SEVERAL studies indicate that majority of mothers have at one point of time or another, gone on with their full 24-hour day without getting proper sleep. That’s just the way a mom’s life is! Moms learn
to function on little sleep, mostly fueled by coffee and also perked up by hugs and kisses.
As early as pregnancy, mothers are awakened by the pitter-patter of tiny feet in the belly that often want to play nocturnally.
Let’s not forget the bathroom breaks!
The newborn baby stage is the most notorious, turning mothers into sleep deprived zombies. Babies constantly wake up and cry to feed, and we have no choice but to heed their call, literally being in
the mercy of infants. That being said, we mommas are still expected to breeze thru days like champions, especially when there’s house work, office work, and older children in the mix.
When my oldest was a toddler, we lived in the US and we didn’t have house-help. I was so afraid to have another baby, thinking I wouldn’t survive another newborn with a “terrible 2-yr-old” hanging
on my legs. Most of all, I was scared I wouldn’t have enough love nor patience to give many kids. These were tangible apprehensions back then.
Quite frankly, I am now still amazed at how I managed to run around carrying an infant basket, with a toddler in tow, while pushing a full grocery cart to my car. I guess that’s why there’s this term called, Super Mom (although back then, I certainly didn’t feel like one).
Flash forward a few years later, the kids are bigger but have bouts of asthma, stomach flu, or other issues that keep them up at night. Even projects they need help with keep us all awake, because
hey, Mom to the rescue. The worst of the lot is when the teenager goes out with her friends, and mama is left waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her to get home.
Time is a thief! It steals our precious sleep and lets our children grow at warp speed. Ugh!
The world does not stop spinning just because mothers lack some Zs. The house does not magically clean itself. Kids always need attention (including the husband, who is often like an oldest child).
There’s much work to be done! How do we combat sleep deprivation and still live a relatively sane, happy, and productive existence?
* Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Let’s do as much as we can but don’t agonize over the little things. One thing constant in life is challenges, so we must to learn to pick our battles and worry only about what we can control. All the
rest, we have to learn to let them go. Sounds easier said than done, I know. But we have to try! Stress is the number one killer. We have to rise above all of it if we want to live to see our grandchildren. Sounds harsh, but that’s reality!
* Manage time well.
The calendar is a great friend, but only if it used properly. It helps to write each family member’s appointments in a master calendar to keep on track. Doing so will ensure no appointments or
practices will be missed. Time that’s well-managed causes less stress.
* Me time!
Save time that’s meant just for us, momma! Do it now, don’t schedule over it, and remember to keep that appointment. These should be guilt-free times that help retain our sanity in this crazy hectic world. Consider a form of meditation, art/music therapy, or a zumba class. All these break routine, promote relaxation, and lets both mind and body recharge. Even just 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference. We can’t give what we don’t have. The only way to truly take care of others well is if we take care of ourselves first. Make self-love and care a priority!
* Talk to others.
Be generous with time, attention, and presence with others. Relationships with friends are also essential. Talk, connect, and be happy together. It is easy to fall into the vortex of bailing-out when we’re super stressed. Lighten the load by nourishing friendships. Remember the old adage “no man is an island”. The same applies for this Motherhood Journey. Get energy from your friends when yours is low; and in the same token, be prepared to lend them yours when they need it. Life is beautiful with family and friends!
* Go Green.
Studies indicate that the color green is one of the most relaxing colors to the eyes. Thus, in stressful times, don’t underestimate the power of taking refuge in nature. Life consists of much more than the
home, work, mall, or school. In CDO, we have the distinct advantage of living near the beach and the mountains. Just go!
* Pause and reflect
Take a moment every day to remember why we’re doing all of these in the first place. Deep down, even when we’re exhausted, there is still a wellspring of love. Look at the kids. Really, look! Thank you, God, for them. They make all of these worth it. In the grand scheme of life’s daily complexities, everything that we parents do and endure is for the love of our children.
In the end, the only thing we can really do as moms is our very best. Let that be enough! In fact, ask any child, and he will say that mom’s best is more than good enough. We may be sleep deprived,
but we are still alive, and we will all definitely survive. Cheers, fellow Moms.
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