I don't care how old your kids are, there are moments that just leave you completely depleted. Empty. EXHAUSTED. A lot of times we immediately think of new parents when it comes to lack of sleep, but I am here to tell you that it's not just lack of sleep from a crying baby that can leave a parent exhausted. There are so many other things... It's the concern that your child is having trouble learning something new or maybe that your child is troubled in ways you can't help. It may be that your adult child is going through a divorce or finds themselves without a job. There is physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion and emotional exhaustion. Sometimes one brings on another, while other times it may just be one of those three you can't seem to get past. WHATEVER it is, here are a few tips to help you get through it (and I promise, you WILL get through it!):
Rest is More Important - No matter what it is, stress will take a toll on your body so if you are hitting that point past just being tired, you need to make yourself rest. Put away things that make it worse. For me, my kids like to sometimes tell me all their problems with something. For a while it was all the time. I finally got smart and said that if it wasn't an emergency, don't tell me your problems or call me after 9pm! They would call and tell me all their problems--then hang up feeling better--meanwhile I would be all jacked up about whatever they told me so I couldn't sleep! Sometimes it was something that would make me angry, but usually it was worry that would keep me awake. I made a point to let them know I just physically couldn't handle that anymore. Just that little adjustment made a big change in how I handled things later. If your children are little, putting a rule like that in place won't work for a nursing baby at 2am! In those cases, you need to find times that your little ones are resting and rest then too. Even if you have laundry to fold, paperwork to do or the garage needs to be rearranged, sometimes you just need to take a moment and get some rest for yourself. This will help keep you from utter exhaustion at times.
Plan Accordingly - When times are stressful (and exhausting) in our lives, we need to plan other things around that. Don't decide to throw a huge party that takes a ton of planning when your family is in crisis about something. When you know your baby is teething and is going to be up from 2am to 3am for a few nights, don't decide that you need to take on something extra for the school or work, or spend your days doing something physically exhausting as well. Make a point to step back when you need to. It's okay. It will help your physical, mental and emotional well being if you don't push everything to the limit.
Colored Judgment - If you aren't trying to rest, exhaustion will color your judgment--a lot! A little thing will seem huge and you may overreact and regret it later. Some things may get you so down that you think it will never get better again. You may make choices that you wouldn't otherwise make if you weren't exhausted (like late night online shopping?!). You want to try to manage that exhaustion so that you can make the best choices for you and your family and always see things as clearly as you can! Your boss will be happy with that as well!
Seasons Don't Last Forever - When you are feeling exhausted you need to remind yourself that nothing lasts forever. You child won't be a tiny person forever--even teen years don't last forever. Some moments may seem never ending, but all things change. This is a good thing. Sometimes it can be bittersweet as you watch your child grow up, but the really exhausting moments do finally end. I promise.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Sometimes Exhausted Parent