bed, where I stayed in a pain relief induced haze, for the most part, until hubby returned almost 4 days later. They lived on 2 minute noodles and not much else. As unhealthy as that sounds, it was a case of being the only thing, other than toast they could cook easily at the time, it was also one of the few pantry staples in the house (yes I know how unhealthy they are).

 

They were a lot younger back in those days, we were still relatively new to Perth and the one person that they would have felt comfortable phoning to help was overseas.

 

Yes we do have family on the other side of the country, just a phone call away, but it’s the whole inconvenience and cost factor that comes into play. I don’t like to inconvenience or add to anyone else’s chaos. Which is inadvertently what I ended up doing in the end, so I could meet my work commitments on Saturday evening. Which is why I finished last week and I’m starting this week feeling like absolute crap I’m running on empty and I’m in the running for the worst mother in the world.

 

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There is light (and a lot of positivity) at the end of the tunnel though and this is through my Business Mamas‘ diploma and the new, slightly improved direction my business will take as a result but that’s for a whole different blog post. What I will say is that the flexibility that comes with doing an online course, especially one like Business Mamas, which also comes with a truck load of individual support and guidance, really takes the pressure off when there is so much pressure to start with.

 

For now, it’s back to the sleep factor… are you a morning person, a night owl or something in between? Do you have any tips to help me get a better night’s sleep? Do you have a great support network when life goes pear shaped?

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Managing Editor of Agent Mystery Case. Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.
  • jess

    Give me a call if you ever need help! Even if its just to chat x

    • Thanks Jess. Emailing you soon. Hope you had a relaxing weekend?

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    You have so much on your plate, make sure you get a little time to recuperate or it is only down hill for a while. Awesome numbers though…

    • Awesome numbers? As in Instagram or the 280k pageviews a month again this month for the blog (which I don’t think I ended up posting here)?

      I’m honestly relieved to have turned the stats and blogging pressure off this month, so I can focus on the business side of things.

      How are things with you?

      • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

        WOW look at those page views, that is just awesome. Where doers most of your traffic come from.
        We are good here. Blog is getting lots of attention lately which I am loving. Baby steps I say.

  • Glad everything was able to be sorted out in the end.
    I am in forced morning person mode at the moment due to my current living arrangements, but I don’t really mind as I find I’m (slightly) more productive in the morning!

    • I’m not sure it did actually work out in the end. The grief and guilt side of things that come with asking for favours and then needing to repay favours tenfold is weighing heavily on me this morning.

  • Here is my tip for you. Hire someone. A uni student or nanny to help out on those occasions. Perhaps have them once a week to help you around the house with the more mundane stuff and then you could also have an arrangement that they help you out on occasion (when the need arises) It might cost a bit of money but it would certainly take your frazzle-factor down a notch of two. It’s hard doing everything on your own. If you don’t have good support network I say pay someone. I hope things are a bit more settled (dare I say it…smooth sailing.)
    Bron x

    • We’ve tried that approach and honestly it just ended up creating more work for me. The girls are also possibly too old for a nanny. I just need hubby home more often than he is and to move into the next phase of the business once the course is complete. LOL to the smooth sailing bit.

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    We are so alike in some ways Raych. While I get enough sleep and have my husband here most of the time I also have trouble asking for help AND getting over the guilt of inconveniencing others. Feeling for you and wishing there was more I could to to practically help you. BTW will get back to your email today!

    • Thanks Kirsty. No rush in getting back to me with the email. Just when you have the time. I’m suffering a huge case of guilt this morning, when it comes to inconveniencing others which was not my intention when I asked for help. Probably why I struggle to ask for help in the first place. It’s just not worth the grief.

      • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

        I get that. I’ve hated nearly every moment of being unable to drive as it’s meant I’ve had to rely on others and I’ve HAD to inconvenience them. I can’t wait to drive again but it will be another month before then -I’m learning to try and grin and bear it and believe that they actually want to help me and don’t see it as an inconvenience at all. Although it hasn’t been easy…!

        • I had 12 months of not being able to drive, it’s so frustrating and just adds to the chaos. Thinking of you. xx

  • My problem is when I want to go to sleep my body never does and I end up staying up half the night and then I’m woken by a toddler early in the morning. I totally get the not asking for help thing. I never ask either. T is a shift worker so I do most things on my own and I just feel bad if I rely on other people, but there’s been lots of times where I should’ve asked.

    • I think in the end it is just easier if you don’t have to ask or rely on other people.

  • I’m a former morning person who is now just always tired. When the kids are older I have absolutely no doubt I’ll go back to morning person ways, but the broken nights (and, let’s be honest, the constantly changing types and levels of meds during the conception/pregnancy/breastfeeding days) are ruling it out for now.

    That really sucks. And I’m a little dark on the friend, even if she did miss her son’s moment – sounds like she forgot to tell you she couldn’t do it after all? Not the point, I know, but I think the guilt you feel over that one can disappear. I hear you – I’m the one that deals with all of the kids’ stuff and the things I do – work, blog, everything – has to fit in around it. There are times (not many, and certainly not more than the good times, but still times) that I resent that. Must fix that. x

    • I think the friend has a chaotic time of it as well and I really shouldn’t have asked her in the first place. Hopefully there will be no more last resort type dramas before hubby returns home, on my birthday and a few days before you can reintroduce chocolate into your diet. How is that going by the way?

