Are you a tired and overworked mom? Welcome to the club! The desperation to feel relaxed, even temporarily, makes us spend whatever little time we get to research advice everywhere possible. You can Google all the possible solutions shared by many mothers and parenting experts online. Some of those ideas really work. But, let’s be real. Not all of us have that liberty to follow all those tips (I will share a few later in this post) to relax as a mom. Some of us are single moms, some are without family support, some are juggling jobs and home, some have more than one kid, some have elders to take care of, some have chronic illnesses and relatively lower energy levels and some are really really very tired regardless of whatever our Instagram pictures show the world.
It’s been 31 months since I became a mother. As some of you following my blog know, I suffer from fibromyalgia and all the symptoms that come with the syndrome. And a few more medical conditions that make even some of the simple motherly tasks extremely difficult for me. I did not give in to my medical condition and have been pushing myself every single day of excruciating endless pain and now severe sleep deprivation. Needless to say I have researched all the tips to relax over the last two and a half years. But frankly speaking, I haven’t been able to implement anything. I could not even manage to do those kegel exercises after a normal delivery (with forcep assistance at the last minute) and well, my bladder has started to really bother me now. That’s a story for a different day.
Last night, I finally hit the bed at 2 am thinking I would be able to sleep then. I co-sleep with my toddler. She was fast asleep and I switched on the night light to have some water. That’s when I gazed at her lovely face. She was sleeping like, well, a baby! It was a magical moment that took me to the time when she was born and what followed was almost meditative. I reminisced those initial weeks of the super hectic new mom life. Remember that time? When you are just learning everything from how to help a baby sleep, feed her non-stop, burp her, change nappies endlessly… you know that phase! But at the end of that super long and tiring day, however drained out we all new moms were, remember that one thing that made us smile late in the nights? Yes, looking at our baby for so long, watching that tiny (often smiling) face, those tiny fingers and toes, and feeling the miracle of motherhood. I remember just watching her for long while she was asleep and somehow that made me feel so happy and relaxed even when I knew she might wake up in two hours for another feed!
So, last night I realised that over the months, I did less of that… watch her sleep at the end of the day and reliving the memory of the day I held her in my arms for the first time. The daily chores and running around make us forget the most beautiful day of our life. That moment has so much power to make us feel happy and relaxed. Trust me, last night felt so special and different as I just watched my toddler sleep, the way I did when she was a newborn. So the next time you are feeling tired and helpless, just look at your sleeping baby and know that you are doing a wonderful job as a mom.
Also, try these tips to relax when you can, if you can (I am keeping Covid lockdown in mind):
- Get some me-time, even if it is for 15 minutes in the privacy of your bathroom :). Read a book, browse the internet for non-parenting stuff, watch some show, chat with a friend… something you don’t get to do very often now.
- Exercise, meditate or do some yoga. Else play it on the TV and do it with your toddler.
- Play some music which is not nursery rhymes 🙂 Dance, even if you have two left feet! Sing, even if you think you are bad at it.
- Indulge in some self care if you have been avoiding it since you became a mom
- When you spend time with your kid, sometimes do a fun activity that you both can enjoy. Play a game from your childhood, like hopscotch.
- Go for a walk.
- Talk to a friend or a cousin or a nice relative or neighbour you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Play a game on your phone / gaming console / whatever, but nothing stressful.
- Indulge in good food to be in a good mood.
- If you can’t step out, just look out of the window and observe whatever you see, sky or streets or people or birds. Try not to think about what all work you need to finish today!
- Start writing a diary.
- If someone offers help, just take it. Don’t feel guilty about lying down for sometime when someone watches your child.
- Schedule your day. It works for some parents but if this stresses you out, don’t do it.
- Post covid, well get out and meet people, eat out, watch movies and visit malls and parks and everywhere outdoors!
- At the end of the day, don’t forget to watch your sleeping kid for a few minutes and think about all the good memories with your baby!
Most importantly, do not compare yourself with other moms who you think are able to multitask more. And, never get affected if someone judges you. They are not in your shoes and only you know that you are doing your best for your kid.
Hope some of this helps you. Do share what helps you relax as a mom. And remember, you are awesome!
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio