It is rare to find a parent who escapes continued parental fatigue syndrome during the first year of a baby’s birth. And it is not surprising because there is no other job as emotionally and physically taxing as parenting, in the first year. The pressure is neither limited to 9hours a day nor 5 days a week, nor is there any lunch break or vacation.
For the first-time parent especially the first-time mother may have her strength drained by breastfeeding and toting around the growing infant, and the stress inherent of this new responsibility, lots to learn, insecurity, fears, problems to solve, and night after night of sleeplessness.
The good news though is that, in time, as you gain experience, and the baby begins sleeping through the night, the fatigue and exhaustion will gradually fade. Once your body adjusts to the new demand, your energy level will also pick up a bit.
But here are ways you can combat exhaustion in the meantime:
1. Get all the help you can: leave the supermom role to the movie stars, and get all the help you can. You can pay someone to come around and do the clean-ups, or throw away the garbage. If possible call the grocery shop and order home delivery. This will help you in this short period, until you get a grip on your energy.
2. Give daddy a chance: let daddy help out as often as he can, you can express milk if you are breastfeeding or give him a bottle if bottle-feeding, so that he can help out with feeding the baby. This would also build bounding between father and child. Teach him to also change the diapers, so he doesn’t have to call on you at all times.
3.go to bed early: like the old poem says ´´early to bed ,makes you stronger and wise´´ .well I know you get my point now, but the truth is that the earlier you go to bed the easier it will be for you to rise. Don’t stay up late to watch the late night show, the news or surfing the internet. Even if your sleep will be interrupted, at least you would have gotten a little rest.
4.share the chores :don’t try to do all the baby-care tasks and household chores alone, share them amongst your spouse and older children(if you have one ,and they are not toddlers).share it according to their schedules, if the older kids returns from schools, they can do their share of the chores, if daddy works in the morning ,he can help out at night and vice versa.
5. Eat well: it’s true you are busy feeding your baby but don’t forget to feed yourself too. Don’t neglect your own nutritional needs, because if you are breastfeeding, your baby depends solely on what you eat. Keep a supply of nutritious easy- to- grab foods in stock ,examples are hard boiled eggs, dried fruits, small pieces of fruit, ready cut vegetables and salads, fruit juices sand whole grain crackers.
6. don’t lazy around: exhaustion can be caused by lack of rest but it can be elevated by lack of fresh air and activity. Do try to take a stroll with the baby, if the weather is baby-friendly.it would do you a lot of good. You can also try some simple exercises, Pilates or yoga.
7. Steal a nap: you can take a quick nap when the baby is asleep or when another member of the family is caring for him/her. It could be 15 minutes or more, but it will go a long way in refreshing you for the job ahead.