Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Motivation (or the lack thereof...)

Zoodle's been having trouble sleeping, and he's been a little extra-fussy.  I'm guessing it has to do with teething.  Of course, that's been my guess every time he's had sleep issues for the last six months, and the poor kid is still toothless.  But maybe this time I'm right....  Zoodle is nine days short of the age Chickie was when her first tooth popped through (a day before she turned 11 months old.)  With Chickie, I started to wonder if she'd be gumming her burgers and fries in high school, but this time around, I realize he will cut those teeth.  Eventually.

So I'm not getting the sleep I need, and it's really affecting me.  I had a little revelation recently:  More than anything else, my level of motivation to do things I don't particularly like (cleaning the house, for instance) is tied to how well-rested I am.  (Well, I guess that's actually the second-most influential factor.  The best way to light a fire under me is to tell me you're coming over in 30 minutes.)

So on a day like yesterday, when we'd let Zoodle sleep with usthe night before  in an ill-fated effort to get Mama more sleep?  Well, by dinnertime I did get the laundry done.  We even took a little walk.  And other than that?  I got caught up on a lot of online reading about a couple of TV shows I'm into.

Realistically, I know that doing the dishes is more important than trying to figure out what the big surprise ending on The Bachelor is going to be.  But my energy just is not there.  I feel guilty about wasting my time, at the same time I'm justifying it by telling myself I need the rest.

Clearly, the solution is to go to bed early.  But I treasure that time at night, kids in bed, when I either hang out with my husband, or do something I want to do.

What seems to affect your motivational level?  And how do you get past it when circumstances conspire to put you in that sluggish mode?  I need some help here, because it doesn't matter how charmingly I beg....  That dishwasher refuses to unload itself.


Kara said...

I couldn't agree more about fatigue affecting my motivation. For the last two weeks, Lizzy had finally started sleeping better, and miraculously - my house was suddenly clean every night when my husband came home. She's back to sleeping horribly (she's cutting tooth #6, I think), and bam - my house is a disaster again. And here I am, online, instead of cleaning. Maybe I'll go wander off to read some TV recaps now... :-)

Sandra said...

I wish I had a magic pill, Beth, because I promise you,if I did, it would be in the mail to you TODAY! But, all I can offer is sympathy, because I remember what this was like. I am a very early morning person now, but I remember when my kids were little, most of what I got done was after they went to bed. Many times I remember baking or cleaning or doing laundry or going to the grocery store, around midnight! So, all I can give you is my heartfelt sympathy and remind you that this too shall pass. :)

Hang in there, Mommy. If anybody can do it, you can.

Call Me Cate said...

I'm having the same issues with fatigue, though mine is health and stress-relatd as opposed to baby-related. Another thing that zaps my motivation is being trapped at my desk 9 hours a day with absolutely no work to do. It's great for blogging and reading but I think of all the cleaning and house projects I could be completing instead. And by the time I get home I have no interest.

Most weeks, I get to work from home on Wednesday so I try to make that a really productive day. We bought a new dishwasher a few months ago and this model doesn't run itself either. Disappointing.

bamamama said...

I can relate, in fact yesterday my facebook profile read that "I was precrastinating at a superior rate." And that would be due to the 18 long full working everywhere day I had on Monday. As I get older my recovery time seems to be more lengthy. So tired I was that it was even hard to focus.. so what did I do? I blogged (Blessed Chaos) and I made sure that I kept to the important stuff (which incidentally is what I blogged about) and that important stuff would be Relationships '

With God and my family and I was reminded of my new years "NOT TO RESOLUTIONS "- #5 was not to forsake the rest I need for "one more" thing to get done.
So all in all the house is dirty (and I know what you mean there is no clean like a company clean, so my husband says!) but my time with my children, God and my husband -plus me rested was well invested .
Your down time on the TV and your walk were well invested- don;t worry about a clean house -They grow up all to soon -18 years just doesnt seenm like enough before the big bad world gets them (but that is a another story)
Sorry for the rambling but be encouraged your day sounded very productuve indeed!

My Teacher Hat said...

You really should invite someone over. Or even hire a babysitter so you and The Engineer can go out. Nothing makes me clean the house like knowing that another person is going to be there all evening, without me to make sure she doesn't get into anything!

Tia said...

I am right there with you. I set the alarm for 5:45 to run this morning and it just didn't happen. Now I feel all guilty. I have made Chris promise to make me tonight...but it is so much harder at night. I say, let it go, in 10 years will we remember a few lazy days? Embrace the laziness! From what I can tell about you, it is the exception and not the norm. Don't sweat it.

Dan Felstead said...

As others above me...I have been there and so has my wife. This is part of the normal path we all follow with kids at that age. There is no doubt that motivation is clearly tied to a well rested, clear sharp mind and without sleep or I should say "uninterrupted" sleep that motivation declines. I think that is why God put the strong drive of protection and raising up of our children in us...otherwise we would just give up at times. But know that this will wane after a bit. Only problem is that it goes from the "selfishness" and self focus of a toddler to the uncertainties of adolescence and beyond! Same child, just in a grown up body! But well worth it.


Anonymous said...

Lol, want to start off with the fact that I have TOTALLY been into the bachelor this season and am axiously awaiting Deanna's return.

I have realized the last few days that I also need to go to bed sooner. Chase usually gets home around 10 and it's hard to sleep if I don't know that he's home safe (he has a bit of a drive). But if I went to bed at 10 I would feel SO much better than I do going to bed at 11 or 12. But I can totally relate to that special time of day when the kids are down and you get some much-needed 'me' time.

I guess it's all about balance. You still got things done yesterday so I say kudos to you! I have been totally knocked out lately by migraines (they always get worse when I'm pregnant) and it's so frustrating feeling bad and wanting to sleep all the time. :( If nothing else, just know that I can relate. And that I watch the Bachelor. lol.


ps- I'm 15 weeks today!

Bloggymommy said...

Whenever I'm having an off day I make myself turn off the tv and turn on the music! I crank it up and fill the house with energy and get myself motivated! I actually find (for some odd reason) that when I don't get enough sleep I do more the next day.

I know what you mean about wanting quiet time to yourself. I am constantly telling myself...'ok tonight you're going to bed when the kids go to bed.' but it never happens! I'm always sneaking a couple hours of bloggy time and end up going to bed around 11-12! But music is my trick to getting motivated and every now and then inbetween getting things done the kids and I will dance around the house together! So we get the house clean AND get some exercise! :)

Megan Fletcher said...

This seems to be my constant struggle. Motivation.

I especially struggle with motivation when the weather is gloomy too. Today is nice and I'm amazed at how much more chipper I am! (not that I cleaned my house at all, but i am getting some things done)

I agree with the previous post that encouraged turning up some music to help you move. I also encourage you to break the day into some chunks. Set a timer and give yourself some "me" time. Then, when it goes off, set it again and do something "productive" for those minutes (even if it's 1 hr me and 20 min productive, you'll still get something done). Plus, it helps to know you only have to be productive for a short time and then get a break again.

Oh, calling a friend who does NOT struggle is also helpful. And, invite some company over...I'm with everyone else on that motivation!!!

Isabella said...

Clearly, the solution is to go to bed early. But I treasure that time at night, kids in bed, when I either hang out with my husband, or do something I want to do.

Wow, did I write this? :)

I have the exact same problem. The amount of rest I get is equal to the amount of motivation I have the next day.

Because I have a 10 month old and a good night of sleep is not guaranteed, I drink about a 1/2-1 cup of coffee in the morning (never more than a cup - don't want to get the jitters...or go through withdrawal if I don't get one). This usually gets me through the day.

Scriptor Senex said...

Sorry, too tired to comment. Back after coffee...

Becky said...

No advice, only commiseration. I've made a commitment to myself to work out every night after the kids go to bed, which has been great EXCEPT that it means I'm not getting to bed until very late. And have zero motivation to anything more than the absolute minimum the next day. It's a vicious cycle. The only way I get through it is by telling myself that someday, I'll have more time again and that's when I'll get the big things done.

C. Beth said...

Kara--isn't it amazing how EASY it is to keep a clean house sometimes? And then when sleep is screwed up--wham, suddenly it feels impossible.

Sandra--You are such an encouragement. Thank you!!

Call Me Cate--I'm so sorry you're dealing with this too. :( I hope the doctor's advice today will lead in a good direction.

bamamama--Thank you so much for the encouraging words! It's good to see it from that perspective--rest is a big deal; dusting, not so much.

My Teacher Hat--You want to come babysit for us? :) Maybe it is time for me to schedule something like that.

Tia--Now, getting up to run at 5:45 is something I wouldn't even PLAN to do, so your intentions put you a step ahead of me! :)

Dan--What wonderful advice, from someone who's "been there." Thank you!

Claire--I read a spoiler about what supposedly is going to happen on the last Bachelor episode--and I'm not even going to watch because it's so wrong. E-mail me if you want the details. :)

Bloggymommy--Great idea! I actually took your advice today and listening to some music helped me enjoy doing the dishes a little more. :)

Megan--You're right, weather can really make a difference too!! And I think the day I wrote this may have been overcast.

Isabella--Oh, I've been so determined not to depend on caffeine...but your moderate advice is tempting....

Scriptor Senex--Ha!

Becky--I'm struggling with knowing when to work out too. Let me know if you get it all figured out!!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

I have really been struggling with first trimester fatigue the past couple of months, and I have totally lost my mojo! I think my motivation is having a drink somewhere on a beach, or maybe curled up taking a nap? ;) I try to go to bed early at least a few nights a week, but it's probably a bit easier for me because my hubs is on a crazy work schedule, so he's not always home nights.

I turn to a small cup of coffee and some peanut butter toast when I need a boost, but sometimes even that isn't enough.