Health

How To Prioritise When You’re Sleep Deprived

Dragging yourself through each day is pretty much what it’s like for the first few months after your baby arrives. Depending on how much sleep you’re getting and how many other children you have, most days it’s a win if you get out of your PJs!

*Did you know that only 5% of mums get the recommended daily 7- 9 hours of sleep???
Only 5% Of Mums Get Over 8 Hours 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.

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!

Tired mum shower

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, eg grocery shopping and washing. Then have another list of things you’d like to do if you get the time, eg 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.

emily-toxward
written by:

Emily Toxward

When former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids she’s juggling the demands writing and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A published writer for nearly 20 years, Emily left full-time work in 2008 to have children and write from home. Always on the go, she spends her days negotiating with an army of little people she created and visits her local Gold Coast beaches for a little sanity.