I picked my kids up from school, drove them home and gave them a snack. Then I immediately climbed into bed. I was so tired, it was the only thing I could do at that time. I couldn’t actually nap as I was too concerned with making sure they were okay but it felt good to lay there and have some moments off of my feet with my eyes closed. While I lay there, my son entertained himself by driving one of his monster trucks along my legs. This is parenting when you’re tired.
Whether you work two jobs, lack sleep, pregnant, or just plain exhausted it’s a reality for me and my many mom friends. When we’re tired we can’t take time off to rest, we still have to parent. Lately, I’ve been a special kind of tired. I will share more on that later but I’ve fallen asleep midsentence or putting my son down to sleep after his bedtime story. I feel like never recovered from the horror of daylight savings time. It’s after 4 pm that I usually crash, the time that I’m usually dancing away making dinner and doing homework. Instead, I want to sleep at that time and whenever my husband is off that’s exactly what I do while he makes dinner, I take glorious naps. Anyway, this is how I survive when I have to parent and I’m tired:
1. Drink a Green Smoothie
Here’s my truth, when I am really tired coffee makes more very anxious and jittery. I hate that feeling so I skip coffee for green smoothies. I like to add fresh ginger to get my energy going which really seems to help. I know it worked well because my body actually started craving these smoothies.
2. Shorten your to-do list
When I am tired, I focus on quality over quantity. I can get work done but not the best work when I am drowsing off so I prefer to do less in those moments. I focus on things that are a priority and on the kids.
3. Make A Simple Dinner
On the first night that I was really tired I made sandwiches for dinner and my son asked “Mommy, a sandwich for dinner?” instead of letting mom guilt consume me, I responded: “It’s fun right?” I focused on the fact that he had food and that even though I wanted to sleep I had pulled myself together enough to make him a sandwich.
4. Do simple bonding activities
When I’m tired that means no trips to the playground after school but a crossword puzzle or coloring book session gives the kids and I a chance to still have fun. My son loves making up jokes and my daughter likes to do fashion shows lately. You and your kids could write a story together, make videos or play other games that require little energy.
5. Get big tasks out the way early
Every mom has something that she wants to get over with quickly whether its baths, ironing or cleaning up. Your best bet when you’re tired is to do the overwhelming tasks as early as you possible so you can have an easy evening.
6. Reduce Stimulation
When I am tired and the television is on and my kids are playing with their toys and all the lights are on full blast I feel not only tired but very cranky. So we skip television on the tired days as well as noisy toys or bright lights. Less stimulation we have the better it is.
I really hope these help you on those days when you’re tired and have no option to parent. If you have any cool tips for parenting while tired be sure to share with us.