I had insomnia last night. My little one seemed a bit restless as well and only stopped nursing long enough for me to sneak away for a cup of water and a bathroom visit. So, we’re probably both going to be tired today.
I’m especially concerned about my ability to mother today because yesterday my patience was tested quite a bit and I wasn’t as creative and resourceful as I could have been.
Naturally, I looked online to get some tips for how to be a good mom when I’m exceptionally tired. All I found were blogs about how other women “get it” and how I’ll get through this exhausting period eventually. That, and articles on sleep training. Not helpful, since I was the one with insomnia and all I wanted was someone to give me a strategy for how to get through my day without snapping at my kid.
So, I’ll make up my own and let you know how it goes.
Once we get up (I’m currently nursing), I’m going to go potty. (Not really part of the strategy, but I really gotta go!) Then I’m going to postpone the caffeine and sit down with a big mug of warm water with lemon juice. After drinking the lemon water, I’ll continue to sip on water throughout the day.
I’m not a big supplement taker, but I do have pre/post-natals, iron, and cal-mag on hand and I take them whenever I’m in the mood. While I’m making breakfast I’ll have some iron. I’ll down some vitamins during breakfast.
I was thinking I’d have my homemade energy drink but I just remembered we finished off the chia yesterday. Maybe next time. Update: I had the opportunity to test this out two days later. It was a good choice.
I’ll wait until after breakfast to drink my tea and skip my afternoon tea. One thing I’m tempted to do because I’m so tired is load up on caffeine and sugar, but that won’t help my mood any and my goal for today is to have a nice day with my kid, not be all tired/wired and grumpy. So, I’ll have the normal amount (or less), but focus more on hydration.
Update: I’ve been up for awhile now, and my plan seems to be working. I got dressed, which helped me feel more alive.
My focus has been on breathing. (My favorite meditation has been getting a lot of attention today.) I’ve also opted for stretching and moving my body (doing squats and that sort of thing) while I’m waiting on my little one to do things (like wash hands). That keeps my blood moving and makes it easier to be patient with my little one’s preferred (slow/experimental) timing.
I’m also being very conscious about being present with my child. I notice that I get tested a lot more when my little one wants my attention while I’m focused on something else. So, for example, rather than taking away the box of my work materials that my little one was getting into and then going back to washing dishes, I sat down and we explored the box together. Not struggling and fighting makes our day go a lot smoother and makes it easier for me. With that, I’m also giving myself permission to let go of the to-do list and only doing those things that I can work in naturally and easily.
Oh! Before I forget, I’m setting alarms! I’m not relying on my tired mind to remember anything. I’ve got alarms for when to start making lunch and dinner. I think I’ll also have my phone remind me to put the laundry in the dryer.
So, we’ll see how the rest of the day goes. But here are my “do it now” suggestions for if you’ve had a rough night and you want to be your best today:
Update: Following these strategies led to a pleasantly smooth day for myself and my little one. The added bonus was that because of all the focus on hydration, I slept better the next night and woke up more refreshed the next day! Two days later I was again in need of these strategies. As I mentioned before, the chia energy drink was a great help. Somehow, the strategy of letting go of the to-do list and just going with the flow led to a smooth day and to all the floors being picked up and swept. (That’s an amazing accomplishment around here these days.)
Good luck to you, tired mama, as you commit to going through your day with peace and joy, even after too little sleep!
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