Is it even possible to feel always that way? Well the answer is yes, yes and yes again! Since having kids I experienced different levels of tired.
Do you ever get a break?
The answer is no and you probably won’t until they are all grown up and independent! I wouldn’t want it any other way but let’s be honest we do need a plan on how to cope with this constant state of feeling exhausted.
It’s like a vicious cycle - the more you are tired the less you want to do. How can we flip that and change the situation and get yourself into mental and physical shape? My advice for you as a parent would be:
Get some early nights for yourself – this is a form of self care that goes a long way. You need rest and you deserve it! It is funny, we are always ‘on the job’, making our children go to sleep, making sure they are not overtired but then when it comes to us we just run ourselves down. I have to admit I have been completely guilty of that but I am trying to improve it.
As you would your children, try to avoid electronics devices 30 minutes before going to bed so you can switch off and have some quality sleep at night. Screen light can affect our quality of sleep and making it hard to mentally ‘switch off’ and have a good quality of sleep.
Have a chamomile tea or a warm drink before bed, and also a lovely bath with essential oils could help relieve stress.
Meditation is a good way to reflect on your day and melt away tensions.
"Don’t say negative words to yourself
about how you are feeling or
how bad the night ahead is going to be."
Be aware how you talk to yourself. Don’t say negative words to yourself about how you are feeling or how bad the night ahead is going to be. Try to be positive and kind to yourself. Changing these messages we say to ourselves can really make a difference on how you feel and be confident that you can handle whatever comes your way.
A good workout during the day - all you need is 20 minutes daily and that would generate more energy for your body and mind. Again I have to say I am guilty I don’t always do this every day; no-one is perfect right?
Meal plan your week ahead - not only will it help you save money on the shopping but will eliminate the temptation of buying take-aways and reach for snacks that will give you only a quick fix of energy. Your health is important to be able to help you through rough nights with the kids.
That’s a good start on your routine but what can you do to help your little ones sleep better?
These are my main tips:
Consistency and commitment are the key. What do these two things really mean? To make any change you have to fully commit to getting the result. If you are not committed, you will start something and leave it half way. Just know, there will be always something to stop you from doing it; there is not a perfect time, you just have to find a way to make it work for you within your situation.
Consistency is the key of any change! Consistency and implementing the plan you want to follow will give you the result you will desire. You need to consistently implement the actions to achieve the goal you want to reach and stick to it. You are delivering a message to your child and you want to be clear and simple; give them the security and the knowledge of what is coming. The consistency of the messages you send to your children are vital in parenting.
"If you don’t have a routine in place,
it is never too late to introduce one"
Routine. Having a routine in place will help your child settle at bed time and during naps. Routine gives them a sense of time and security. Also, it will give you the benefit of knowing when everything happens and when ‘me’ time is on the way. If you don’t have a routine in place, it is never too late to introduce one.
Reduce stress before bed time. Try to keep things calm and relaxed before starting the bed time routine. A book snuggled up on the sofa, a calm game; anything that could wind down your child before starting the preparation for the bath is ideal.
Create a sleep-inducing environment. A soft red or amber light would work well. Not too bright. Have the curtains shut and bed ready with their cuddly toy or whatever they use to settle. This makes a clear distinction between night and day time. Use your sleepy voice and once your little one is in bed, keep the interaction minimal.
"I would highly recommend having a
‘Worry Dolly’ or even a ‘Worry Box’"
Acknowledge bedtime fears. If your child is scared, it is good to let them express their feelings. You can then process these together to be able to move forwards. Toddlers have a great imagination which doesn’t always help at bed time! A shadow suddenly becomes a monster – we’ve all heard this story haven’t we? Help them realise it is not a monster and if they are still scared you could try to move things around to lose the shadow and create comfort. Also I would highly recommend having a ‘Worry Dolly’ or even a ‘Worry Box’, both of which are great tools to help your children express their feeling and put it at rest.
If you have a young child remember to put them to bed drowsy rather than asleep as this will help your child learn how to fall asleep without assistance. This will come very handy if they wake during the night!
Lastly, but most importantly, work as a team! You and your partner, grandparents, nanny and childminders should all be on the same page to give your child consistency and ultimately a successful sleeping routine. Having the support of the people around you will help for a stress free life and a better sleep.
My name is Francesca; I'm a mum of two and a certified Sleep Consultant. Over the years I have undertaken several child psychology courses, and the knowledge gained has become invaluable within my childcare roles. Today, I am also a fully qualified Montessori teacher, a Maternity Nurse and Breast Feeding Consultant.
I became a Sleep Consultant shortly after the experience with my eldest child, who, for 7 months, had difficulty with sleeping. This resulted in sleepless nights for us, his parents, and an irritable, frustrated and exhausted child. Throughout this time my partner and I were at our wits end and had no idea of what to do. It was at that point that we reached out for the help of a Sleep Consultant, who not only transformed our lives, but, more importantly, helped my son sleep throughout the night, enabling him to return to his happy self again.
Having experienced this situation first hand, I knew my calling was to help fellow parents and carers who are in the same boat, who not only needed a sense of calm back in their life, but who also understood how important sleep is for the healthy development of their child.
You can reach out to Francesca via her website here
And she is also on Facebook here