We live in a world that feeds off of being busy.
Busy to the point of anxiety.
Sleep is not really a thing you need as a mum, and slowing down is what you do when you retire.
Well, I am here to help you navigate the rare path of finding rest, what rest as a mother looks like, and the steps to take to find rest in your life.
the kind of rest that slows you down, sinks deep into your bones, the kind you can apply to daily life, and the rest you so desperately need as a mother raising children.
Why is creating a restful environment so important for mothers?
as mothers, our job is to raise children.
children are raised with love and instruction.
they need quality time, lots of hugs, and conversations, and they need to have them consistently.
they need to be shown an example of a healthy life, of relationships and marriage.
all this is impossible with parents (especially mothers) who are too busy to sit and read, too busy to stop and instruct or too busy to cuddle.
there are two types of time with children. the rushed mum is on the clock time, where “I will read you a book for five minutes”, or “just wait” or “later” or “maybe tomorrow”?
then there is the mother who is able to schedule a regular quality time and when she does so, she is present, calm and happy.
reaching this lifestyle should be high if not the highest on your to-do list as a mother, and so, finding rest, knowing what it is in a healthy way, how to create it and how to spread it to the rest of your family is an important and healthy attribute to motherhood.
Identifying the rest you need as mother.
knowing how you feel is a crucial element in finding rest.
and yeah okay, you feel tired.
but if you were going to the doctor, you would think hard about how you feel, you have a problem you aren’t sure what it is and so, you list your symptoms.
when it comes to rest, there is more than 1 type of rest, and there is more than one cause of your fatigue.
so, first, think about how you feel.
As a tired mum are you?
- Tired when you wake up?
- Irritated easily?
- Easy distracted?
- Easily become snappy?
- Does the mundane of daily life make you feel depressed?
- Do you struggle to be around your kids and stay present for long periods of time (hour)
- Do you feel more and more anxious at seemingly normal tasks or relatively normal stressors? (grocery shopping, leaving the house with kids)
- Do you get sick often or find it hard to shake a sickness?
- Do you struggle to do things you used to, like reading, an art/hands-on project or just staying aware in a conversation?
- Do you struggle to maintain a rhythm in your days and spiral out of control?
- Do you feel out of it, when you try to make a change your plans don’t last more than a few days?
now if you are all of those, then you need to stick around for the entire series of blog posts, and never fear, I was all of these too.
One by one, I identified the reasons I felt as tired and out of it, and I was able to implement strategies that helped me get back on track and enjoy my days again.
Understanding the steps involved take dedication
now on my hunt for rest, I was determined.
reading books, listening to podcasts on the topic and analysing my lifestyle were the easy parts.
the hard part was actually changing.
because if you are in a state of chronic busyness, fatigue and a poor mental state, you didn’t get here in a free cab.
No, you happily paid that cab driver your money and time and you did so with goals, ideals and reaching potential joy in mind.
so, it failed, the way you thought you would feel as you took on more, the goals you thought you would reach, the things you thought you could do.
And don’t believe that it is our fault for thinking this, for thinking we can do more than we really can, but that is a topic for another blog post in this series.
understand, however, that after that cab ride is a long walk home, unlearning and redefining your idea of productive life, versus an overfull, anxiety-inducing haze of potential you want to reach.
Areas you need to change
so, if you ticked a few or all or most off the list above, then now I will give you some causes.
When it comes to the causes of all those tired symptoms, there are only a few.
I would narrow it down to four.
Creating traditions in your home to introduce rest into your motherhood.
now I won’t actually list all my practical traditions you can implement right now.
I want to first show how important leaning on traditions and HABITS can be for creating rest for yourself as a mum.
when you create new habits and traditions for yourself and your family you are not only creating a new physical practice but often a new mindset along with it.
if you decide to start a screen-free day as a tradition in your home, or a dinner time tradition of lighting candles when you eat or have a new question to ask each dinner time, when you start this, with kids or your husband, you automatically change the mindset around the mundane weeknight meal and turn in into a way to connect or slow down even just for a few minutes.
Practices like this help you as a busy mother, to be able to have busy days, as we all do, but maintain connections, and conversations and take a little time to pause the mental congestion that can occur when we never allow ourselves to focus on something simple such as dinner time conversation or a screen-free evening.
If you want to know how I make and sustain new habits as a busy mum both physically and mentally then read this post. How to reach your goals
Not enough good quality sleep
now this is what we all hear.
Getting sleep is probably one of the hardest things to consistently do as a mum with our current lifestyles.
we no longer have to live with the natural rhythms of light. I will go deeper into this in another blog post in this series.
but I will say that this is a huge cause of many of our stressed-out, anxious lives.
we flood ourselves at night and day with blue screens, noise, and go go go.
but learning to pay attention to when we actually become tired and timing how long we really sleep is a crucial step in becoming a less stressed-out mum.
the symptoms of sleep deprivation in motherhood are.
- snapping at children without much cause.
- not being present in conversations, taking longer to process instructions or give instructions
- headaches, and the almost inability to stop and calm down because we know when we do, we will really feel how tired we are.
- feeling out of it, wanting to eat more or relying on coffee or sugar for mental and emotional energy.
- not being able to plan ahead, or stay on top of decisions that always catch up to us in the short and long term.
- finding normal things like cleaning, cooking, shopping or social engagements stressful and feeling angry/stressed at the process.
when you are tired, taking on new habits, and new traditions, and trying to make little changes in your home is going to be harder, and have a high chance of not sticking.
Screen time habits.
- being irritable often.
- feeling lost or out of it.
- feeling frustrated, and antsy (which can come through as snappy or irritable at your kids.)
- not being able to nap during the day, and your nightly sleep is cut short by screens or you are on screens an hour before bed (impacts your quality of sleep by a lot!)
- finding yourself distracted and unable to stick with an action or subject for more than few minutes
- when you do give up screens entirely you go through a period of all the above
your screen time habits will dramatically affect how your days and nights play out.
from being distracted constantly to not being able to read as you used to, or having the desire or the same ability to carry out a complicated task.
screen addiction is the same in our brains as cocaine addiction.
and in another post, I will address how I manage my screen use in my home.
Fine-tuning your daily rhythm and systems
now when it comes to identifying rest in motherhood, it is a comfortable zone of busy and productive rather than stressed and fatigued.
the former is a healthy place to be as a mum. see the routine system I use in my home for relaxed functionality.
being productive and raising children is hard work, and hopefully the longer you do it the more attuned you become to the things you need around you.
from routine and rhythm to systems to help you stay ahead, have a clean home, and ability to prep and plan ahead all work towards a lifestyle that is fulfilling and sustainable.
However, we can all fall into a pit of unsustainable living when we begin reacting to everything around us all the time, trying to stay one step ahead but don’t have the mental ability to truly plan ahead or get done tasks on time or with ease, when we are always reacting to stressors around us.
this is when we become anxious, overtired unable to find rest.
being able to take the time to stand back from your routine and current rhythms is crucial to being able to spot holes in your time and effort and replace them with better practices.
read these posts on how I create my days to be as functional as possible without becoming too much.
Child training to find rest as an overtired mum
now all I will say on child training is that I practice it, and when I fall behind or just get lazy with my child training the resting level in my life drops dramatically.
child training is a way to instil behaviours that are fictional in your home and your child’s life both present and future, that create a joyful way of living with children.
I have a series that is still running dedicated to child training you can read the first post and sign up for it here.
and so for this post, that is where I will leave it, once I have the following post up I will link it below for you to read, otherwise join the email series for all the posts, printables, challenges and how I run my home with a large family.