Why We Should Stop Telling Parents They Look “Tired”

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“You Look Tired”

If I had a dime for every time someone told me I “Looked Tired,” let’s just say I wouldn’t be a “starving writer” anymore.

It’s utterly exhausting having to care and nurture a newborn baby. Or even an infant, or a toddler that wakes in the night. Actually, even if they sleep all through the night. Because just chasing them, and playing with them can wear someone out. Not to mention, the whole “living and working” thing you have to do for yourself. So it’s no big surprise that the majority of Parents are tired. And if you are a Mother, then that statement goes double for you. Not to downplay Fathers, but typically Mom carries a heavier “child” load. That’s the one kids go crying to when they are hungry, scared, tired, hurt, bored…the list just goes on. But, I’m not talking about that today.

Today, I’m going to explain why we need to stop telling Parents that they “look tired.” And give you some pointers on how you can actually help them.

Now, before anyone get’s upset, I do realize that most of the time, those comments are just a way of initiating conversation. It’s someone checking on the person they love. They wanna make sure that parent is ok. And they need to be doing that! But from the perspective of someone who gets this a lot, it can get very tiring itself. Especially when you don’t have much of a choice about how much rest you actually end up getting. And honestly, after repeating the same answer over and over again on why you aren’t looking like a freshly rested daisy every day, you really don’t want to be bothered with enlightening someone on sleep-deprived trials of parenthood, again.

Parents know they look tired…

Mainly because they are tired. And I’ve never once responded to that statement with shock or surprise. When you’ve been up half the night with a feverish, teething infant, not to mention the normal routine of the day, guess what? You’re gonna be tired. Can’t get the kids to bed until two hours past everyone’s bedtime, you’re gonna be tired. Stating the obvious doesn’t really help the exhausted one become any less exhausted.

If it’s someone I know well making comments like this, I know it’s more out of concern than anything else. But even then, it’s rare I get an offer to watch the baby while I take a break. But sometimes, we get these comments at very random moments-such as at the grocery store, or work, or even at social gatherings – by people we don’t really know. In a way, it seems even more useless to me; I’m struggling to get my kid’s shoe back on his foot in the shampoo aisle (SO not happening during this toddler tantrum), while a random person has stopped to comment on how cute his outfit is, only to part with a sarcastic, “You have a handful there! No wonder you look so tired.”

I get it. With my complexion, I have permanent dark circles. The lines are getting deeper, more with age than by children, and spoiler alert: I’m not in my indestructible 20’s anymore.

The thing is…

You must understand something. Telling someone they “look tired” without offering any real support (such as watching the kids, helping with a chore/errand, or even offering to buy a cup of coffee), is more annoying and unnecessary for the parent, than anything else. No mom is ever going to stop dead in her tracks, immediately place cucumber slices on her eyes, and veg out in the bathtub, because her Mother-In-Law mentioned that she should “probably get some rest”. A parent’s priorities don’t work that way. If it takes staying up all night to care for your child, sleep comes second. Or last, or not at all.

And honestly, when you’re running on six hours sleep in two days, this is the last thing you want to hear. Mom knows she needs sleep. She also knows the baby is cluster feeding every two hours. The toddler is going through a growth spurt, and has no sleep schedule. And she is working a full-time job, and trying to spend as much time awake as possible, to run a household. And spend time with her family. Sleep is probably the last thing she’s thinking of.

Ways you can help

Instead of basically telling a parent they look like stir-fried poop (only, in a subtle, less rude way) by commenting on how “tired” and in “need of some rest” they are, try providing a solution instead. Offer to take the kids on an adventure. Doesn’t have to be for very long, but enough time so Mom can catch up on chores or even better, take a nap! She may not take you up on the offer immediately, but at least it’s a way to support her after you’ve brought up the obvious. You could also offer to run errands, finish a load of laundry – something to help lighten her load. Because if she’s too busy to sleep enough, then she needs actual help, not just well wishes for future “rest.”

And whether you know this parent very well, or not at all, if you must inform them of the apparent sleep they are lacking, you can also always cushion the blow by giving them a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or an energy drink. However they derive their liquid fuel to get them through the day! It looks and sounds way better to follow, “You look so tired!” with a steaming cup of Starbucks. Then, there’s also more of a point to bring up their exhaustion, which trust me, they are very aware of.

