5 Tips for Moms that Need Help
Work Smarter not Harder
The sun rises; I know that I have to get out of bed to start my day at work. My night consisted of administering breathing treatments every 4 hours for the past 72 hours. In the first 5 hours of my day, I have picked out outfits for my children, packed their lunches, and attempted to maintain my sanity before driving them to school. Often I have done more than I should when depleted. Some mom hacks that I practice to help me protect my energy and be fully present with my children are listed below:
1) Identifying help before it is needed
Asking for help is not a skill that comes naturally to me. Before having children, I would ask for help after reaching my point of exhaustion. I have learned that this is not beneficial to me, my husband, or my children. Pushing myself when exhausted did not allow me to be fully present. I refer to this type of survival operating as "moments in the fog". I existed in moments that I cannot recall what I was feeling or feeling numb. We did not have friends and family that were available to help us. Identifying a babysitting service or finding a daycare that allows the teachers to babysit outside of their operating hours is necessary for us to survive. Free care is preferred but is not always dependable. Dependable child care is life-changing.
2)Order ahead and choose curbside pick-up
The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise to many parents with young children. Ordering ahead and using curbside pick-up allows me to save time, shield my children from potential exposure to germs, and prevent children from being tempted to ask for toys. In an ideal situation, they would fall asleep on the ride to the store.
3)Take time out for self-care
Start small and then build up. If you do not schedule time daily to do something you enjoy, start with 30 minutes each day and increase when possible. I have learned that reading a book, listening to a podcast, exercising, soaking in my tub, taking a nap, or walking on a nature path do wonders for my energy.
4)Maintain a bedtime routine that begins before you are tired
Having a bedtime routine is so important. We lose so much time as adults running behind our children, cooking, and cleaning long after they are in their beds. If we can maintain their bedtime so that we have an hour or two as adults to relax, everyone wins. The children can relax before falling asleep; we can spend time doing things that we enjoy without interruption.
5) Celebrate the small wins
As a woman, business owner, mother of special needs/medical needs children, and full-time W2 employee, life can feel overwhelming if I do not force myself to enjoy the "wins". Daily I do an inventory to identify things that I did well. Some of the "wins" that we take for granted are keeping our children safe, maintaining our composure, creating a safe space for our children to grow and thrive in, exercising, eating healthy, etc. I have learned that I must be my biggest cheerleader instead of my biggest critic.
Author: Alita-Geri Carter, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC
CEO and Founder, Advocate, Children’s Book Author, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner