Momversations: Five Tips to Staying Sane When Tired Takes on a New Meaning

This year, I want to introduce a few series to the blog. One of those is Momversatoins (“mom conversations”), which are basically open and honest conversations we need to have as moms. This can be anything from the struggles we’re facing, the guilt we feel about things like being tired, tips and tricks on managing it all, and avoiding stressful situations altogether.

Picture this.

It’s 5:00am. I’m up two hours before the sun. My eyes are sore, begging me to go back to sleep. My body aches and every time I move, something pops. I can feel the pounding in my head as I try to lift it. I get up though, because I have to. A quick shower, no breakfast, and three goodbye kisses later, I’m driving the 35-minute commute to my 9-5 job. At work, my morning starts with blog responsibilities (whether answering emails, editing, or posting). Then, I sit through eight hours of paperwork, a heavy workload, and microaggressions. Finally, I’m back in my car, but before I can go home, I have to stop and get groceries. I run through the aisles, grabbing veggies, diapers, and milk. I carry the load to my car and then I get ready to brace the traffic. My 35-minute commute is now 55-minutes with stop-and-go the whole way there. My back hurts, my feet are sore, and I’m sleepy. 

At 6:00pm, I’m grabbing the girls from daycare. First, I pop into Diari’s classroom and grab all her stuff, barely hearing the teacher tell me about how hyper she was today. I grab Diari’s hand and we head to Fatima’s room. I have to gather all of her bottles and bags and bundle her up in her jacket then transfer her to her car seat, which feels like it weighs about 75 pounds as I carry her out to the car. We run home but the day’s not over. Everyone has to eat and take a bath. I carry in the groceries, Fatima’s car seat, and Diari’s school stuff and immediately go into the kitchen. I have to start dinner. Diari is bugging me about the TV and Fatima is getting cranky. Turns out, her diaper is dirty. Diari is still nagging me. I change Fatima and sit them both down in the living room. I’m cooking dinner and Diari comes back to the kitchen asking for a snack. At this point, Fatima is also crawling as quickly as she can to the stairs or looking for a wire to chew on. Dinner’s on the stove. Then finally, almost two hours after getting home, everything gets situated. I make Diari a plate and Fatima a bottle. Now that the girls have eaten, it’s bath time. Fatima falls straight asleep after getting dressed. Now I can eat. 

At 9:00pm, I’m struggling to get Diari to bed. As soon as I put her down, she walks out and asks me a question. These days, we do this until about 11:30pm, when we both finally fall asleep. I thought we had sleep training figured out but we’re going backwards. I don’t know what’s going on. Fatima wakes up at 1:00am, demanding to be fed. Diari is up shortly after, pretending she has to pee. At 3:00am, everyone is up again, asking for something new when all they really want is attention. We’re back to bed.

At 5:00am, I wake up, eyes sore, body aching, head pounding, and I do it all again. 

I’m tired. But it’s not a regular kind of tired. It’s more than kicking your shoes off at the end of the day. It’s not something a good night’s sleep can fix. This “tired” isn’t even a vacation away from disappearing. Sometimes I’m so tired I break down in tears. But then I quickly have to gather myself and get back to work. I know it’s motherhood. And “everything a mother does, she does for her child.” But this isn’t healthy. We are still people. 

So moms, as we enter 2020, think of new ways to give yourself a break. We deserve it. Your health is the most important thing you can give to your kids. Here are a few tips to help you get started on better caring for you. 

Hire a Babysitter

I don’t care what anyone says about this. Moms are people too. Don’t let anyone shame you out of it. Go to care.com or ask people in your network to find a trustworthy person that you can leave your kids with for a few hours occasionally. I found three babysitters so that if I ever need a break or if I have something to do that would be easier to accomplish without the kids, I’m set. 

Pick a TV Series, and Binge Watch It 

Netflix is full of binge-worthy shows right now. I recently went through You (fun, mystery drama), The Office (comedy), and Grey’s Anatomy (medical drama). If you need more variety, get Prime or Hulu or Starz, whatever has shows or movies you’d want to watch. 

