It’s hard being a parent, exhausting at times. You often feel like your running on empty. Juggling the demands of the home, a job and the needs of your children. Even more so when you have children that wake continually in the night so you never get a proper rest. I have been there but fortunately my two sleep through and have done for a while now (halleluiah!). No not being smug just letting you know your time will come too. You need to make it a priority looking after mum so be selfish at times think about your own needs.
Although this morning I am tired as eldest had a sleepover last night. I don’t feel like I am fully functional at the moment. Sleepovers = late nights, too much sugar and excitement. They leave me minus the few hours peace and quiet of an evening that I so adore. It’s important to make time for myself now without feeling guilty that I have! Your children will benefit from a refreshed mum that takes care of herself too. Try and squeeze a little TLC into your day.
So how do you go about looking after mum?
Neal’s Yard Remedies have some rejuvenating frankincense to perk you up first thing. Yes I get that your skin routine might not be a priority at the moment but you will feel better if you spend a little time each morning on your appearance, even if its just to survive standing next to the yummy mummy’s at the school gate! Yes you know the ones with the hair straightened to perfection and fully made up face at 9am – how they do it I still don’t know…
You might be tempted to get through the day on strong coffee and the kids leftovers! But there are foods that will help beat mum exhaustion instead of giving you a momentary fix so try and focus on eating those! Mother and Baby recommends bananas, wholegrains, eggs and beans for a slower energy release so it’s easier for you to survive the demands of the day. If you do feel tempted to raid the chocolate drawer grab dark chocolate as its your best option, but you need at least 70 per cent cocoa solids if you want lots of iron and magnesium.
Keep hydrated with water. Most of the time if you make a cup of tea it gets cold anyway or you panic little ones might accidentally knock it over themselves, so water seems a safer and more palatable option!
Share the workload
Accept help when it’s offered. I was not great at doing this when the boys were first born, you feel in the beginning you always have to be there. But you don’t, your child can be happy and safe with another trusted caregiver. Grandparents like being involved too and building a bond with their grandchild. If you really can’t let go of those baby cuddles, then see if help can be offered in other ways, cooking a meal or putting a load of washing on for you.
Do prioritise your own care, whether it’s reading a book, having a bath, or going out for a walk. Take that time and enjoy it, don’t waste it fretting that you’re not giving your children all your time; don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or compare yourself to others. Those negative feelings do more harm than good.
Everyone needs some ME time so focus on doing something that makes you feel happy.