Also, great upcoming gift idea here: Get them some different brands of coffee (or other energy) to try out. The point here is to let that parent know that you aren’t just making remarks, but you are interested in their well being. And if they don’t (or can’t) accept help in any other way than accepting coffee, then it shows that you are trying to help in the least way possible.


 Alternatively, you can also just give them a gift card! To be used at any time – trust me, someone running low on energy, with no choice but to push on, will be grateful for it.

Everyone needs support

And support comes in a variety of ways. But well wishes for rest and Yes, I'm Tired Just Give Me Coffee And Everything Will Be Finerelaxation don’t really provide a solution for a sleep-deprived Parent. So, on behalf of all the “tired looking” Moms out there, can I just please ask this; if you must comment on my haggard appearance, please…just bring me coffee. And it’ll all be Ok.

 


Why We Should Stop Telling Parents They "Look Tired"

ZENBand & ZENTones Program Review

ZENBand & ZENTones Programs by Blooming Wellness – Review

This is a sponsored post in which I received free products (A ZENBand and ZENTones Programs) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own!

As we all know, stress and anxiety are killers. And if you’re married, or a parent, then you probably have a small amount of stress, in the very least. So when I found the ZENBand by Blooming Wellness, I became naturally intrigued. What I thought was just a cute, stylish headband, turned out to be a lot more!

What is the ZENBand?

The ZENBand headband is perfect for working out and relaxing!

The ZENBand itself is a lightweight, cotton headband. Designed for relaxation during exercise, or rest periods. It’s incredibly comfortable and I love it’s Bohemian style. Plus, I can wear it no matter how my hair is done (or not done) for the day, which is a BIG plus.  Another really cool added feature to the design, are the earphones! Most earbuds tend to fall out of my ears easily. These, are flat, easily sliding into the back of the band. They don’t put any pressure on my ears, and I don’t have to worry about them falling out. The sound quality is amazing, and I think I like them better than my Beats (shhhh…).

Another cool thing about the ZENBand – the cotton is infused with lavender essential oils to promote relaxation, which aids the stress and anxiety programs, but more about that in a minute.

I’ve been wearing this during my morning run, working around the house, and even going to the store while my hair is hideous. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and something I could really wear all the time!

Ok, so what are ZENTones?

The ZENTone programs are designed to help someone with sleep, anxiety, depression, headaches, stress, and focus. They use nature sounds, rhythms, waves and tones, to help the listener relax and focus. I’ve been using these various programs while exercising, writing, and meditating.

The Nap Time program is awesome at night – I’ve always had trouble sleeping. Especially while pregnant; any kind of “nature app” that would play rain or waterfall noises, would be the only thing to lull me to sleep! I’ve been using the ZENBand with their NapTime Fall Asleep program (putting the band over my eyes, which also helps block out light), and it helps get me to a point I can shut my phone off, and just go to sleep.

I thought all of their programs were pleasant, and really did help me to focus on my work, or take a breather when needed.

So if this sounds like something you’d benefit from, check out the Blooming Wellness website, as well as the official ZENBand Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you have a ZENBand, let me know how you like it! I know I’m in love with mine, and it’ll be a staple to my workout, and meditation routine!

And, of course, a really big thanks to Blooming Wellness for letting me try these awesome products!

A Review of the ZENBand headband and ZENtone Audio Programs, designed to help with sleep, stress, anxiety, headaches, depression, and more!

Benefits of Using a Pregnancy Pillow

This is a sponsored guest post, written by PregnancyPillowJudge.com This page also contains affiliate links. Please see my policy disclosure page for more info.

The Benefits of Using A Pregnancy Pillow

the benefits of using a pregnancy pillow

The Body Changes During Pregnancy

The body goes through a great deal of changes during pregnancy. Continue reading “Benefits of Using a Pregnancy Pillow”

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping in 2017

This post contains affiliate links, by which I get a small percentage of sales. But all opinions are my own, and the price of items isn’t enhanced by the link.

Need ideas for resolutions?

With 2017 just around the corner, why not make a few New Year’s Resolutions you can actually keep?