      • All fine! I can’t stomach the thought of too much now, which was the whole point anyway. Can’t wait to smash a Time Out though! x

        • I wonder if you shouldn’t ease yourself in with some cheap and nasty chocolate or go the other extreme and have a tiny piece of something rather indulgent. Which for me isn’t exactly Time Out. lol

          • Yes, I just don’t want to go too hard and regret it. Tossing up between the good ol’ Time Out and no occasion, or a trip to Max Brenner for a chocolate-drizzled Belgian Waffle with a big fanfare.

          • I really need to case Max Brenner. They’ve only just opened here in WA. The one and only store is 30 minutes away but I’m assuming it will be worth the drive and something to put on the school holiday agenda (next week).

            Now, I’m also thinking I should introduce you to what was once called ‘guilts’ but is now called ‘sable sin’, the most indulgent chocolate truffle I have ever tasted made with a slight hint of a chocolate liquor called Sable.

  • I’m a former night owl who is now too tired to stay up that late anymore! I hate being frazzled and relying on plans that don’t turn out to be reliable, so I can appreciate your stress. We’re lucky to have both sides of the family close by and able to actively assist. I’m not sure what I’d do without them but I’d definitely look into some kind of trusted agency of some kind. Although your kids are too old for traditional babysitting, maybe just someone to hang out as a “companion” that can supervise and take charge if shiz hits the fan?

    • We need to adopt some grandparents over here but even then, I’m not sure I would be so trusting. Frazzled is a good word for what I’ve been experiencing lately.

  • Suzy

    Oh wow you sure do have your hands full. I could not survive on 4 hours of sleep each night. Dropping by from the I Confess link up,

    • Thanks for dropping by Suzy. I really need to get my sleep under control but having tried everything, I’m not sure how.

  • Sometimes there really is no right or simple answer. I have the bad habit of watching old DVDs to fall asleep at night currently, so I probably shouldn’t give advice there!

    • My meds add to the equation as well and there is no option of coming off them. I have a couple of bad habits, like screen time after 9pm and coffee in the afternoon, which could easily be addressed. Although having said that, I have tried on occasion this approach with little to no real results.

  • Oh my… you really are living in crazy town. The sleep factor really throws everything out of whack too doesn’t it. Maybe its a case of slowing down a little, saying no a bit more and trying not to feel too much guilt. Easier said than done I know, but small steps. xx

    • Yes crazy town pretty much sums it up at the moment. I’m getting better at saying no and not so worried about missing out these days. There is only so much I can do.

  • Definite night owl here but life doesn’t often let me follow my natural instincts, sigh … what a nightmare, I know what it’s like to have something going on at home and feel helpless to do anything much about it.

    • Helpless and hopeless is pretty much how I’ve been feeling on all fronts this past week. Onwards and upwards. In the blink of an eye the girls will be finished school and leaving home. I’ve never been one to attend all the presentations or school things, so I’m not sure why this is bothering me so much.

  • Lack of sleep does crazy things to you. I hope you are ok after hitting your head and popping your shoulder. While I haven’t had much sleep either, it’s not as bad as yours is sounding. I’ve been listening to guided meditation CDs while getting off to bed. They help me fall asleep quickly but my problem usually is just not getting home in time to have an early night. I hope things get better soon! xx

    • I haven’t tried guided meditation CDs, although I’m not great with meditation in the first place but I might need to look into this.

  • I am a chronic insomniac until the batteries just fall dead. Which happens to be around this time of the year. We are always so busy trying to be everything to everyone that we forget about us. Take some time to stop and smell a spring flower and remember we can have it all just not all at once. Mel xx #IMustConfess

    • I’m pretty sure my batteries will go dead, the moment hubby walks through the door.

  • You have had a rough run Raychael. It is hard trying to find someone in your village to help sometimes with kids transport. I’m a terrible sleeper too but I do plan on making changes.
    I hope this week is better.

    • All good in the scheme of things. Hubby will be home in less than a fortnight (fingers crossed) and I can relax a touch. You’ve had a tough time yourself. Thinking of you. xx

  • Anne@Gritand Giggles

    I am a morning person who has had to adapt (unsuccessfully) to being a night owl who is an early riser. Tiredness makes things so much harder and seem like so much bigger hurdles than what they are. At least everything got sorted for you eventually and I guess your life won’t always be like this. It just sounds like you’ve hit a busy time. I hate asking for help too and would rather go down sobbing than do it but I have learned to say no to things sometime learning that I need to look after me and not just my bank account or other people.
    Try to get some sleep when you can, or work out what will help you sleep, even if it means naps at strange times. I don’t sleep well when the Mr is away but he is only gone weekends normally.

    • I think naps at strange times might be the go, for now. Although, I’m not sure they help in the long run. It’s my thyroid meds that are messing me about the most and impacting my sleep but I can’t go without them.

