If you’re so knackered that you can’t even switch the kettle on, then don’t worry. Our mum mentor gives you 7 easy steps to deal with new mum sleep deprivation…
You’re coming to terms with big changes in your life. On top of broken nights, you now have huge – and fantastic – responsibilities. It’s natural to feel tired, but you can boost your energy with love. Cuddle your baby, look her in the eyes, smile and say out loud what you love most about being her mum. Your body may be tired, but your heart thrives on love. It’s your greatest weapon against exhaustion.
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, but don’t fall into the trap of allowing lack of sleep to dominate your every waking moment. Don’t re-live your broken night by telling everyone how tired you feel. Positive thoughts energise your body. Negative thoughts drain it. The more you talk about tiredness, the more tired you feel. Talk instead about what you’re enjoying.
Don’t try to be perfect. Neither the perfect mum nor the perfect baby exists, so you’re putting yourself under unnecessary pressure – and you’re on course to fail, which will drain your energy. Take control. Think of ways to make life easier so you can get on and enjoy it. Buy ready-made meals, give the ironing a miss, don’t change your little one’s sleepsuit every five minutes. It’s more important to have a fun family home than a tidy one.
Focus on how being a mum keeps you fit and healthy – because it does. Your tot is your own personal trainer – and what a great mini-motivator she is, on call 24/7!
Write this sentence on yellow stickies and put one in every room: ‘I’m a healthy, energetic mum and I love the new and exciting ways she keeps me fit.’ Every time you see it, read it and believe it.
It’s important to look after yourself. Feel good, not guilty, about taking time off. If you’re tired and stressed, your baby will sense it. If you’re positive and energised, she’ll reap the benefits. You need to re-charge your batteries if you’re going to be the best mum you can be. Sleep when she sleeps during the day. Or, if you prefer, treat yourself – read a magazine or have a long bath. This is your time, so don’t always use it to catch up on the household chores.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Asking for help is really a sign of strength, not weakness. Do a life audit: identify the key area where support would help make life less stressful. Talk to your health visitor about sleep strategies, ask your partner to lend a hand or speak to another new mum about giving each other time off. Do it today. Don’t wait until you’re really struggling.
Go to bed thinking positive thoughts, not wondering how long it will be before you hear the cry that heralds the beginning of another broken night! Think about how your little one is changing every day as she learns about herself and her new world. Feel excited about the changes in yourself, too. Focus on one thing that’s gone well today and fall asleep with that thought in your head.
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