As mums we are no strangers to tiredness. Some of us are dealing with more of it with the babies and toddlers who haven’t yet settled into a sleeping pattern but all of us share a tiredness that can take over our day and make just getting up the only task we can achieve.
Another contributor to the tiredness that comes with motherhood is the mental load and guilt we feel for any choice we make. The constant criticism we as mothers get for the choices we make both in our own lives and the public condemnation that occurs so readily when a mistake is made or someone deems a celebrity’s, or a person in the public eye, choice to be the wrong one.
It is quite frankly overwhelming and not at all ok.
Tiredness isn’t great for both our physical and mental health yet we have limited control over it when our children are so young that it can just be another thing we add to the list of things we should be doing but aren’t quite managing and there continues the cycle of blame put on mothers.
So how can we combat this without it being an overwhelming task?
Like a lot of things in life it takes our strength and self love to make a difference to our lives. Take control of what we can until things get a little easier.
What are my tips?
Get as much sleep as you can.
“Oh for f*cks sake” I hear you say. I know, I know I hate this recommendation as much as the next person. I was the mother at 3 months postnatal with my 3rd child being told that if I didn’t start getting at least a block of 4 hours I would suffer mental health problems. I wanted to scream at the health visitor that I was trying but my baby was up every 2 hours no matter what I did. That I knew my mental health was being pummelled and with that very statement from her lips and the concern on her face, she only further compounded my feelings of failure and stress that I was doing it all wrong and I was going to fall off the deep end.
So I don’t take this recommendation lightly and I want you to hear that if you don’t always manage it or ever then you are not failing but instead doing the best you can with what you have got.
However, I would like you to try going to bed a little earlier some of your nights. I understand that losing your night time to switch off isn’t always the choice we want to make which is why I suggest doing it only on some of the days through the week. Any extra sleep will have a positive impact on you.
If you have a partner set a time that they take over with the baby and you head to bed and they only bring them in for feeding if you are breastfeeding.
Spread the mental load when you can.
If you have a partner make a list of responsibilities and figure out what you can share. The less things having to run through your head the more time it will have to rest.
This is one of my worst areas but I am working on it now. If you can make the repetitive tasks simple and habits that are easy to take care of then your mental load is reduced again giving your mind a little more rest. Planning meals and doing an online shop with the same meals is an option to keep things simple for you.
Try to fit some form of movement into your day. Go for a walk. If you know the baby will have an hours nap take 10 mins of that to do some exercises. Exercising improves our sleep quality and allows us to destress. Getting lost in exercise can help give our minds a rest and energises us. It is also good to consider that now probably isn’t the time to rush back to a competitive sport, or pounding an hour at the gym. This might just be the time when moving for a 5/10 mins is good enough.
5. Accept the help offered
And one we all shy away from, because we think we should be doing it all and any deviation from this is failure, when someone offers help take it! We were never meant to do this fully alone so if you have a partner, family or friends who are willing to help then use it.
Tiredness is not easy and something we don’t have a lot of control over but trying to do some of the things above will help. I would love to know how you got on if you try any of these or have any tips of your own. We are all in this together!
The Mighty Mama Coach
If exercise is something you want help with then fill in the form below and i’ll be in contact with you.