Parenting sometimes feel like a full-time, 24/7 job that drains all your energy and soaks up your entire life. For parents, especially new ones exhaustion is common. They need to take care of the needs of their baby while coping with other responsibilities like work, home cleaning and social life. Even parents with older children get tired and run -down. The side effects of the constant exhaustion and sleep deprivation are increased stress levels and sometimes depression.
So how can you be a good parent and stay sane? There is more than one answer to this question since every family differs in their routine. Here are some general tips that may help you effectively fight the exhaustion of parenting.
Be “Good Enough” Instead Of “Perfect”
The key is to find the balance. Many parents strive to stay on top of everything. The pressure of managing every chore with perfection can be overwhelming and tiring. Don’t try to be the perfect parent. There is nothing wrong to be “good enough,” as long as all obligations are completed. Exhaustion can have both psychological and physical effects on you, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep is vital, especially for new parents. Your newborn will keep awake a lot during the night. Try to get as much rest as possible. Take a nap while your baby is sleeping, instead of perfectly and thoroughly cleaning the house. Household chores will only make you more tired and less effective. Men can also be affected, as they stay awake with their wife and baby during the night. Unlike some women, they cannot sleep during the day. Both parents should come up with a way to maximize sleep and rest for everyone.
For parents with older children, the lack of sleep is not such a severe issue. You should still plan your routine very well in order to have time for your tackling your tasks and resting. Set up a schedule for household activities like having dinner, cleaning the rooms and watching TV.
Ask For Help
There is nothing wrong in asking or accepting assistance. If your mother in law offered to come over and watch after the baby, during the weekend let her help. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Parents with older kids can assign some of the cleaning chores to their children. If both you and your partner go to work, ensure that the household responsibilities are fairly divided between the two of you.
Take Care of Yourself
In order to be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself. New parents spend most of their time with their baby or toddler. You need to spend time with adults and have an adult conversation. When there is chance, let someone look after the baby for an hour or two and do something for you. The same goes for parents with grown –up kids. Find a hobby, sign up for a class, or do your favorite beauty routine.
How do you balance your time?
Great reminder. I like waking up early and getting ready before the kids get up. It helps a lot.
I bet it’s nice just focusing on you for a few minutes 🙂
So many first time mothers do not like to ask for help, they think doing so means they have failed in some way which is rubbish asking for help when one needs help is the right thing to do.
You are very right Jo Anne. They want to do it all and that can be extremely hard when you get no sleep.