Weathering Tiredness: self-care amidst the storm of parenthood

By Louie Hahnby Louie Hahn

 

Taking care of babies comes with a stream of intense emotions – pure love, in-explainable bliss, unfathomable loneliness, rushing streaks of anxiety, all wrapped up in a haze of broken sleep – and a deep and utter tiredness.

 

This tiredness can creep into the bones of your body, leak into every cell of your being. It’s an exhaustion piled up, and can weigh down on you, layer upon layer, day upon night.

 

To weather this intensity and respond to exhaustion, mums and dads can befriend some restorative techniques – and wrap themselves when needed in their very own weather-proof ‘safety blankets’.

 

‘Safety blankets’ are those techniques, tucked close by, that enable you to take some inner time-out – when it is calling loudly. Visiting your store of ‘safety blankets’ will boost energy levels, replenish your soul and enable you to parent well.

 

Some people are blessed with an array of ‘safety blankets’ and can draw on help from a well-knitted family and community. Many, however do not experience this, and may need to consciously kindle some ideas to ensure they have access to some restful and restorative self-care.

 

Either way, whilst you are in the torrent of parenting, every now and then, every parent needs some restful and restorative self-care techniques. ‘Safety blankets’ do not have to be complicated – the simpler the better. It is vital to know you have access to some trouble-free ‘safety blankets’ that you can draw on to rejuvenate your spirit – your energy.

 

Henry James wrote of the ‘great good place’ – that place in your life that you retreat to, again and again, for calm and repose and rest. Henry may just be speaking of his own ‘safety blanket’ where he nestles with tranquillity.

 

Where are your ‘safety blankets’? How do you fill up your lungs with freshness? Where do you go to touch base with your heart? Who can you ask for help?

 

Take a few minutes to write down some ideas, activities, and people that restore you.

 

Below are some examples from other parents, that may help you on your way….

* I take a walk in the park (with shoes off!) and feel the moist grass between my toes;

* When I bury my ears in headphones and listen to my heart-song of the past, I’m taken right back to that place (and feeling) for a moment in time;

* My friend, August, who’s optimistic, thoughtful and supportive is only a phone call away. At the beginning of a call, I ask that we talk (for at least a patch of time) about anything other than ‘baby-stuff’;

* I don’t own my own garden – but flowers make my heart sing. So, I pick a few flowers, from the reserve across the road, smelling each bloom as I go. I pop them on the window sill in the kitchen, to smile at me, each time I pass;

* Switching off my phone, the washing machine, and any other devices that might possibly beep at me is an empowering thing to do! I then light a candle, or some incense and meditate or read something filled with peace and beauty;

* Some other energy boost ideas…swing on swing, star-jump, run up and down the stairs a few times, sing in the shower, jump in the neighbours pool – anything to get your endorphins sparkling.

 Floral Botanical

Try to think of as many simple, affordable, uncomplicated ‘safety blankets’ as possible.

 

You might like to place your ideas in a cup, and when you feel the need for respite, visit your cup and commit to taking some time for yourself. Know this will help you be a loving parent, a parent with sunshine in your soul. You’re baby will thank you.

 

embrace virtues have produced a series of Virtues Cards – each with a breathtaking botanical illustration and affirmation of a virtue. The cards are a celebration of universal strengths within every human. The Virtues Cards are another way to draw upon your inner wisdom and dip into a peaceful place of contemplation and beauty.

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