Being tired is part of being a mom. It’s part of learning to put others first and die to self. It’s an even bigger part of your life if you are a mom of a large family. Nursing a baby, multiple pregnancies, interrupted sleep, busy daytime schedules, all of these can lead to tiredness and lack of energy and moms of many deal with all this and more on a daily basis.
While learning to do what needs to be done in the midst of being
tired exhausted is often necessary, there are some things that can help you feel better and have more energy.
I know that it’s hard to find the time, especially with all little ones, but making an effort to regularly exercise really pays off in energy.
Currently I’m doing peak 8’s. This requires maximum effort (I sprint up and down our stairs) for 20-30 seconds and then a 90 second rest period. You repeat this 8 times and your done. This shouldn’t be done everyday as giving your body a recovery period is also important. So 20 minutes, 3 times a week is easy to fit in.
I generally do this mid-day while the children are up and about. I can (and do) start laundry, pick up toys or tend to children during the ‘rest’ periods, so even if you have all little ones this is an easy way to fit in exercise. (Yes, I’ve been doing it throughout this pregnancy.)
For years our family has participated in running. It’s an activity that all ages can participate in together.
I’ve been known to strap a little one into a baby carrier and put another one in the stroller and run/jog alongside the 3-5 year crowd while the big ones get in a few miles. Mark and I also spend time taking turns with the younger set so that the other one can get in some time running unburdened.
Our family has enjoyed training for and competing in an occasional 5K. As a matter of fact, the children have been scheming about how it will be possible for me to participate (with the rest of the family) in a 5K mud-run less than a month after giving birth via c-section. If I don’t ‘run’ the race, there isn’t someone to help some of the little guys over the obstacles, but I’m pretty certain that I will be holding a baby and recovering from surgery rather than participating, at least for this year.
Go ahead and laugh. Trust me, I understand, sometimes this is impossible, but there are some things that we can control. A schedule or routine can help immensely with getting enough sleep.
Also, when pregnant or when your night time sleep is very interrupted consider fitting in a regular nap during the day. In order to do this you’ll have to have an established rest time for your children.
I prefer a short half hour of sleep in the afternoon, but when I’m really concerned about the quantity of my sleep, I’ll rest longer than that. Sometimes simply laying down and resting can be just as effective as actual sleep.
Don’t overdo it
You, your husband and your children all need time to just be at home together without running here and there and without a houseful of people. As homeschoolers I think we tend to over-commit and over-schedule our families.
For our family, we have dinner at home nearly every evening and try to limit company to 1-2 nights a week. We also limit daytime outings to one day a week (except for during our 8 week cross country season).
Eat real food
What we eat does effect how we feel. For increased energy, cut out the junk, the food that doesn’t provide the nutrition that God intended food to provide.
Foods to avoid:
- white sugar
- white flour
- processed foods and drinks (including low-fat versions of real foods)
In addition eat a variety of healthy foods that do give your body the nutrition that it needs; healthy fats, quality proteins, fruits and veggies.
I would have ignored this advice until several months ago, but I honestly notice a huge difference in energy when I forget to take my vitamins in the morning.
The one supplement that our whole family takes daily is fermented cod liver oil (I know it sounds horrid and it doesn’t taste much better).
I also take Supermom multi-vitamins (I use these in place of prenatals) and vitamin B-12 in liquid form.
I notice a difference in energy and how I feel, especially during nursing and pregnancy, if I’m deliberate about getting enough to drink. I don’t think that I’m the only mom who gets too busy to remember to drink.
No matter what we do to keep up our energy, there are going to be times when we will struggle with being tired and that’s fine. Our responsibility is to be faithful to what God has called us to do to the best of our ability even when we just feel like crawling back into bed.
What helps you to maintain your energy?
You may also be interested in:
- Two sample schedules/routines – One current and one when we had all small children.
- Naps and rest time
- Coping while exhausted
- I’m Tired
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.