7 Parenting Tips for When You're Exhausted

  Even when we’re down and out, our families still need and rely on us. Mighty Mommy shares seven ways to power through those exhausting moments of parenting.

Cheryl Butler
7-minute read
Episode #437

#4.  Find Your Happy Place

One of the easiest things you can do in those tiring moments is to point your thoughts in a more relaxing direction and go to your “happy place.”  Most of us have such a place and when we physically can’t be there, we close our eyes and dream about being there. It might be a tropical beach where you are sitting beneath a palm tree in a comfy lounge chair with your toes submersed in cool sand as you lazily watch the waves lap against the shore. Or maybe it’s sitting at the park watching your kids run happily all over the playground while you enjoy your favorite hot beverage. It could be someplace as simple as being curled up on your living room couch reading a great book in your coziest pair of PJs. Whatever image works for you in helping you to relax and unwind, go there as frequently as you need to until you’re ready to “get back at it” and face the reality of what’s happening in your life presently.  See Also:  6 Ideas for a Parenting Bucket List

#5.  Get Moving

How many times have you heard that even when you don’t feel like it—exercising can invigorate you and recharge your batteries?  I used to think that was absolutely nuts, until I started power walking 15 years ago.

The National Sleep Foundation shared a study that physical activity impacts the overall quality of your sleep as well as helps you feel less tired during the day.  As busy parents, however, we don’t always have as much time as we’d like to get a full work-out in, and when we’re already exhausted the thoughts of taking a jog or heading to the gym seems daunting.

There are easy ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine even on your most hectic days.  Moms with babies can hit the neighborhood and push their baby for a quick jaunt around the block.  When grocery shopping, park your car at the back of the lot instead of trying to get a front row spot.  Dance when your vacuuming (sing too—no one’s going to hear you with all that noise!), Take a few extra laps around the mall even when you’re done shopping.  Take the stairs any chance you get throughout the week.   Yardwork such as mowing and weeding is tremendous exercise and gets you out in the fresh air.  If you live by the ocean, walk the beach year round—walking on the sand gives you twice the bang for your exercising buck.

There are easy ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine even on your most hectic days.

Find ways you can include your kids when trying to get moving.  See Also:  Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active

#6.  Limit Negative Influences

When you’re going through a period of low energy, try to spend as little time as possible around the Eeyores of the world. You know the type I’m talking about, don’t you? People that always find fault with anything and everything. These are individuals who are not supportive or reliable and don’t have your best interest at heart. Eeyores are typically judgmental, demanding, and critical. After being with them, you feel drained and depleted. In other words, they make you feel worse. Limit these negative influences and instead surround yourself with people who are joyful, appreciative, and can celebrate you—just because.  See Also:  5 Ways to Raise a Happy Child

#7. Take Power Naps

When my kids were younger and were at the point of transitioning out of naps, I still made sure they had some down time each day—just 15-20 minutes with a book or lying on their bed listening to music to relax and take the edge off their busy little bodies.

Sometimes, even after you've done all you can to stay perky, your body just doesn't respond to your quick energy fixes so on days like these,  I like to do what I used to have my kids do when they were giving up naps-- just give in and shut my eyes for a few minutes.   When my kids are stressed out from studying for exams or don’t have any real down time between their after-school activities and working or doing homework, I suggest they take a 15-minute power nap to recharge their batteries.  Power naps can be a life saver for sleep-deprived parents, students, and anyone else who needs to refuel.

How do you cope as a parent when you’re simply exhausted? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page, or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Also visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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