Looking After Mum...Routines with a Difference.....
Once upon a time if we felt a bit tired (probably from some self-inflicted bad decision like refusing to accept the night was over at a civilised hour), we could sleep things off at our leisure on a weekend.
We could eat stodgy rescue food that had no actual health benefits, but yet managed to lift the spirits when needed, and we could compensate with as many early nights as we needed.
Then we became parents….
Granted, the opportunities to inflict late night damage to ourselves on the dancefloor plummeted to zero, but so too did our chances to recuperate after the sleepless nights now inflicted on us by someone else… our precious, but sleepless, little ones.
So, whilst I typically map out routines for children to follow… here is a routine for Mum and Dad to follow. Spot the similarities to the routines for your littles ones!
Create the right sleep environment
At this tired stage of our lives this is probably just a bed that doesn’t have the rest of the family already in it. We can work on that !!
Set yourself a Bedtime Routine
You probably already know this… but we get over-tired too.
Sometimes we do have an opportunity to get an early night if our little ones have gone off, but somehow, this feels too much like ‘me time’ and we resist going up to bed.
Try and remember that feeling that you have first thing in the morning when you wake up and would give anything to stay on in your nice cosy bed. Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it but give yourself some ‘me-time’ too. Build the quality time into the calming bedtime steps that we practice with our little ones.
Have a bath, a milky drink, a time limited bit of TV, a read of a (probably long abandoned) book. The bad news is that phones/iPads are best avoided at this time as the same screen-time rules apply to us and we don’t want the blue light stimulant if we are trying to go to sleep.
Stick too Daytime Routines –For Mums this is mainly a reminder to eat
It’s easy to get so caught up in caring for our littles ones that we neglect our own needs, but if we don’t eat properly then the temptation is to snack… badly. Whilst we get a short term energy boost from this, we will also get the lethargic dip afterwards.
On the assumption that the snacking will never completely disappear, make it good snacking by buying dried fruit and nut type options. Personally, I call it a reasonably fair swap if I get a bag of dried mango for my salted caramel ice-cream.
Meal Planning for the week is also a really good idea as if we buy the stuff in, or even just have the idea of the lovely fresh things we could be having to eat, then we are less tempted to settle for buttery toast ( though add scrambled eggs or peanut butter and you can pat yourself on the back for a healthy option)
Enjoy some stimulating sensory activities
This reads as just try to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
This may not feel like a substitute for the several times a week gym sessions / runs / cross fit that you used to do in your old life, but it goes a long way to helping us feel good, plus its helps us get the right ‘wake up’ hormones flowing in the morning. They can be sadly lacking after a broken night’s sleep.
Naps are good - but avoid late naps
“Sleep when baby sleeps” We’ve all heard it; we can’t all manage it but its great if we can.
But the same as for our babies, it can be worth keeping an eye on the clock. Instead of falling asleep and having a nap on the sofa at 8pm… go to bed and do it properly.
You will be in the best position to look after your little one if you spend some time looking after you, so when a chance presents itself, grab an early night, follow the Mum routines and get some well-deserved sleep.