friday find

Friday Find: Using My Fitbit to Track Sleep Saved Me as a New Stay at Home Mom

MidoriLei wears a bjorn, her fitbit, and is babywearing newborn Noah

newborn phase complete with dark under eye circles, milk stains, and my fitbit!

dealing with mom guilt

One of the hardest and often times most shocking things about being a new mom is experiencing mom guilt. I felt guilt about everything. I felt guilt about wanting to take a break away from my baby. I felt guilt about wanting to have a job other than being a mom. It came as a shock to me that I had so much guilt. I’m sure moms feel guilt about even something as necessary as getting enough sleep. I know as a stay at home mom, the to-do list never ends. No boss tells you your day is over. You never clock out.

my fitbit gave me a reason not to have sleep related mom guilt

One thing I did not feel guilty about was “sleeping when the baby slept” as everyone had advised. I wonder if other moms feel guilty about sleeping in or napping. I attribute my lack of sleep related guilt to tracking my sleep on my Fitbit. It was the single best thing I ever did for myself as a new mom. It’s one thing to think you’re not getting enough sleep in a general, vague, I-can-tell-because-I’m-a-delirious-zombie kind of way. It’s another thing to see the numbers right in front of you. My Fitbit was a lifesaver when I had a newborn. It tracked my total sleep, regardless of how many times I got up to feed my baby and nurse. Most days my baby and I (we co-slept until he was around 9 months old) didn’t leave my bed until around 11 or noon, and I felt no guilt because, thanks to my Fitbit, I knew exactly how much sleep I was getting.

my fitbit hushed the critical voice in my head

If I didn’t have my Fitbit, I would have felt like a lazy person. I can hear the critical voice in my head.

Who stays in bed until noon on a weekday you lazy sloth?! You’re such a bad mom! Get it together!

The critical voice would say-

How can you nap when there is laundry piling up, dinner that needs to be made, and a grocery list that needs to be written?

With my Fitbit, the answer to these questions was simple. I’m staying in bed because I had a total of 3.2 hours of sleep thank you very much. I deserve to get my sleep. I function better on more sleep. Dishes can wait.

My baby and my husband need me first and foremost not to lose my sanity.

Making sleep a top priority as a new mom is a worthy goal.

the goal is SMART.

It’s specific-

I aim for a total of 7.5 hours in a 24 hour day. It doesn’t matter when I get that sleep.
fitbit sleep record for the weekfitbit sleep pattern, time asleep, sleep schedulefitbit Sunday sleep schedule details, time asleep, sleep schedule, min to fall asleep, time awake, time restless,

It’s measurable-

Thanks to my Fitbit, my goal is now measurable.

It’s achievable-

It may feel like you can’t get any sleep with a newborn, but if a newborn sleeps 16-17 hours, and you have no problem napping or you don’t suffer from insomnia, you should be able to get 7.5 hours out of that.

It’s relevant-

Studies show that sleep is a worthwhile goal.  If you need inspiration on why getting sleep is so important, listen to this brilliant Happier Podcast interview of Arianna Huffington. 

It’s time bound-

It’s a goal that you can try to achieve for the rest of your life.

Midorilei resting with newborn Noah on a rocker

just do exactly what everyone recommends: sleep when the baby sleeps.

sleep shouldn’t be a luxury

Sleep is a necessity. What I realized early on is that I’m in charge of my breaks. I’m in charge of making sure I get enough sleep.

As a stay at home mom,  you are your own boss. 

No other job is quite like the job of being a stay at home mom.  It’s mostly a thankless job. You do it for the sheer joy of raising children, but the long hours do take its toll. You don’t bring home money, so in our capitalist society, you are mostly invisible. It’s a 24/7 job with no weekends and no days off. No employee would expect me to function properly on this kind of schedule on little to no sleep.  This is why I’ve made sleep one of my top priorities, and my Fitbit has helped me measure and stick to that goal.

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