we are one hundred percent
For the past two weeks I’ve been running on way too little sleep. Since I breastfeed I am the one who takes care of the baby at night and I guess he’s having some sort of growth phase and on top of that a minor cold. Not long ago I got a comment about my best tips on how to fight agains sleep deprivation, but to be honest I often find myself asking myself the same thing.
The hardest part is that extreme lack of sleep does not only effect me. It has a domino effect on everything. The entire family, home, work, mood and over all well being. However, I am used to very few hours of sleep. At the moment we are talking about only a couple/ three hours per night. Before I had children my biggest fear was not getting enough sleep, but somehow I’ve gotten used to it along the way. I guess I’ve learned how to build my life around it and I’m so thankful for having the ability to do that.
Most importantly attitude plays the biggest role. If I wake up in the morning feeling dead tired to one of “those” days when everything feels tough, I know I’ll have to decide everything will be ok or I’m going to brake down eventually. Some days are more friction filled than others. So being able to breathe, laugh at the situation and decide to immunize myself from the yelling and other strenuous situations helps a lot.
Support has come to play a huge role in my life. I’m so lucky to have an older sister and other wonderful mom friends going through the same journey as I. We call each other on a daily basis and talk/dwell openly about everything on our minds. It can be anything from sick children to which laundry detergent we use and everything in between. Also, knowing that I have other mothers in the same boat makes it easy to just jump on the bus and hang out at their place all day if I feel like being home makes me crazy.
I hate it myself when people around me advice me to get up and get going on those days when all I want is to stay in bed and sleep. Unfortunately it’s impossible to stay in bed when you have two children and a husband who travels, therefore making plans and having small mile stones throughout the day is a must. Going to the park, grocery store, baking together, taking a trip to the library or museum, arranging a playdate. Any activity will for sure make at least my day better and less restless.
Greens. I’m not joking when I say my eating habits get absolutely terrible when I’m tired. My cravings are sky rocketing and I can go on for days eating only crap. Sometimes that’s ok though. If I feel like eating only sandwiches and granola for dinner because I don’t have the energy to cook for myself, I give myself that. I do have a rule though. I try to get in at least one green smoothie each day packed with so much spinach, avocado and other healthy, energy boosting ingredients as possible. It’s a smoothie for my conscious. As long as I drink all that and eat my vitamins I’m good to go. Another thing I try to stick to is eating boiled eggs before going to bed. I love it and eggs offer great nutrition and keeps me feeling full at least through most nights.
Fresh air and exercise. Hmmm, I know moving and being active boosts our energy levels, therefore I have to recommend it. Although, I can’t say I’m being all that active myself. I try to attend indoor cycling classes as often as possible (realistically once a week) and walk, but when I’m too tired to function nothing feels as tiering as moving this body just for fun. Do what I say not what I do ;).
Cut yourself some slack. We have so much to do, so many wants, musts, should/ could and would do’s. Even if you once in a while do none of those, so what? Every parent tries her/his very best. That I am one hundred percent sure of! We can’t do more than that.
Love the heck out of those kids. Yep, reminding yourself of how darn cute, fun and nuts those kiddo’s are is everything. After all we would do anything for them. It’s hard at times but nothing gives back as much as seeing our own children happy, healthy and loved unconditionally. That’s why some of us keep making baby after baby not being sure how to make it through sleepless nights, teething, negative age and teenage years. At the end of the day we just seem to love it all. I’ll say it again and again: Love conquers everything!
Pictures by Janita Autio