Cook Your Favorite Meal

I don’t mean a big meal that is supposed to last the family a whole week – no. I mean like when I’m craving lobster ravioli or crab cakes. Go online and find a recipe for some of your favorite dishes and make that one Sunday afternoon so you can enjoy while binge-watching. 

Try Melatonin

Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone that already exists in our bodies. As we get older, though, we make less melatonin. You can pick up melatonin at pretty much any local pharmacy and it’s safe for the whole family. You can use it to help yourself sleep as well as your kids. Motherhood is so much harder without sleep, trust me. And at this point, if I don’t get back on a sleep schedule soon, I might have to fight both of my kids! 

Call an Adult

You don’t realize how important this is until you spend a whole weekend or longer surrounded by kids! *Stay-At-Home-Mom is a real job and it’s hard af!* It’s important to have adult conversations to bring you back to sanity. It doesn’t need to be a long call, but make an effort to reach out to someone in your life that can take your mind off of the baby noises and the, “stop,” “put that down,” and “don’t do that to your sister.” 

Share Your Tips

I hope this helps someone! Please share some of your tips for staying sane down below! For all of our sake, let’s have more “momversations.”

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28 Comments

  1. Dija
    January 23, 2020 / 2:52 pm

    Love it.. Diary is such a drama queen I just love her😂😂! Those are great tips but we can’t all afford babysitters!
    You should also try meal prep that will be one less work when you get home..then you can go to bed ohh by e hour earlier and this Diary of mine needs to stick with her slee training !
    Thx for sharing

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:41 am

      Dija, Diari is suuuch a drama queen and I don’t know where she gets it! 😉 All I know is she needs to get back on sleeping through the night or get her own place lol. I usually meal prep on the weekends but some weeks are crazier than others. And I know it can seem hard to get a babysitter, but there can be other options. Even if it’s one of your nieces or your aunts or a family friend, you just have to find someone you trust who would be willing to watch the kids for a few hours occasionally. Trust me, it will change your life! Thanks for reading and sharing!

  2. Hameedah
    January 23, 2020 / 2:59 pm

    Binge watching shows on Netflix always works for me. Next thing I’m super energized and I find myself making a nice meal.

    I also like to always have a clean space that kinda motivates me. Waking up to a very clean house helps me feel fresh and new and I achieve that by cleaning as I go.

    I also take time out on social media chatting with family and friends.

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:36 am

      Hameedah, we are just alike! I function so much better when my space is clean. That’s the only way I can truly relax. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kadidja
    January 23, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience sis! I’m not a mom yet but Lord have mercy, I know for sure that motherhood is defiantly not something to take light. I do admire you a lot. Like you said “being healthy for your kids” is very important.

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:12 am

      Thanks for reading love! It’s definitely not easy but it’s good to have support systems and tips to get through it. We’re here for you whenever you’re ready!

  4. Kaché Byrd
    January 23, 2020 / 4:07 pm

    Thanks Aicha this is so good! As a Stay at Home Mom to six young children, tending to my mental + spiritual well being, first thing in the morning before everyone else starts needing me has powered my days. I also give myself an hour after everyone has gone to bed. I’m working on hiring more help these days because I NEED IT and finally don’t feel guilty about it! ♥️

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:14 am

      Kaché, I really admire you! People don’t understand, being a stay at home mom is a 24 hour – 7 days a week job. Kudos to you for taking the steps to take care of you!

  5. Kadiatou Diallo
    January 23, 2020 / 4:18 pm

    Story of my life,I thought I was the only mom you doesn’t have have sleeping schedule for her kids.Try meal prepping,I had to reduce my hours at work to keep up with the motherhood life.
    May Allah help us thru this and bless the kids.Hats off to all the mothers out there.

    Thank you Aicha for sharing this!!!

