When sleep deprivation takes over
I never thought I could be one of those moms who was so tired she couldn’t think straight. You know the kind where you get dressed, get the baby dressed, and head to the car only to realize you never put on any pants.
You’re standing in your driveway holding a baby in a carseat with nothing on but a white dress shirt, pink panties, and a pair of black high heels.
It doesn’t hit you until you see your reflection in the car door as you go to place the baby in the backseat. Instantly you’re aware of your surroundings and your lack of clothes as you hear a car beeping the horn as it drives by.
Yes, you read that right.
How in the world does that happen?
Don’t be so quick to judge. Anything is possible when you’re living as an exhausted working mom.
Let’s just call it exhausted mother syndrome.
This is where in your mind you’d like to be like the mom following her child around with a can of Lysol making sure they’re staying germ free. Then reality strikes and your ultimate goal on a daily basis becomes making sure your kid is alive at the end of the day and that her first words are not “oh shit.”
Where am I going with this?
Working full time is doable, being a mom is doable, but when you add the two together, you can end up burned out and too tired to be a good mom.
Does this sound like you?
Don’t worry. There’s a solution.
We need strategies or rules if you will, to keep us from suffering from motherhood exhaustion.
Sanity saving tips for all overwhelmed moms
9 Insider Rules for the Exhausted Working Mom:
1. It’s OK to mess up
You’re human! And raising a little human is the hardest job you’ll ever do. So when you mess up, forgive yourself and move on.
Don’t allow others to make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing or that you’re doing it all wrong. Chances are, they don’t know what to do either.
Just remember no parent enters parenthood with all of the answers. It’s all a big experiment. Every child is different and circumstances are never the same. At the end of the day, you do the best you can. The things that seem to be working, repeat them. Those that aren’t working quite so well, ditch them and try something different.
No one else is more equipped to take care of your family than you. Mistakes and all!
2. Remember to take care of you.
After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t pour into someone else if your cup is empty. Your child is very much in tune with you emotionally, and they observe everything. You want them to see and learn healthy coping habits!
It’s often overlooked, but self-care for moms is vital. As a mom, it’s in your genetic makeup to be nurturing and to put the needs of your kids and your family above your own. But, what happens to your family if something happens to you?
Take time to do the things you enjoy. If you love reading, listen to an audiobook on your commute to and from work. If exercise is important to you, have a quick workout before you head to daycare.
It will be challenging, but remove you and your needs from the back burner.
3. It’s OK to ask for help!
Use your support system. If you don’t have one, build one. Search for Facebook groups of moms with similar interests or situations. Or search for moms who live in your local area. Look for free children’s events at your local library or community center. Create those connections with people in your community.
If your child attends daycare, get to know some of the other moms. They have so much in common with you and can be a great resource.
Go ahead and appease your mom. Call her whenever you have questions or doubts. She’s been where you are and is just waiting for you to reach out and ask for help.
4. Take a time out.
It’s normal to feel other, not-so-happy emotions, about something your child has done or about parenting in general. This doesn’t make you any less of a mom!! My favorite line to my daughter is, “You’re not my friend right now.” Take five minutes, get it together, and then move on.
You’re not superhuman and no one is expecting you to be. Sometimes a little breather is all that’s needed to clear our heads and get us back on track.
5. Remember you’re the parent!
You make the decisions for your child. I learned very quickly that there are many “child experts” around me. And it can be shocking what people will say to you about how to raise your child. But you’re the expert on your own child. Not anyone else.
Stand your ground and don’t be afraid to put your foot down. Your elders may have more experience than you when it comes to caring for babies and raising children. But, here’s the thing, everything that they did back in the day wasn’t safe. Remember when babies could ride in the passenger seat? Need I say more?
So, just because something worked in the past, doesn’t mean it should be repeated. You’re not being disrespectful when declining their “suggestions”, you’re simply being a mom and doing what’s right for your baby.
6. Don’t forget you’re more than a mom.
Continue to grow as an individual as well as a parent. Don’t fall into the trap of just being someone’s mother. There’s a difference between you as a mom and you as an individual. Remember the identity you had before becoming mommy.
That position you’ve been working towards at work, don’t stop. If that’s what you want, go for it. Don’t feel guilty for having desires outside of motherhood.
7. Don’t get stuck on labels.
Breastfed vs formula, jar baby food vs homemade, this brand over that brand …. the mommy-wars are dangerous. There are pros and cons to every side of every argument. But as long as your child is healthy and thriving, don’t stress about the labels. Rule #5 — your kid, your decision.
8. Do your own research.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself. So continue to learn, ask questions and do your own research. Then you can make informed decisions.
There’s always that “Type A” mom in your circle that researches everything. When in doubt, reach out to her and see what she’s found.
9. Do what is best for YOUR family!!!!
There’s no other way to say it, your only responsibility is to do what is best for your family. If someone can’t understand that, too bad!
To the Mom who is exhausted
Let’s face it being a working mom is hard but doable. You will have challenges that the average working woman doesn’t have. That doesn’t make you inferior. In fact, it makes you stronger and more capable of multitasking. A skill that is often necessary as we attempt to move up the ranks.
The very struggle that is being a working mom can be the exact thing you need to get you where you want to be in your career. Use this experience and allow it to help you grow in all areas of your life.
You may be exhausted now but it will get easier.
Sometimes the word rules can have a negative connotation. So, take these as suggestions to help prevent you from experiencing mom burnout and gaining satisfaction in your dual roles as a full time working mom.
Comment and let us know what you think about our “Working Mother Rules.” What advice would you add for other parents who work full time?
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