  • merilyn

    what’s this i’m reading raych!
    number one priority must be your health and wellbeing otherwise nothing else falls into place! … if I don’t have sleep i’m useless!
    distress and chaos on top of your already busy schedule and health issues, study, etc. etc, etc! … it’s enough to stress anyone!
    I know it’s hard not having your hubby there as a constant! my ex was a 12 hr shift worker and not contactable!
    what do people do when they are single parents! … too hard basket!
    simplify and a family meeting coming up!
    a big virtual hug for you raych! … love m:)X

    • Just a crazy couple of weeks. Could have been much worse if I’d said yes to everything that arrived in my inbox. I’m sure single parents have some sort of support group. It’s the whole part time single parent thing for me, and I suppose all the people I know and trust to ask for help are on the other side of the country.

  • Alicia-OneMotherHen

    I am extremely lucky I have family close by. I still feel like I am putting people out by asking for a favour though. I wish I lived close by, I’d be in your court. I hope you find the sleep you need, have you tried a naturopath?

    • Not recently, to the naturopath, Alicia. I might need to put that on the must case list. Just need to find the time.

  • I love that first quote – it pretty much sums up what I need now. You poor thing. It really does sound as though you’re running out of charge. I really hope you can get some sleep soon and things get a little easier xx

    • Hubby will be home, hopefully in ten days. I’m then going on long service leave, or strike or both.

  • We don’t have a bit support network, but I still hate asking and feel like I’m putting people out. Which usually sees me running all over everywhere trying to ten things or be five different places at once. And I hear you on the sleep thing. Hubby only works away every now and then but when he does I don’t sleep. Actually, I haven’t been sleeping at all well lately. You and me both 🙁

    • Yes, I need to get better at asking for help, or more importantly finding the right people to ask.

  • Ehh exhausted just reading this. Massive juggle for you. You are the glue in family. Hope you can get some time to take care of yourself. xx

    • Exhausted, pretty much sums it up. Could be worse. Thank goodness, I’ve started getting better at saying no to things.

  • Oh wow, I can’t believe you came out the other end of that! I would have lost my mind! Me, I’m sort of in between at the moment. I was an evening person but have started to go to bed earlier to wake up earlier. I”m at my brightest in the morning. In terms of helping you sleep, I am NOT the person to give that advice because I”ll fall asleep with the click of a finger, could probably sleep through an earth quake and sleep right through until my alarm goes off. My only suggestion, don’t use your computer or iphone just before bed. That makes it heaps harder to go to sleep.

    • Yes, I’ve started limiting my coffee and screen time after a certain time. Without much success. It’s my thyroid meds that are adding to the issue and there is very little I can take to counteract them without them losing their effectiveness.

  • Wow, that’s exhausting to read, let alone live! I’m a shift worker so sleep is a precious commodity and I spend a long time trying to figure out how to bank it!

    • I know, I probably shouldn’t write or blog when I’m that exhausted and over things. I remember when I was pregnant with my first, thinking I could bank sleep. It just doesn’t work that way. Does it.

  • I hear you. My hubby works away a lot, often for several weeks at a time, and I’m on my own with 2 kids. I don’t have a support team of willing grandparents, aunties etc. either. I do have a few lovely friends who’ve helped out at times, but mostly it’s just me. Juggling work, blogging and family commitments can be tricky! I have to say though, that I really need my sleep – things get ugly pretty quickly if I don’t get it!! Hope you get some soon too 🙂

    • I crashed last night about 11pm only to wake with health issues on 3am.Things not ugly at the moment. No guarantees later.

  • I’m looking forward to hearing what’s in store blog / business-wise but what a horrendous time you’re having.

    I keep seeing all of these events you go to and am very impressed that: 1. you get so many invitations; and 2. you have the energy to go to so many things. Make sure you do what’s right for you and say no if and when you have to. The kids will be grown up and gone from home before you know it and then you’ll have stacks of time.

    • Surprisingly, I’ve spent a good part of the year and the past month saying no, so the invites aren’t coming in as thick as they were. The ones I do accept, generally have something fun in it for me, or are actual work… sometimes research, sometimes for the blog, occasionally for something else I’m working on. I’ve just finished today’s meeting and I only have the one ‘gig’ till hubby is home and I may cancel. Thankfully, most of where the business direction is headed, doesn’t involve me heading out so much from next year.

  • Man, you’re totally running on empty. How do you do it? I am an absolute BEAR if I don’t get my 8 hours a night. A BEAR!!! A cranky bear that turns into a crying bear ….
    I wish you sleep Raych. Lots and lots of sleep.

    • There were a few tears last night. I suppose, I just have to keep going. I’m going to crash the minute hubby is home. I keep looking at the calendar wishing the days away.

  • Just catching up Raych – so much juggling on so little sleep. Our bodies are like cars, you have to put rest in to get energy out. Humans don’t run on empty – or if we do, eventually we break down! Have you tried one of those sleep apps? Or failing that, just saying no, and putting yourself first? Once you put yourself first and take good care of you, taking care of the girls, the house and the business will fall into place. You matter, remember that. I don’t like wishing days away per se, but hope hubby hurries back from sea soon xx