OK guys – I just have to say this. I AM EXHAUSTED. Like, all the time. Naps…. Ahhhh they sound so nice. But not so realistic. People always say to ‘sleep while you can’ when you are pregnant. And I get why, once those babies come, sleep isn’t a given, it is a rare privilege. But no amount of pre-parenthood napping can compensate for the fatigue you will feel when you are unable to get a good nights sleep for months on end.
Last night I was tired. The kids didn’t get to bed till 9:30, an hour later than usual. I wanted to go to bed, but I was craving some me-time SO bad. So I grabbed my computer, a bag of chips and sat on my massage chair – eating chips, blogging and watching the bachelor, while being massaged. Yes. It was heaven. So heavenly that I didn’t move from that chair for three hours. Big mistake…
I got to bed around 1am and at 3am Zander woke up to eat. He went right back down, but at 4am Zoey was up crying because she couldn’t find her water bottle (it was right by her bed) and then at 5am Zander was up to eat again. I fell asleep with him on my chest and then woke up when he puked alllllllllll over me at 6am. I put him back in bed and slept till Zoey woke me up at 7am…
So………. you can imagine how my brain feels today.
I don’t need much sleep. I have always had insomnia and function fine on 5 hours a night. BUT I really need that solid, five, consecutive hours. Or else I start to go a little crazy. I am just going to be honest and put it all out there – when I don’t get my five hours – I will cry for an unreasonable reason at least once that day.
The Walmart worker told me they didn’t know where something was that I needed.
Kris ate the last bite of ice cream in the fridge.
I had to talk to a secretary on the phone. Secretaries always make me cry. 90% of the time.
I lost my camera tripod.
Nick sent Katrina home on the Bachelor.
These are all really good reasons to have a meltdown, right?
Living on the emotional edge can be really not fun. So I’ve been working to find some sleep deprivation coping methods. For awhile I was really giving in to the mom-guilt that’s associated with letting your kids watch too much TV, not having a clean house, not doing fun crafts and outings all the time, not keeping up with work, groceries and other errands, etc.
But this week I had a change of heart.
I decided to embrace the fact that I am in survival mode right now and stop judging myself.
I’m realizing that my best is enough.
I also realized that a good nights sleep may be out of reach – BUT there are a lot of things I can do that give me an emotional/mental boost. I’m learning to turn on the TV or pull out the play dough 2-4 times a day, for half hour or so, just so I can catch my breath and come back a happy mama. I’m a better mom when I get some me-time, which makes an extra half hour of watching cartoons feel like nothing to be guilty about.
SO here are the things I have been doing to cope with the newborn exhaustion – and they really help. When I incorporate them into my life I am way better at the mama job.
HOT TUB (or a hot bath!)
We were hesitant to make this purchase because we are poor, but we have always wanted one. When we found a good deal it felt like a sign from heaven that we needed to buy it. When Zander is napping I give Zoey her iPad at the kitchen table, which is about ten feet away from the hot tub on the other side of the sliding glass doors, then I grab the baby monitor (read about ours in this post) and run out for a quick soak. It clears my mind and relaxes my muscles and sore back!
I got a massage chair because being a momma makes you so sore. It is like a massage chair, without the chair, you can can put it on any chair or couch. So it is cheaper, but it feels just as powerful as any massage chair out there (if not more so). I tried it out at a friends house before getting it, so I knew it really worked. Deep tissue massages are the best and I get that from this chair. I am always aching somewhere. So when I have 50 emails to respond to that are making me stressed, I sit in the massage chair and get a massage while I write emails… UGH – it makes work SO much easier. I look forward to responding to emails rather than dreading it.
When the kids are being really crazy sometimes I will just start calling everyone in my family on FaceTime till someone answers. Zoey LOVES facetiming and talking to someone else outside of our home helps me feel connected to the outside world. It also helps me forget about the stressful moments and focus on sharing the good parts of our day – it makes me feel more upbeat!
I find the smell of lavender really soothing, so I got the Ellia Diffuser and will put a few drops in if I feel really stressed. We always had lavender plants growing outside of our front door growing up, so the scent is full of good memories and I love the house being full of that. Not to mention the diffuser is just beautiful to look at, I love how it fits with our decor.
I normally try and eat pretty healthy, but looking forward to a treat at the end of the day when the kids are in bed is something that gives me a little more energy. I love to crash in front of the TV right after I put the kids to bed with a pint of halo top ice-cream… Kris and I just discovered it, it is SUPER low calories and DELISH. I eat a whole pint in one sitting, no shame.
Sounds counterproductive, BUT I have noticed that if I feel myself getting overwhelmed and I just let those emotions out – they pass. I don’t want Zoey to get stressed because she thinks I am sad, so I will take a minute alone in the bathroom to get my feelings out and then I feel so much better. I HATE people seeing me cry – yet I am admitting to it on the internet where literally anyone in the world can read it – ugh I am so tempted to just delete this part of my post, but I think it is important for people to know they are not the only ones out there breaking down now and then. It is normal to have those moments, and sometimes giving in to them, accepting them for what they are, and then letting go, can be so therapeutic.
So this post turned out WAY longer than it was supposed to be, and way more ‘revealing’ than I intended it to be. But hopefully some other overwhelmed, tired, hardworking, brain frazzled, exhausted, committed, loving and super AMAZING new mama’s (and dads) will find some use out of me sharing my struggles and how I try and overcome them.
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