A Mother’s Guide to Getting More Rest
Rest – one of the things that ALL mothers struggle with. Because let’s be real, motherhood can be exhausting! As soon as our babies enter this world it seems that rest and self-care go from being something we “need”, to something we only dream about.
And the struggle never ends! As soon as we feel we get into some sort of routine where we begin to see some time for ourselves on the horizon, something changes. Baby starts teething, sleep regression kicks in, someone gets sick and the list goes on and on. The levels of exhaustion we go through as mothers are infinite.
And the paradox is, that even though we all crave rest and we know how beneficial it is… most of us still don’t make time for it!
Why do mothers resist rest?
1. You see DOING as being productive and REST as “NOT DOING”
It is so easy to fall into the trap of always wanting to be productive! We feel that if we aren’t doing something then we are somehow wasting precious time. And deep down we are linking our productivity to our sense of self worth. The more we can accomplish the “better worker” we are, the “better mother” we are, the more “valuable” we become, and so forth.
2. You honestly feel you DO NOT HAVE THE TIME to rest
Ahhh I feel all you mamas on this one! There is simply not enough time in the day. But the hard truth is, is that even if we ran around doing things 24 hours a day, our list will never be empty. But somehow we still have it in the back of our minds that if we can just check off a few more things today we will have “more time” tomorrow.
3. You feel GUILTY for taking time for yourself
The good ol’ “mom-guilt” had to make the list! How many times do you start doing something for yourself – read a book, just sit down for a relaxing cup of tea, go outside for some silence or fresh air – and boom! Mom guilt creeps in. “I should be playing with my child.”, “I should be tidying up the house.”, “I should be…”. As mothers we put up such high expectations for ourselves. As soon as we step away from our “motherly tasks”, we feel guilty for it…as if we are failing our kids in some way.
So, how can we rest more?
1. Change your mindset
Start seeing rest as something productive! Something that helps your best self shine through!
When are you the best version of yourself? When you are exhausted, running on fumes or when you are well-rested?
There are so many activities that are active forms of resting, such as:
2. Put rest in your schedule and make it part of your daily routine
If you don’t make time for it, it will never happen! Period.
How much time do you need?
The amount of rest depends on so many factors – how well you sleep, your emotions, stress levels, work tasks, etc. So play around with it! Try planning a 10 minute walk outside after a stressful meeting, or a 5 minute journalling session after your little one goes to sleep. Start small in the beginning and see what works for you and your needs!
3. Give yourself permission!
There is no point in resting if you can’t rest you body and mind completely! If you find yourself still in your head worrying about your to-do list or mom guilt, then try asking yourself the following questions to uncover what is blocking you from resting:
Do I really think (laying on the couch, taking a nap, sitting in the sunshine) is lazy? If so, why?
Am I actually a bad mother for taking a little time for myself? If so, why?
What about rest scares me / or I find uncomfortable?
If you struggle with rest know that you are not alone! It has taken me 36 years to finally start integrating rest into my life…and there are still days where I meet resistance. I hope this guide has shed some light on your own personal relationship with rest and has given you some ways to inviting more rest into your life.
Because all of us mamas can use a little more rest in our lives!