I never knew how much I loved sleep until I had kids. I definitely took for granted nights where I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and days where I could sleep in past 6:30 AM! At first, I couldn’t sleep when my baby slept because I was so excited. I couldn’t stop staring at her and the adrenaline of having a baby was pumping through my body. But soon after I felt tired, exhausted and like I needed more coffee. Are you a new mom not getting enough sleep? Keep reading!
Somewhere along the journey though I had a revelation. Life as a mother doesn’t have to feel this tiring ALL THE TIME. There had to be a way to get more sleep and to feel energized in the morning.
Don’t worry I’m not selling you any supplements or magic formulas. As the keeper of your home, you can make simple changes in your family’s routine to help everyone get more rest.
Now I understand this isn’t realistic 100% of the time. Sure there will be nights when you are up with a sick child or with a baby who needs to eat.
But I believe if we are intentional there are things we can do to refresh our spirits and not feel as exhausted as mothers.
Through many sleepless nights, prayer, and wisdom from other experienced moms we finally found a sleep routine that worked for our family.
How to Find Rest for the Mom Not Getting Enough Sleep
First, we set some boundaries. I remember hearing a friend tell me years ago that she wouldn’t get her kids from their cribs until 7:30 AM. It didn’t matter what time they woke up, she had them wait until she was ready to wake them up the day. We also got strict about our 7 pm bedtime and it made a world of difference.
I find I am a more patient mom when I have a few minutes to myself in the morning. Most days I try to wake up before my kids and if I hear my son calling from his crib in the middle of my breakfast, I wait until I am done eating to get him.
Without feeling guilty about it! Okay, maybe a little guilty, but I’m working on my boundaries. Read more about our sleep boundaries here!
Second, I found rest by setting boundaries with myself. I learned to say no to things that burden my schedule and prevent me from relaxing. I also prioritized rest. Not necessarily sleep, but finding time to relax and de-stress.
This means putting my phone down and unplugging from the world around me. It’s amazing how quickly I feel a freedom in my spirit when I take a break from social media.
I feel more relaxed and patient when I unplug and focus on living in the moment. When I’m not as wired or stressed I also find I sleep more soundly at night!
Third, we let our kids cry it out. In moderation. I understand this is a very sensitive subject and I urge you to prayerfully decide what type of sleep training is best for your family. For us, we used the Ferber method after talking it over with our pediatrician. After 2-3 nights, our 5 month old was sleeping through the night. I finally got the much needed sleep that my body craved and our baby was perfectly happy in his crib!
Make Sleep a Priority
Lastly, we continually pray for restful sleep. Even if my child sleeps through the night, that doesn’t guarantee I’ll have restful sleep. But the Bible gives us so many verses that we can claim for restful and restorative sleep!
Here is one of them: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid. Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet” Proverbs 3:24 (NKJV). I also wrote a whole post about how to help your children overcome bad dreams.
Sleep is so important, but we often take it for granted! Soon we become a sleep deprived mom and the whole family feels the effects.
You don’t have to be the mom not getting enough sleep, you can make small changes in your family and find rest. I’ll be praying for you.
I’d love to hear your experiences. How do you find rest and sleep as a mother of small children? Leave a comment below or let me know your thoughts on my Instagram page!