Let’s face it, we all want to be able to help our children to sleep well. Most likely, that’s why you’re here, reading this post in the first place. But it’s not a failure of any kind if your child doesn’t sleep as well as you’d like. Believe me, it can happen to us all. And life as a sleep deprived parent is not easy! Amongst all of the responsibility of raising your kids, you need to look after yourself as well. When you’re tired it’s really, really easy to become overwhelmed with life so I wanted to put together some simple steps that you can follow to help yourself. Here’s my guide to self care for sleep deprived parents.
If you’re at home, try to rest as much as you can. The old tip is to sleep when baby sleeps but that’s not always possible, so even if the best you can do is put your feet up for five minutes whilst the kids are playing or napping then that’s what you should do. Housework is obviously on your mind when you can see that the bins need emptying and the dishes need doing, but life will not end if you just put your feet up those extra few minutes before you start to tackle your chores.
Go out when you can
Socialising can sometimes feel like the worst possible idea, but if you can arrange play dates around yours or somebody else’s house it’s actually a great way to keep the keep kids entertained. Get some toys out, don’t worry about the mess and just let them play together – it’s great for them to interact socially and will give you a chance to sit down and have a chat with a friend as you share the childcare responsibilities.
Obviously it’s important to try and eat healthily and you want your kids to have a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t have to mean stressing yourself out about cooking everything from scratch though. You can get some healthy meals that are either ready-made or very easy to put together; Things like slow cooked stew that you can just chuck together in the slow cooker switch on and leave are a great way to still get decent food inside everybody’s mouth’s but without the stress of cooking everything from scratch.
Accept help when it’s offered and don’t feel like you’re a burden for accepting. People have offered because they’re happy to help and even if it’s just half an hour or an hour, you can go for a quick nap. It’s something that will have a massively positive impact on your life and help you to prepare for the next hour.
Try to create a good balance between being organised and also just taking each hour as it comes. It’s good to have a rough idea of meals you’re going to eat and things that you’re going to do across the week, but don’t try and plan every minute of the day because it can become overwhelming and stressful. It is a good idea to try and factor in some time when you can just rest, or try to get an early night whenever possible.
YOU are important too
Above all, remember that you have to look after yourself to be able to look after your family. Taking time to rest is healthy and actually essential when you are sleep deprived and exhausted. Be kind to yourself!