I’m a full-time single mom of two boys. Both noisy. Both needy. Both jumping on me. Both delicious.
My days are filled to the brim… Go! Go! Go! Do not pass go and definitely do not collect 200 dollars! Don’t even stop to pee. And if you make a coffee, just know you probably won’t have time to drink it.
My day is a nonstop roller coaster and yes the hollering with my hands up in the air does make it more fun! But when I get off the ride, and the kids are sleeping, dishes are done (sometimes), work is finished for the day, I took out the garbage, did the errands, gave my kids attention, made the calls, paid the bills and finally stop….there isn’t much time for myself.
But lately, I’ve been experimenting how to wind down before bed. Not like hard drugs or anything…but I have tried an array of different winding down methods. Until recently I would read my stack of books and sometimes binge read. I would write. Watch my shows. Maybe just listen to music while folding laundry — which is not exactly calming but better than nothing. But I’ve been trying to expand my options lately. Taking a bath is too much of a hassle because I would have to drain the bathtub of toys. So no. Talking to friends is too exhausting after a long day. Browsing the net or losing precious time on Facebook seems ridiculous. Going to bed early is awesome…but that’s just going to bed…not actually winding down before bed. And yoga seems cliche.
My most recent efforts have included lighting a candle, putting my diffuser on with one of my many essential oils (go Doterra!), and pouring myself a glass of wine. This is what I call (with the help of my friend who actually coined the term): wining down.
After a long day, it’s important to wine down. I even tell myself: ‘Sarah, it’s time to wine down now’.
Picture this. I’m in my room, lights off, but the lamp is on (ambiance, check). Candle and essential oil (fragrance, check). Phones and computers (yes, both are plural) are off and kids are sleeping (silence, check). No books or TV to pull me out of my own narrative into someone else’s (with my own thoughts, check). And a glass of wine. In other words, I am now relaxing. (Checkmate.)
I am not even a classy drinker. In fact, until recently I felt I needed to be devoted to my femininity and only drank girly wines that come in blue bottles (that contain more sugar than chocolate!) But now I am actually becoming an adult at the ripe old age of 32 and I can enjoy a rich red wine. I even bought myself wine glasses this week — something I was suddenly shocked to realize I didn’t have!
So I’m wining down with my Cab-Sauv and my best impersonations of being an adult. And then I start laughing. Not because I’m tipsy (well, maybe a little), but because I became that person! When did this happen? I became that woman who sits at night with herself with a cup of wine and I think: Hell, if I’m already doing this I should do it all the way. So I put on my David Garret playlist on in the background, which plays the assigned role of “its not totally silent in here but still quiet enough for me to be with my own thoughts” …and I take a very deep long exaggerated dramatic breath. Just because I want to do this 100% right. You know, like they do in the movies. Those breaths are always exaggerated as if they are being filmed or something!
Of course, this entire episode only lasts about 6-7 minutes because it’s late and I need to wash my face, brush me teeth and go to sleep to be able to function tomorrow morning and start the craziness over again. But just for 6-7 minutes, maybe 10, I sit and wine down.
I know tomorrow morning I’ll probably wake up and turn to the side and say, “Hun, you get them out to school this morning. K? (Pause). Oh wait. You don’t exist.” Then I’ll get out of bed, start the day with making sandwiches, and get back on the roller coaster. But now I know I can bookend the craziness with a mature (too mature?) ending that really wines me down and allows me to go to sleep peaceful and calm. Going to bed calm has been the goal and lately, I’ve been rockin it.
Last gulp. Wineglass goes down with a clink and my shoulders go down too. Deep breath.
Check, check, and check.