I’m the worst at keeping them-I try to become more organized, and it’s a fail. I try to keep myself from buying more shoes, when I have PLENTY of shoes, and that’s ruined in the first month. Stop drinking wine? Forget it.

So with that in mind, I’ve compiled 5 resolutions; focusing on health, happiness, and success, for the New Year. These are totally worth making…and keeping!

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

1: Practice Mindfulness (by Keeping a Journal)

When we think “mindfulness,” thoughts of consideration towards others is usually what comes to mind. But in all actuality, it’s really about considering oneself-in the moment.  It’s about forgetting the stresses and troubles, and focusing through breathing and meditation, on exactly what we are thinking and feeling right now. Granted, this can be hard to do when you’re super busy – but the benefits are astounding! Stress reduction is exactly what everyone needs in their life. So to start my own mindfulness journey, I’ve planned on incorporating a journal in 2017.

Keeping a mindfulness journal is just one of a few New Year's Resolutions worth making and keeping
This journal can help you simplify the process, if you aren’t used to practicing mindfulness. Each entry has a guiding tip that can help you focus on the moment you are writing in. And if you just can’t commit every day, it’s ok to just pick up where you left off. The most important part is to stop, and breathe. Writing can still be a form of creative meditation, and this is a great way to get those juices flowing.

2: Stop sweating the small stuff

This New Year’s Resolution can help you remember the real goals in life, and stop focusing on the minor details. Easier said than done, but something worth working towards. All too often, we become wrapped up in the little things that cause a lot more stress than what it’s worth. Negative comments and judgements other people make. Goals that aren’t met quite as soon as you intended. Unless it’s a matter of life or death, nothing trivial is worth causing more stress in your life. Once you can brush off anything that isn’t of a benefit to your life, your health and mind will thank you.

3:Maintain an active lifestyle

Yes, exercising every day can be hard to work into an already busy routine. But, this New Year’s Resolution isn’t just about exercising. An active lifestyle really only needs one thing-activity. And that can be cardio…or yoga…or even just walking. The point is to get moving! If I found I haven’t had time for a run in a few days, or I just haven’t dedicated yoga time, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Like purposefully parking the car as far away from the grocery store as possible. It’s my opportunity to get a few extra steps in. If I’m pushing a giant cart a few minutes later, it’s even better! It’s a workout I never would have had otherwise. 

You don’t have to adopt a new workout routine, to make a few adjustments that requires a little more activity in your lifestyle.

The Fitbit-a useful tool when making New Year's Resolutions to begin exercising and staying active
Which brings us to the Fitbit – these things are seriously awesome! It can record workouts you already do, and keep track of your heart rate and burned calories. There’s an all day and auto-sleep tracker, so even if you don’t have a dedicated routine, every step you take can still count. And there’s a reminder to get you moving more when you’ve been resting on your laurels too long! This Fitbit even comes with a guided breathing session, which totally helps with practicing your mindfulness!  It works with both Apple and Android products, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility. The call,text, and calendar features can help keep your phone out of your hands, and your body moving, as well.

4: Stick to your goals

Keeping your eye on the prize can sometimes be difficult to maintain. The stresses of life can hinder us from reaching our goal, if we allow them to set us back. Of course, there’s always a few pitfalls along the way;but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

One of your New Year’s Resolutions, should be to always keep your focus on your goals, no matter how many fails, setbacks, and detours. Once you succeed, all the headache endured will be worth it. But first, you must not allow yourself to lose sight of that goal.

5:  Get Happy

Out of all these New Year’s Resolutions, this is probably both the easiest, and hardest, to incorporate. But be it a career, or a goal, or a passion, or a connection – find out what truly makes you Happy. And don’t give it up.

You might find true happiness in your family, your job, a hobby, or a future achievement.But whatever you find your personal joy within, is worth investing everything in.

We tend to leave behind some of the things we once found happiness in, when the demands of Life take over. But take the time to invest in what really makes you happy – because your health, mental well-being, and success, all stem from that. Only after giving up Happiness, do we succumb to Anger, Guilt, Negativity, Stress, and Sadness. As long as you don’t give up what really brings you joy, you’ll succeed in everything! And that’s worth carrying into a brand new year.

