*Did you know that only five per cent of mums get the recommended daily seven to nine hours of sleep???
The key to surviving is learning to cut yourself some slack and try not to do ALL the things.
If you try it’s possible you’ll end up crying in the corner or packing a tantrum that rivals a threenager’s tanty.
And if you need to boost your energy levels – try our ENERGY BOOSTING Healthy Mummy Super Greens here
Here’s some advice for new mums who just can’t seem to prioritise.
Some days I struggle to keep my eyes open and it’s only 10am, how am I supposed to make it through the day?
Honestly, with great difficultly. This is why you have to ignore the mess, the washing, the unmade beds and just close your eyes and have a rest. As soon as baby nods off, down tools and have a power nap. You can also put baby in the cot with some toys and let them play for 30-minutes while you rest beside them.
Tip: Force yourself have a shower or bath even when you’re exhausted, you will be amazed how much more human and awake you feel!
My house is a mess, the dishes are piling up and I have friends coming over, help!
Firstly, unless you’ve got judgmental friends no one is going to worry about a little mess. But if it really irks you, pick two rooms and have a quick a 5-minute pick-up of stuff. Check the loo and bathroom is respectable and forget the dishes. Heck if you’re really lucky your visitors might offer to help and in that case ask if they’ll take baby for a walk around the block while you attack the washing and the dishes.
Do I have to make myself dinner, won’t a cup of tea and a piece of toast do?
Maybe it’s okay to eat rations every now and then, but not every night. You’re no good to anyone if you’re skipping meals or just grabbing the nearest piece of food you can find. Your health is important because you’re the one in charge of your baby’s health and wellbeing. Make healthy snacks when you first wake up or get your hubby to do some for you.
Tip: You cannot live on coffee and tea alone – drink twice as much water as you do hot drinks and get on board the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge wagon which takes the thinking OUT of meal planning as it does it all for you!
I have so much to do and no energy or time to do it, what should I prioritise?
Prioritise tasks so the essential ones are done first, e.g. grocery shopping and washing. Then have another list of things you’d like to do if you get the time, e.g. vacuum, clean the toilets or dust. Cut yourself some slack during those early months because you just won’t be able to cope with simple tasks like you used to.
How can I stop being such a cranky dragon to everyone?
Firstly, extreme exhaustion goes hand-in-hand with zero patience and tolerance. When you’re in a grump tell your family that it’s not their fault, some kids will think it is, and that you’re just tired and in a bad mood. Make a joke about it and apologise if you’ve been particularly sharp tongued.
Tip: Before you fly off the handle because someone accidentally dropped their cup of milk or didn’t hang their wet towel up, walk out of the room and count to 10. Think before you speak to save tears, both yours and those of your loved ones.
*Statistics are taken from a survey of 1950 mums in the Healthy Mummy Community. Recommended daily hours of sleep taken from The Sleep Foundation.
And here are some ways you can tell if you are sleep deprived
1. You start to believe in magic
It’s hard not to eat ALL the food at the best of times, but throw sleep deprivation in the mix and it’s virtually impossible. When you’re beyond tired you’ll open the fridge 12 times a day in the hope that something delicious has magically appeared. It’s likely you’ll visit the pantry and scour the shelves for hidden treats.
Tip: To avoid feeding your tiredness with junk, cut up carrots, celery or cauliflower and have a tasty tip on hand – if you’re going to scoff food make sure it has some nutritional value!
2. You become a ‘yes’ mum
With a foggy brain and heavy limbs, you will find yourself saying yes to almost anything your kids ask you. It’s like they can sense you’re about to fall asleep at any moment and capitalise on your weakness. In this instance just roll with it, cut yourself some slack, a bit of screen time won’t hurt your kids and might give you a chance to rest for half an hour. Just make sure you listen to their requests before agreeing because you don’t want to be cleaning paint or glitter from every orifice while sleep deprived.
3. You fail to dress yourself properly
Making it out of the house when you’re sleep deprived is a medal-worthy event as far as I’m concerned, but often you have no choice because of school, kindy or because you’ve eaten the cupboards bare. Just don’t be surprised if you get some strange looks while in public because extreme fatigue often goes hand-in-hand with failing to dress yourself properly. Having your shirt on inside or wondering the supermarket aisles with your skirt tucked into your knickers are all possible scenarios.
4. You become obsessed with getting horizontal
Taking advantage of every single chance you get to lie down becomes an obsession for people who are robbed of sleep. Instead of making excuses not to play teachers, doctors or schools with your kids you’ll shock the pants off them by volunteering to get involved. It’s a win-win situation; you can play a sick patient or a child having a daytime nap while simultaneously amusing your kids.
Hint: Be careful you don’t fall into a deep sleep or you might wake up with one eyebrow or to a child who has given themselves a mohawk-style haircut.
5. You cry during TV commercials
Much like PMS sufferers, sleep deprived people lose any ability to see reason, think logically or cope with minor problems or interruptions. A bowl of cereal dropped on the floor could bring you to your knees in tears and a TV advert about babies might turn you in to a blubbering mess. When you’re so tired you’re struggling to function, don’t be surprised if you can’t figure out how to do simple tasks such as your seven year-old’s math homework.
Best way to cope? Play hide and seek in the pantry until everyone stops looking for you, at least you won’t go hungry.
Find out how to prioritise when you’re sleep deprived here.