If you have a new baby or a young child or children, then the source of your fatigue may not be a mystery.
Mothers of infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to persistent fatigue due to the non-stop demands of caring for their children.
If you’re overwhelmed with the tasks of motherhood, you’re not alone, and there are some ways to make things easier on yourself so that you are not so tired all the time.
1) Ask For Help with the Children
If you have older children, ask them to help with simple chores and, if they are responsible enough, let them watch the baby while you take care of other tasks or simply take some time for yourself.
If you don’t have older children, consider hiring a babysitter or mother’s helper a few days per week.
2) Join a Playgroup or Take a Mommy-And-Me Classphoto credit: pumpstation.com
This strategy is an energy booster simply because it gives you a chance to be with other moms that are feeling the same stress that you feel.
It can help to know that you are not alone and you can also share tips about how to manage stressful days with other moms. It will probably make you feel better just to have some adults to talk to, even if it’s just for a few hours each week.
You may also develop friendships with other moms that will allow you to take turns caring for each other’s children to give the other break once in a while.
3) Hire Cleaning Help
If you can afford it, hiring someone to clean your house once a week or even once a month will help keep you from burning out and give you more time to concentrate on your baby or children.
You can also compromise by not expecting to keep a perfectly clean house all the time.
If you can’t hire professional cleaning people, find a high school or college student that wants to make a little extra money and pay them to do the dusting, vacuuming, laundry and dishes now and then.
4) Enlist the Support of Family Members
If your own mother or another relative lives nearby and likes to cook, visit them for lunch or have them come to your home to cook dinner once a week. You may even have a friend who will be happy to help you out in this way.
Not only is it another social opportunity, but it will make your family member or friend feel good knowing she has helped reduce your stress so you will have more energy for your children.
5) Get Enough Sleep
Of course this can be difficult to do, but it is very important to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible.
If you have trouble sleeping, try to develop a sleep routine that may include listening to soothing music, drinking a relaxing cup of tea or using soothing oils such as lavender to help you relax.
6) Eat For Energy
Many mothers of young children are so focused on the children that they forget to eat properly. Be sure that you eat a balanced diet of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats every day.
Avoid sugar, caffeine and junk food, which will just make you feel more tired. Also consider taking supplements such as B-complex vitamins that can help boost your energy.
Specific Strategies for Mothers of Infants
If you have a new infant then you obviously have unique challenges to your time and energy, including nighttime feedings and the constant attention and care that new babies need.
7) Again, Ask For Help
Mothers of infants need to ask for help. For example, let the baby’s father get up for the first nighttime feeding.
If you’re breastfeeding, get a breast pump and pump just before you go to bed. The milk can be put in the refrigerator for a few hours.
This way, you can go to bed and get a decent amount of sleep before you need to get up for your baby’s second nighttime feeding.
8) Go To Bed When the Baby Goes To Bed
While going to bed at the same time as the baby will probably mean that you turn in very early, it may be the only way to ensure that you get enough hours of sleep even if you wake up frequently during the night to feed or care for the infant.
9) Baby Gates and Monitors
A baby monitor is a must-have device for mothers of infants.
It allows you to see and hear your baby while he or she is sleeping in another room, saving you a lot of steps back and forth to the nursery during nap time and during the night.
When the baby starts to crawl, get a few baby gates and confine the child to one baby-proof room.
This will save the energy needed to follow a crawling baby throughout the house.
You can also get a large playpen and fill it with interesting and stimulating toys for your infant to play with.
10) Take Power Naps
Finally, take naps during the day whenever you can. Even a short mid-day nap of twenty minutes or so can be rejuvenating and will not interfere much with the chores you would like to accomplish while your baby is sleeping.
Of course there are many other reasons for chronic tiredness, whether you have small children or not.
More ideas about why you are so tired and what you can do about it can be found in the “End Tiredness Program” ebook.