I really believe that God has a sense of humor. He has to have one. I mean why else would He give little energizer bunnies to very exhausted parents, right? And, I know I am not alone in this exhaustion thing, because I see all the coffee memes on Facebook. So what do you do when exhaustion has become the new normal? You punt. And here is how…
Fake It Until You Make It
I saw this in a meme a while back, and thought just how true those words are for me. Most days my alarm goes off and it feels like I have been sleeping for mere minutes. Some mornings, it feels that way, because it has been only minutes. But, that alarm goes off every morning well before dawn, and I must abide.
Just so we are clear, that alarm is set well before dawn not so I can sip on a cup of coffee and read social media before my cherubs get up for school. Yours either? Where in the world do they get those fantasy memes from anyway. My day starts with my 5 minute sanity shower, and then “it” begins.
Put On Your
Game Energy Face…
I grab my five minute shower one, so I can go out in public not looking like a Peanuts character, and two, so that I can put on my energy face. That’s right. I don’t put on my game face. Instead, I put on my energy face.
I take some deep breaths, give myself a quick pep-talk, and pretend I have all the energy of my well rested youth. It really is sort of like preparing for an acting role. Then I begin the day, and if I adjust my attitude, my energy level seems to jump right up. On days that I dwell on my lack of sleep and energy, I feel rotten and really don’t have energy. So, energy face it is! Gotta love the power of suggestion.
Power Naps Are Real
Okay, so faking it does not last forever. There does come a time in every parent’s day when sleep, or at the very least rest, is badly needed. Even a phone battery needs a quick recharge now and again.
Do you remember the power nappers that went to school with you? They really were on to something. Maybe during class is not the best time to take a snooze, but power naps have been proven to help give you the energy you need in the moment.
How do you get a power nap you ask? Well, if you are actually looking for a 10 minute nap, that may be more difficult. But, if you are just looking for a quick energizer break, those are relatively easy. I call it 10 minute respite. In fact, I wrote a whole post on the subject with 10 minute respite ideas included. If you want to check that out, simply click the link below. 10 minute respite is the glue that keeps my day put together.
In the event that you really do need a power nap, here are some ideas for how to get that 10 or so minutes.
- Older child takes over for 10 minutes
- Give yourself 10 minutes during your child’s naptime
- Choose nap instead of chores when kiddos are at preschool
- Find a comfy chair in the waiting room during therapy
Babysitters: Not Just For Friday Night
Are you like me, and home with your kiddos all day? Well, let me tell you, there is no energy killer like being on the job 24/7. Why not bring in a babysitter once in a while? Babysitters are not just for Friday nights, and can give you the rest you need to recharge. Most homeschool families are pretty flexible with their schedules, so teens are quite often available for just this type of job.
If money is tight, you could try a swap situation. You do double duty homeschool at your house on Monday afternoon, and your mom friend does double duty homeschool on Wednesday morning. You both get a break, and you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting hard earned income.
I used to feel guilty about getting respite for my daughters. I sort of felt like they were missing out on my time. What I wasn’t realizing, is that they were missing out on the best of me. By getting a break to re-energize, yes, they get less of me, but they get a better me. Don’t feel guilty for getting a babysitter or respite when you need it.
Tag Team For The Win
I say this all the time, but it’s true! Parenting is a tough business. You need to tag team to win. This does not mean that you need the other parent living in the same house. I realize that for some of us, that just can’t happen. In fact, you don’t have to tag team with a spouse or even the other parent at all. You do need to build a team though. Bring in grandparents, or other mom/ dad friends, or maybe even a respite provider.
The point is, you cannot expect to do this completely alone. Things like “faking it until you make it” or “10 minute respite” only work for so long. They are Bandaids really. If you are going to do this for the long haul, you need a team, and you can’t feel guilty for using them.
The other night, it was 8:30pm. I looked at my husband and said, “I am going to bed.” I gave him a few instructions regarding our kids, and I actually went to bed. Do I feel guilty about this? Not in the least, because you know what? A few weeks ago, my husband looked at me at about 7:30pm said he was going to bed. Yes, it was Saturday night. He had to leave for work in a few hours, the kids had been too rowdy for him get good sleep, and he was tired. No guilt required. My best advice? Find. Your. Team. No one does this alone.
Don’t Wait! Do Something!
So, if you find yourself in exhaustion-mode, stop right now. There is something you can do about it in the long and short of it. Try one the ideas we mentioned.
And, if you need something even bigger to get your energy stores back into business, don’t despair! There is something called A Mother’s Rest! These are low cost or in some cases free getaways for caregivers dealing with extra needs. There are respite weekends happening all over the United States, so chances are, there may be one near you.
The important thing to remember, is that you can’t do your job well if you don’t have the energy to do it. It’s okay to be a little bit selfish and grab those energizing moments when you can
Blogging Through The Alphabet
Let’s hear what you came up with for the Letter E this week. You can add your post below. And don’t forget to visit the co-hosts and other participants.
- Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
- Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
- Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Christine @ Lifes’s Special Necessities
- Yvonne Billian @ The Life We Build
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane
- Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach