There comes a point in every mother’s life when they realize that the “terrible twos” aren’t just a name. Fortunately, there are ways to preserve both your energy and your sanity despite the growing pains of rambunctious toddlers. Here are just a few ideas for putting some pep back in your step as a busy mom.
Get Up Earlier
This may sound counterproductive, especially if you’re the type of person who has to stumble to the coffeemaker before you feel remotely human. But getting up before the rest of your family has a number of benefits. For one, it allows you some “alone time” where you can stretch your legs and savor your espresso in peace and quiet. It also gives you a window for planning your day, writing out your to-do lists and completing minor chores without interruption. If you play your cards right, you’ll be feeling alert and productive by the time that your little monsters wake up.
Being a mom is a lot more physically demanding than some people might think, especially if you spend your days hauling laundry, picking up toys and constantly carrying toddlers on your hip. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated during all of this manual labor. While water will do the trick in a pinch, an even better solution would be an athletic recovery drink, like ASEA, that you can use to replenish your fluids and boost your antioxidants. A fortified beverage will keep you energized much more than plain H2O since it works on multiple levels to correct the aches and imbalances of dehydration.
Make Your Own Fun
Instead of despairing at all of the chores and activities that you need to do, figure out ways to make them fun. For example, if the carpet needs vacuuming, put on some music and let yourself groove while you’re pushing the machine around. If the kids need bathing, turn it into a game where the toddler with the biggest bubble beard wins an extra hug before bedtime. Having the right attitude can make all the difference in your energy levels, so don’t be afraid to get a little silly for the sake of a brighter, happier day. You gave up the right to dignity when you became the mother of small children, anyway.
Take a Nap
Your toddler isn’t the only one who can benefit from a nap. Short bursts of sleep can improve everything from your memory to your mood, but the trick is to pay attention to the word “short.” Naps that last longer than 60 minutes will leave you feeling groggy and grumpy because you interrupted a REM cycle. The ideal length for a power nap is between 20-30 minutes: This will allow your brain to recharge its batteries in a peaceful, restful state without sinking you into a deep sleep that’s hard to shake off.
Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your energy levels. Not only are they great mental simulators, but they can also have a tangible impact on things like your blood pressure levels and white cell count. The next time that you’re feeling stressed, take a walk around the block or roll around in the backyard with your kids. It will make you feel better on both a physical and psychological plane, and it might just wear off some of the boundless energy of your toddlers, too.
These are just a few ways to stay fresh and alert despite the little energy-suckers that you call children. Motherhood might be exhausting, but it’s also supremely worthwhile, so try to remember that fact when you’re covered in spaghetti and wondering if it’s too late to give the kids back to the stork.