Each morning since my second trimester of pregnancy, I wake to at least one, but usually several, text messages. As a pregnant lady, I was tired. All the time. As a mum, I’m still tired all the time. So by the time my second trimester hit, I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier. The constant pinging of my phone hindered this, and I started to make use of a feature on my iPhone I had never bothered with before. The “Do Not Disturb” setting.
It was fantastic, and meant that between certain times I set, only contacts on my favorites list would cause my phone to go off if they called. And if it’s important, I sure hope they would call. Messages, emails, alerts, etc. are silenced, with the only exception being the alarms you set on the alarm clock feature. It’s probably my favorite setting on my phone.
The flip side to this is that I don’t get messages of any sort after 8:30 because I simply don’t check my phone. For me, it’s no big deal. But for people who aren’t my husband, parents, or best friend from high school, it seems like an issue. I wake up to frustrated friends or family members asking why I was ignoring them. The messages are usually time stamped anywhere between 9 and midnight, and I look at my phone incredulously. Don’t they realize I turned into an old lady, with an 8:30 p.m. bedtime?
Despite having explained this time and time again, people seem to expect me to be the same night owl I was before I got pregnant and had my son. My phone is still set to do not disturb for 8:30 p.m. And I still get messages after then, and people still wonder why I’m not answering. It makes me want to smack my head off my desk.
I like for the last hour before bed to be without screen time for myself, since our routine has our son going down for the night at 9:30. I feel like it’s a) a good example to set, b) good for him because that’s our wind-down time for the night, and he gets my full attention, and c) good for my husband and me, because it really helps us get into the mindset that it’s time for bed, and we get a chance to catch up for the day.
But all those reasons aside – and I feel like they’re good reasons! – I like to be selfish with my last hour before bed. I don’t want interruptions about running errands or last minute plans or even just to chat with anyone. For someone with anxiety, it can be incredibly difficult to fall asleep if I’m worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow. Withdrawing from social media, messages, and my to-do list helps me to get the distance I need to get a good night’s rest. It helps me fall asleep faster and get a more restful sleep.
Are there any other parents out there who enjoy disconnecting before bed? I’d love to hear about your nighttime routines!
– Monster Mama