There is postpartum depression and there is being an overwhelmed mom to young kids. We call this “Parent Fatigue Syndrome.” Sometimes it can be tough to tell the difference because you’re so exhausted, but these are two totally different things. Some of the symptoms of postpartum depression include insomnia (duh), intense irritability and anger (check), overwhelming fatigue (obviously), loss of interest in sex (hilarious), severe mood swings (seriously?), thoughts of harming yourself or your baby (no comment). If you do have postpartum depression, then you obviously need to seek profession help. If you are just a normal, overwhelmed and exhausted mom, hang in there. Though faint, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re starting to feel like a shell of yourself, it’s time to get some help from your spouse with the nighttime wakings and more than likely it’s time to sleep train. Do what you have to do to rest up, because a tired mom is an unhappy mom and an unhappy mom makes everyone miserable. Remember, mom is at the helm of this ship and right now it looks like you’re on the Titanic. Time to make some changes.
The struggle with exhaustion wages on for several years when you have multiple kids. You will continue to be woken up on a semi-regular basis for some stupid reason or another for quite some time. Whether it be from the nighttime feedings, a leaky pull-up, a nightmare, a trip to the bathroom, a cough, a sneeze or a hug. There are a couple of things you can do to try and combat the fatigue, depressed like state you may find yourself in. Find what works for you and do it. Even your spouse who may love you more than life itself probably isn’t gonna notice that you’re hanging on by a thread. It’s up to you to take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it.
Tips For Handling The Exhaustion That Comes With Having Babies:
- Napping: make it your mission. Squeezing in a daily nap is no longer a luxury, but a survival strategy. Even a twenty-minute power nap may be enough to get you through the rest of the day.
- Give yourself a break and get a damn babysitter. Take a night out with your spouse at least once a month for an early dinner to avoid the bedtime routine. Or get a babysitter during the day, so you can still make your new early bedtime of 8:30pm right after the kids go to sleep.
- Take turns with your spouse giving each other breaks whenever possible. These breaks from the daily grind will help you hang on to that tiny glimmer of hope that you’re all going to survive the baby trenches. Whether it’s a dinner out with girlfriends, a yoga class or a kid-less walk, take some time for yourself regularly. Would you rather be the mom who is around all the time, but grumpy and pissed off or the mom that takes time for her self and actually enjoys her kids (well, most of the time)?
- Losing your shit. This is bound to happen once in a while, whether you can’t pacify a crying kid or your hormones are going berserk. Allow yourself to take a mommy time out. Put your little darling safely in their crib and step outside for a minute to regain your composure. Shut the door behind you so you can’t hear the crying for a minute. Don’t worry, your one-month-old isn’t going to climb out of their crib and call child protective services.