Eight hours of sleep in your comfy bed not cutting it?
Small cuts all over your feet from LEGOs that were so precisely laid out for you? (Such thoughtful little rugrats we have huh?)
So, what is the real reason having a child is so exhausting? Why does it seem that we are instantly tired once we bring the rascals into this world?
Although running after their every beck and call is now our day and night job. Wrestling them to put on cloths or to brush their teeth. Running them to the potty every twenty minutes when you are potty training. (Only to clean up puddles of pee all along the way.) Fighting to get them to eat everything on their plates. (Mostly just the veggies they push around and play with.) While all of this is very tiresome, it's not the real reason parents are tired.
Ask for help.
It's okay to ask for help if you find yourself doing these things and not able to catch up. Talk to your partner, work out a plan, schedule. Take turns doing all the duties of child care. You fixed all the meals today and cleaned up the children after. Let your partner get them ready for bed and clean up after bath time. Sharing in responsibilities of the little ones will allow you both a little extra down time.
The job can be mentally draining, as well, with all the thoughts racing through your head. Everything from going to the park, checklist: milk, water, juice, blankie, snacks, Wacky Quacky the Duck, purse, keys money... do I need that? No... Crap! I need my ID, it's in the other bag, forget it I'm not turning around. Don't forget to lay awake all night in your bed worrying, cause he is definitely too quiet. Better check on him 20 times to make sure he is okay. Thought...did I remember the Destin cream on his butt before I put him to bed? Even after all the thousands of things running your mind day and night, that's not the reasoning either.
Talk it out!
Parents who talk to each other are better in tune with what is going on. This allows for a schedule or at least a semi-schedule. This helps you to think less and relax more on the daily, unless you are like me and are an over thinker no matter how much you talk to your partner.
Now, I know what you are thinking. That most of this was true for you before you had kids. Sure, it wasn't about things for the kids or park time or even LEGOS on the floor. But your head was always racing. Maybe it was over your work day. Did you finish all your paper work for the boss? Did you press send on that VERY important email? How about your diet? Did you remember to eat three square meals today? Did you drink plenty of water and not just a crap ton of sugar? Before kids, our minds still raced with thoughts and we still ran all over the place doing everyday adult things like work, post office, grocery store, gas station. The list goes on and on. Yet we weren't nearly as tired as we are now that we have our mini mes. Why is that?
The answer: We don't have the recovery time we once did. Before children, we went to bed when we were tired. We woke up at the same time every day for work. Except those precious days off where we got to sleep in. Now we go to sleep after the little ones have gone off to bed and are asleep, and you have straightened up the house a bit. Then if you have wee littles, you're possibly up several times in the night and up super early in the morning. This is as well applies for toddlers. Their internal clocks just have them up every morning at the crack ass of dawn every day. (When the rooster crows.) School aged children...well you have to get up and wake up, get there things together, wake them up and get them dressed, teeth brushed, lunches packed and waiting for the bus. Or for those of you who work during the day while they are at school you have to get yourself ready too and maybe you even drive your child to school because it's on the way to your job and it's easier or faster than waiting for the bus and making yourself late for your job and getting scolded from your boss.
Do less. Do better.
In our lives, sometimes our expectations are simply too high, as parents especially, but also for anyone who feels like they “just never have time.” But making hard choices and organizing what’s important can help take the pressure off. This can improve your overall daily life as a parent.
This being said, how many times after having children do you get the recommended seven and a half to eight hours of sleep? This lady here, well she can't remember the last time she had six hours let alone seven and a half to eight. You no longer have a day off with kids. No time to catch up on all the sleep you lose every night. This makes us constantly tired. Because from the day you gave birth to that bundle of joy (Devil's child, I'm joking don't be so serious), you signed on to be at that kid's every beck and call no matter what. You wake up with them and you don't go to sleep till they do and you follow them around doing everything they need you to do. Plus don't forget to do all the things you need to do for your self too. Clean the house, wash the dishes, go to work. (Shave your legs, or don't, your choice.)
So sure you traded your late night parties for late night baby feedings. You went from tripping over alcohol containers and people to LEGOS. Eight-hour work days for twelve-hour mommy days. So now you are endlessly tired as a parent, but would your trade your rascal for anything else in the world? (Maybe a Klondike bar? Just kidding.)
My personal advice, well, advice I got from my midwives. Though I didn't listen the first time around. SLEEP! Sleep when they sleep. If you have multiple kids and they nap, let's hope you are lucky enough to get the on the same schedule and nap when they nap. This is essential to not turning into a ZombieMom. Once a ZombieMom, there's no turning back.
Move! Move! Move!
Move more throughout the day. Don't say it. Don't think it. "But I am already tired, why would I move more? That's crazy." Truth is that moving more will give you more energy. Simple exercises with the kids to get your body moving is all you need. So the kids want to play outside today. Well play a game of ring-a-round the rosie. You're moving more and they are having tons of fun. Maybe it's a rainy day and you have to stay in to play. A small game of horse will get you moving. Kids get hyped about riding on your back while you act like a horse.
I hope this passage reaches some of you parents and encourages you to make some changes if they are needed. Please send feed back on what you think of this passage and what you would like to see in the future. Thanks for reading.