Are you reading this article from your phone while you take a breather in the bathroom?
Did you have a chance to change out of your work clothes this evening before setting forth the whole dinner-homework-bath-bedtime routine?
Chances are if you clicked on this headline, it’s because you’re exhausted— and that’s understandable. As a working mother, there are no “days off.” That’s a part of parenthood— but it’s important to have a few healthy ways to balance your many responsibilities with your current lack of sleep and free time.
Don’t pass up sleep opportunities.
Up at eight, nap at two, bedtime at seven-thirty: sure, your child is on an impeccable sleep schedule, but what about you?
Chances are, your sleep schedule is a mess. If you want to feel more alert in your daily life, this is important to recognize. Your sleep needs to be more of a priority— even though that sometimes feels impossible for a working mother. This can mean a cheeky nap in your car after lunch (just keep the window cracked,) a little snooze on your morning train journey, or even— gasp— setting yourself an earlier bedtime. Yes, it can feel a bit strange going to sleep at the same time as your kindergartner, but hey— you wake up at the same time, don’t you?
Seriously. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
Stay hydrated, eat well, and try to sneak a little exercise in.
Staying on top of your health isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you’re juggling a busy job with parenthood as a working mother. However, it will make a big difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Be sure to always drink plenty of water, and eat foods that are high in proteins, complex carbs, and fiber.
It’s also helpful to try and get moving when you can. That doesn’t mean a strenuous workout, or even carving out gym time. But, if you’re feeling sluggish, taking a walk tends to sort you out. This is also something you can enjoy with your children— take them on a short walk (either on foot or in a stroller) after dinner in the evenings. They’ll enjoy the adventure, and you’ll benefit from the fresh air and movement.
Give yourself a boost when needed.
Plenty of parents spend their days at work missing their kids and longing to play with them. However, by the time they leave their job and commute home, they’re exhausted. Between cooking, serving, and cleaning up from dinner, getting everybody bathed and into pajamas, and helping with homework, you’re too weary to properly enjoy play or storytime. However, that’s the part you’ve been missing all day!
Some parents have been keeping energy shots in their glove compartments or work bags for this exact dilemma.
Here’s how it works: as soon as you clock out, you take your energy shot. Almost instantly, you’ll feel alert— and it’ll stay in your system for about 5 hours— so around the exact time, you’d be heading to sleep anyway. In the meantime, it allows you to enjoy your favorite part of the day in a present and energetic state. Just be sure to save this trick for after you finish breastfeeding.
Find your happy place.
Try to find a few outlets where you can express your non-professional or parental side for even a few moments, and just engage in an activity you enjoy.
This can be a hilarious podcast that you listen to when you’re commuting to and from your work. It can be special smoothie from the cute place down the street from your office. It can even be using your toddler’s 3 am wakeup as a chance to have quick text catch up with your friend living in Japan. Whatever it is, it’s for you.
Ask for help if you need it.
There’s no shame in asking for help! That’s what friends and family are for. If you feel too overwhelmed by the combination of your work and family responsibilities, it’s going to be okay. Reach out to those close to you and ask for the help that you need— whether that’s a babysitter for the night, an encouraging word, or a suggestion for a quick dinner that suits both your children’s allergies and your partners’ new diet.
Remind yourself that this will eventually get better.
This is a joyful yet very but intense time in your life, and it’s not always going to be like this. Your kids will get older, and more independent. Eventually, you will have more time for yourself, sleep, and relax. It will happen. Reminding yourself of this can be really helpful. If any of your friends are parents of older children, ask them about their experience, and how they balance their family life with their career. You’ll likely find yourself comforted by what they have to say.
This article was written by the 5-hour ENERGY® team.
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