So these are just my ideas for making New Year’s Resolutions worth making and keeping, even for a few year’s to come. Have you made any yet?

5 New Year's Resolutions Worth Making and Keeping

Why We Didn’t Share Our Christmas On Social Media

Another Christmas Has Passed…

Yes, parents, we have all survived another Christmas. We endured the traveling. The shopping struggle. And even the overwhelming amount of Holiday movies and tv episodes, broadcast over the weekend. But if you are a regular follower of this blog, you might have realized something. Perhaps you noticed that we didn’t actually share any of our own holiday festivities?

Don’t get me wrong. We had a wonderful time spent with family on my husband’s side, for Christmas Eve/Day. Followed by our own special “Christmas day” here at home. And then a quick gathering at my own Mother’s house for that side of our family. So yes, it’s fair to say we are a little exhausted, and happy that things have settled down.

But most people wouldn’t have known we did anything if they were only looking for pictures and status updates!

Why I chose not to overshare our Holiday celebrations…or even share at all

I’m usually very open about posting on social media; it’s a great way to stay connected to family and friends. And while you can’t be everywhere at once, you can at least share in the experience through pictures and updates. And I love being able to let distant family and friends, know what’s going on in our lives. Especially when it comes to my son, Bruce. He’s probably more popular than I am. Actually, I know he is…

That being said, the unfortunate truth is, not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Not every family can spend the celebrating at three different houses. And not every child has three different Christmas Trees with gifts underneath, just for them.

And us adults do work very hard for the things we have – and sharing that with the world is not a bad thing. And as I’ve written about before, what one might perceive as jealousy, can easily be turned into motivation, when seeing the success of another.

But, kids don’t always see it that way. Nor do other adults. And the last thing I want during the holiday season, are hurt feelings.

We shared very little of our Holidays…

I had to share our first family Christmas Tree, because of course, it was our first. And we were proud of it! But as we began putting gifts under the tree, excluding what Santa would bring himself (items too big for wrapping), that something dawned on me. Not everyone is as blessed as we are. And while it’s in any parent’s right to post pictures of the tree with all their child’s gifts underneath-the last thing I want is another parent (or child!) to see that and feel bad. And I’ll be the first to admit that my son is spoiled – of course, he’s the only grandchild within our immediate family, so of course he makes out like a bandit at Christmas!

But that is also within the eye of the beholder. While one might think our gift pile modest, another would think it’s “over the top.” One person can realize that we have a tree, and both grandparents have their own, and think it’s very common-while another person can think it’s too extravagant. Neither opinion is right or wrong.

It’s also a Catch 22 – you can be a minimalist family, and someone can say you “aren’t doing enough” with such a materialist holiday. Or, they can see a child getting three Christmases, and think “dear lord, who needs all this stuff? They’re spoiled rotten!”

You just can’t win either way.

So we shared one photo of our tree, giftless and without the topper (as we were still decorating) and that was it. No one needed to do a count of exactly how many trees held how many gifts.

The meaning of Christmas…

People all too often forget the real meaning of the holidays, and become too wrapped up in the material game. It’s about family. Not out-doing each other on Facebook with “who has the bigger tree.” Or judging another parent because they got the Hot Toy items only available on eBay because the demand went through the roof. Families shouldn’t be scrutinized by the size of their celebration.  The holidays are meant to be about Giving, and Family. And family, even with sharing to those who aren’t close to us…should have a few private things to be enjoyed.

Pictures of our holiday should be just for us to enjoy-not something to be picked apart and analyzed by those who weren’t there. Be it good or bad judgement, it just shouldn’t happen. And because I can’t prevent people from forming an opinion, I can prevent the opportunity as best as possible, by not inviting it through sharing.

That’s why I will be keeping the photos of gift unwrapping to myself. No one needs to feel inadequate when comparing my child’s Christmas to theirs. Or feel that we went a little overboard for a 18month old. Or even think that maybe we didn’t do enough!

And in our world of social media, we have at least this holiday, to ourselves. That’s not to say next year, Bruce’s 3rd, won’t be publicized for all the extended family and friends to see… But this year, can be just for us.

 

Why We didn't share our Christmas on Social Media