9 Ways to Fight Busy-Mom Fatigue
Moms out there know there’s nothing better than having a little “Mini Me”(or two, or three…) to care for. The love that you feel for your kids just can’t be described. But let’s face it; sometimes it can be exhausting! When busy-mom fatigue sets in, here are a few ways to feel like a fully functioning human being again:
1. Add some exercise to your routine.
Wait … Did we just say add something to your routine? As in, on top of everything else you’ve already got going on? We did indeed, but for good reason. While starting a new exercise plan may seem painful at first, it won’t take long for the benefits to kick in. As you begin shaping up, you’ll feel more energized and confident in your own skin, which will pour into all areas of your life. Exercise also provides you with healthy ME time. For that sacred hour or so, it’ll be just you and your workout – nothing or nobody else. Use that time to clear your mind and forget about what’s going on elsewhere. Sometimes life’s biggest stressors don’t feel quite so daunting after a good sweat session at the gym.
2. Clean up your (food) act.
Another benefit of exercise is that it typically makes you more aware and purposeful about what you eat. After all, you wouldn’t want to invest your valuable time into a workout only to negate it with a junk food binge, would you? Whether you choose to exercise or not, cleaning up your diet can have a dramatic effect on your mood and overall energy levels. As you might guess, some foods—like those high in simple carbs/sugar—can make you feel tired and lethargic soon after eating them. To stay energized throughout your day, aim for a balanced diet of quality protein, complex carbs, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats.
3. Automate, automate, automate.
It’s no wonder that most moms are so beat. Along with taking care of kids, they’ve got a million other things to do around the house, at work, or both. To help ease the burden, find ways of automating jobs you’d rather not do. For example, start doing online grocery shopping versus lugging your kids to the store each week. Many grocery chains charge a nominal fee for delivery, or even offer free pickup. If your budget allows it, meal service delivery kits offered by companies like Green Chef or Blue Apron are also another way to go. They deliver fresh, portioned ingredients and recipes to your door to save you the time and hassle. Other ways to automate your life include hiring someone to clean your house, doing all of your laundry in one day (versus multiple times throughout the week), or completing all of your admin-like tasks (i.e. paying bills and answering emails) in one sitting. By “batching” these jobs, you’ll feel like you’re not constantly at their beck and call.
4. Prepare meals in advance.
This one is tricky! For some moms, the idea of taking a whole Saturday or Sunday afternoon to prep meals for the week ahead is laughable. They just don’t have the time to even think about doing that. But other moms swear by this process, as it makes the rest of their week so much easier. Come dinner time, they just grab a meal from the fridge or freezer, reheat, and go! If your kids have a busy week night schedule with soccer practices, tee-ball games, or other extra-curricular activities, this might be a good option to try. Test it out one week, and see if the mid-week pay-off is worth the weekend effort.
5. Delight in delegating.
This one simple word can have a huge impact on your life! Out of kindness, most moms continue to do things for their children that they’re old enough to do on their own. As your kids get older, share some of the workload that’s bogging you down. It’s ok—and intensely gratifying—to start handing off some small tasks. For example, if you’re like 99.9% of moms who hate packing school lunches, teach your children to pack their own. You can help them out by having fruit and veggie snacks already pre-cut or pre-portioned. And of course, make sure to check the finished product—you don’t want your kids going to school with 10 cookies and zero nutritious items.
6. Learn to say no.
Odds are, the nurturing and selfless qualities that make you such a great mom transfer to other parts of your life. When your children’s school asks for parent volunteers, you’re there. When your church needs someone to help run a fundraiser, you’re the first to sign up. Volunteering and giving back to your community is important, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your well-being. If you’re starting to feel tired and over-scheduled, start politely saying “no thank you” to these requests. The last thing you want is to become a resentful volunteer, which is bound to happen if you allow yourself to become over-stretched.
7. Work some quiet time into every day.
What does “some” mean? Well, that depends on how many kids you have and what ages they are. Some moms never get the chance to go to the bathroom by themselves, let alone have dedicated downtime. For you, quiet time might mean a 30-minute hot bath (ah, the bliss), reading 10 minutes before bed (if you don’t pass out sooner), or sitting over a fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning before your brood wakes up. The important thing isn’t the length of time, but the quality. You need those precious moments alone, without distractions, to bask in pure stillness and rejuvenate your soul.
8. Follow your heart.
Women are often praised for being able to “balance it all,” but is that such a good thing? Maybe balancing it all is an unrealistic benchmark to strive towards. How can one person possibly give 100% effort to everything? If you feel exhausted trying to live up to these societal standards, let them go! It’s ok to put more effort into what matters most to you (i.e. spending time with family and friends), and less time towards the small stuff (like vacuuming). Sure, your house needs to be cleaned at some point, but don’t let it pull you away from more meaningful moments.
9. Share your pain.
Most moms feel tired and run down at some point—it’s basically part of the job description! But if you’re feeling this way 24/7, let your husband, friend, or family member know. Sometimes just communicating your burdens can help you feel so much better. If you have a good support system around you, they will rise to the challenge to help reduce your busy-mom fatigue!
About the Author
Nicole Kepic is a freelance copywriter who specializes in health, wellness, and lifestyle writing. She has also had articles published in a variety of fitness and bodybuilding magazines. When she’s not busy writing for her clients, Nicole is either keeping active with her family, curling up with a great mystery novel, or dreaming of her next sunny vacation. To learn more, visit www.nicolekepic.com