I know you’ve been there.
The days when you can hardly open your eyes because you are so tired. You shuffle through the morning routine, get your children out the door for school, and then dream of climbing back into bed.
It’s the days when getting enough sleep is pretty much impossible because there is so much that needs to be done – homework, dinner, soccer practice, carpool.
These are the days when a stop at Starbucks is not enough.
You are beyond tired. You are exhausted.
And at these moments, it is difficult…sometimes it feels impossible…to be a level-headed, peaceful parent.
You are not alone.
Here are 5 tips to get you through the exhaustion
1. Give yourself some grace – This is just a phase. It will pass. You will feel rested again. Rather than beat yourself up for being tired, accept the fact that you are not your normal energetic self. Your kids may not completely understand, but they will survive.
2. Lower your expectations – Normally you are productive, you can multitask and get things done. But for now, it is ok to prioritize or let a few things go. Your less urgent chores and errands will still be there when you’re feeling more rested.
3. Focus on relationships – Many people feel overwhelmed and stressed when they are tired, and this leads to feeling angry and yelling. If you have to choose between doing a chore and taking a walk with your child, pick spending quality time with your kids.
4. Take a break – Fighting through the exhaustion only leaves you feeling more exhausted. Instead, it may be best to take a rest. Give yourself permission to order a pizza, put on a movie for the kids or call to say that you cannot make it to the PTA meeting.
5. Find support – Sometimes you need more than just a rest. You may need to call a babysitter to watch the kids or take a day off work to catch up on sleep. It is not a sign of weakness to reach out for help, other parents can relate and they will understand.
Feeling tired is a normal part of parenthood.
However, feeling tired can also be a sign that something is “off.” If your exhaustion seems to be unexplained, lasts for more than a few days, or if it is interfering with your ability to work or care for your children, it may be a sign of a mental or physical illness. Please talk with your doctor, nutritionist or contact a mental health therapist to find support through this difficult time.