Remember when nonchalant complaining about being tired from a late night was fun, casual small talk?
I know deep down that it’s not a competition, but sometimes hearing someone else mention how tired they are because of something that seems insignificant can really make my eye twitch. It’s definitely the physical manifestation of me trying to keep my own exasperation under a lid.
As a mom, telling someone you’re tired can really start to feel like a disregardable comment. It’s so commonly heard. I often feel like I won’t be taken seriously unless I let a little crazy out, and I hate feeling like that.
I KNOW all moms go through it. I KNOW I’m not alone. I KNOW it won’t last forever.
But I’m still here, in the middle of it. Feeling all but hopeless.
So now what?
Maybe you’ve never left your brand new baby alone with anyone before. Maybe you or your spouse are working long hours. Maybe you live far away from trusted family members. Maybe you have other kids who have varying needs.
You’re literally in survival mode as it is. It’s probably time to lean into it and do some surviving!
Call up your family members or friends and let them travel to you if they’re willing. Search for childcare options in your area. Reach out to church members, neighbors, or facebook groups and see what kind of credible assistance is out there. Ask for the help you need to get by.
Don’t Ignore Your Brain
You don’t need to be hallucinating due to lack of sleep to “deserve” help. But I’ve absolutely been to that point. Remember that a functioning momma is the most important thing for the safety and well-being of your little ones.
If you’ve noticed heightened feelings of rage, loss of focus, hearing phantom noises, or have crazy thoughts you’ve never had before, it’s time to get help for your mental health.
My husband and I tend to overbook ourselves every now and again. We want to be there for every family event, make time for friends that we don’t see anymore, and take on new jobs and creative projects. We come home completely worn down and often express to each other how we regret constantly saying yes.
It’s a hard thing to learn, but you’re allowed to say no to additional responsibilities.
Slow it all down. It’s okay! Focus on your needs and your baby’s needs for a time. Extra things can not only crowd up your schedule, but there’s a possibility they can affect your family’s sleep rhythm.
Sometimes you find yourself trading one good thing for another, and you’re finally resting without ever having the chance to give yourself some nutrition after a long day. The extra minutes it takes to put something healthy in your body will be super helpful in the long run.
Easy, healthy things like homemade soups and pastas can be made in large portions and kept in the fridge for quick heating and eating. Look for drinks containing theobromine, a milder stimulant than caffeine with longer lasting effects! I personally love Crio Bru. It’s literally chocolate.
When I get tired and overstimulated, my body gets very tense. This obviously makes it difficult to fall asleep when I finally get the chance.
One day I’ll be more disciplined about working out, but if I’m honest… I’m currently not.
Spending 10-30 minutes during the day doing yoga, taking a walk, or bike riding makes a noticeable difference in my ability to quickly fall asleep at night, but some days all I can do is a few stretches in bed, or just bounce and shake out my arms and legs as a quick “reset”.
I’m also good at forgetting to take good, deep breaths throughout the day. Breathing paired with intentional relaxing of my muscles and a posture adjustment has been one of the easiest ways for me to release tension.
Change the Narrative
I get it. We all expected a village, and the majority of us ended up without one.
Welcome to a sleepy mom’s soap box.
While it’s true that we might have wonderful mothers and sisters and in-laws and friends, the story of the modern day individual has become very… individual. Aside from the few places in the world that still successfully embrace the “village” culture, there’s a different picture being painted for us.
In general, it’s deemed admirable to be self-made. To be strong and independent. To be validated about our personal accomplishments through social media. We obtain the things we need with as little human interaction as possible. It’s interesting to me that by nature, we need other people. But today’s world fosters the opposite.
It literally shouldn’t be this way! It’s hurting everyone, especially moms.
I’ve learned to prefer to meet my friends at restaurants or concerts, when I really need them to meet me on the floor of my messy closet while I’m crying my eyes out at 3:45 am. You feel me?
I’m not really sure what the answer is, but I do want to be better at asking for help. I want to offer it as often as I can. Let’s get into each other’s business and surprise each other with support and acceptance for the messy and exhausting parts of life, as well as the exciting and fun parts.