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:16 am

      Kadiatou, good for you for doing what you had to at work to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. And trust me, you are not alone on the sleep training. Even when you think you have it figured out, sometimes kids will regress. People say it’s normal so I’m pushing through it, but girl I’m over it!

  6. Makissa Bah
    January 23, 2020 / 5:39 pm

    Loved this! It couldn’t be more real. As I was reading, I kept picturing my daily struggles with just one child!!
    Binge watching series can definitely be helpful, what I usually do is find at least a day in the month or every other month to relax at the spa. It can be from a simple massage to getting my feet rubbed while I’m getting a mani-pedi. Also a cup of tea at the end of every night before bed.

    May the almighty Allah make it easy on all of Us. 🙌🏾🙏🏽

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:18 am

      Makissa, you are speaking my language! I’m all about my occasional spa day and my nightly cup of tea!

  7. January 23, 2020 / 6:08 pm

    Girl I felt this so hard, it’s such a hard and exhausting job I thought it was just me feeling this way! Thanks for sharing this especially on getting a sitter some type of break is so needed

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:19 am

      Girl believe me, it will change your life! You deserve the break and you are definitely NOT alone. Thanks for reading!

  8. Aissatou
    January 23, 2020 / 7:06 pm

    For Muslims Moms: prayer- SubhanAllah (33)- Alhamdoulilah (33 times) Allahou Akbar( 34 times) before going to sleep every night. Works wonders! In making daily chores lighter on you. ( Hadith)
    For all: Also prayers in your particular faith or this: a co-worker just took up meditation every night, and her feedback is that it works wonders! Also.

    Of course: we will always do our best to plan ahead like meal prep Some of you talked about( I need to work on that)

    I Pray that this is beneficial!

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:22 am

      Aissatou, thank you so much for sharing those suggestions and for considering everyone! I definitely need faith to get through some of these days!

  9. Assy
    January 23, 2020 / 8:00 pm

    This was so real and relatable. Thank you. I allocated a part of my budget to house cleaning, so I hired a cleaning lady, so that’s 1 less thing. I also have a weekly menu on the fridge to plan for weekly dinners ahead of time. I try to prep dinner items by seasoning and cutting the meats or precooming and freezing the veggies on weekend. I pick friday night to do african stews for the week so it give me some free “me time” during the weekend.

    • Assy
      January 23, 2020 / 9:51 pm

      Oh and I forgot, having a supporting and helpful husband helps ;). #gottagivecredit

      • January 26, 2020 / 12:46 am

        Assy, thank you so much for sharing this! I think it’s amazing that you set a certain budget for something that brings you some peace. It’s so important! I hope other moms read this and it helps them see what small changes they might be able to make for their sanity. And kudos to hubby! 👏🏾

    • Djenabou
      January 24, 2020 / 2:30 am

      I do the same. On Friday’s we eat out so that’s one day I don’t have to worry about. My husband takes the girls out so I at least have 2 hours to myself

      • January 26, 2020 / 12:28 am

        Djenabou, I need to start planning one day a week for ordering in. Tell hubby, we are proud! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lala
    January 23, 2020 / 10:07 pm

    Proud of u mama! Thx for the good tips

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:29 am

      Thanks for reading and always supporting boo 😘

  11. May
    January 24, 2020 / 12:25 am

    OMG I am reading my story right now.
    I so relate to this
    Thank you

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:30 am

      Thank you for reading and sharing, May! We’re all in this together!

  12. Djenabou
    January 24, 2020 / 2:26 am

    Thank you so much for sharing, My kids are a little bit older but the struggle is still the same. Sometimes it’s very overwhelming but you can’t let them know stressing. So I usually just take a day and be by myself (go to lunch, watch a movie and take a walk) all by myself. It helps a lot and tomorrow will be that day for me.

    • January 26, 2020 / 12:34 am

      I’m so happy that you take time for you. It’s so important and more moms need to know that it’s okay to do it. Thank you for helping share that message!

  13. Rayinat
    February 29, 2020 / 1:52 am

    Thanks for sharing. ❤️

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