NEW: Samantha McDonald

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Sometimes children – bless them – know just how to ruin your preparation for a Big Event. But there are strategies to cope.

Things that go Waaa! in the night

Samantha McDonald

I’m sure quite a few working mothers have faced a similar problem to the one a client encountered this week. 

She had a really important presentation coming up on Tuesday, one that had been scheduled for months and would absolutely see her take the next step up in her career. For several weeks, she had been writing ideas, rehearsing lines, and generally getting her mindset right so she would come up trumps. A lot of her focus and energy had been directed towards this one particular presentation, and she was confident that nothing could go wrong.

Then the inevitable happened. On Monday night, as she lay sound asleep, she felt a nudge and then the all too familiar, “Get up honey, the baby needs you”, from her loving husband. She lay there listening to her baby’s cries, trying hard to pretend she was still asleep, hoping against hope her husband would sympathise and get up himself… But to no avail.

Up she got – her blissful sleep interrupted again. Her mood darkened and her ability to get back to sleep was greatly diminished by the next hour she spent berating her husband for waking her when he could easily have tended to the baby himself.

Yes, we all know what that’s like! So, how can working women cope with the nocturnal interruptions of children when they have to be fresh for an important meeting?

Enlist your partner’s help. OK, having an argument with him in the middle of the night after the fact is probably not going to get you very far. If you know that you have a very important presentation or meeting, or just a very full on day coming up, talk with your partner about ways he can help out. Ask him to get up to sleepless children without waking you, as you really do need to be fresh the next day.

Get to bed earlier than normal. This way, you’ll be compensating for any missed sleep that may be coming your way. Just one hour can make a load of difference.

Change your thinking. Of course, if your partner also has a full-on day coming up, he may not be so willing to help out on this occasion. If that’s the case, instead of being cranky at his lack of support, use this opportunity to grow within yourself. Think of how lucky you are even to have a child to get up to! And remember that, at the end of the day, you are only doing this presentation or going to this meeting to enable your family to have a better life, in one form or another.

My client? Well, she gave me a call, got her gripes off her chest, and went on to perform a winning presentation! She even managed to incorporate a few funny one-liners about her “night of hell” which helped her gain more rapport with her audience!


To read more Samantha McDonald blogs, click here.


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