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"

Important Holiday Sanity Tips

Need some help keeping your sanity?

With the Holidays upon us, life is about to get very hectic for us Parents. As a Mother to one, and Aunt to six, I’ve learned a thing or two about survival during this trying time.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind that can help you get through the Holiday season.

 

Itineraries Are Awesome

And in my opinion, highly necessary. You are going to have enough going on with planning family trips, scheduling shopping excursions, keeping children entertained with crafts, and checking on Aunt Molly in the nursing home. It’s super easy to forget things.

Important Sanity Tips For The Holidays

Keep a Holiday Calendar and record EVERYTHING you plan on doing for the next few months, even if it’s just taking an hour to cut little pieces of construction paper into turkeys. It will help you keep things in perspective, not overwhelm and double-book yourself, and keep your schedule on track. You might think this is silly, but when you discover that you’re late to Grandma’s for pre-Christmas Day gift exchange, your hands are covered in glue, and you still haven’t bought your brother a gift, you’ll wish you had kept a scheduled list.

And with schedules in mind, that brings us to…

 

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Yes, you have a huge calendar to keep everything perfectly recorded in detail; Visit the Grandparent’s at 2pm, followed by an hour of Christmas shopping before your Daughter’s recital at 5, then just before bedtime for the littles, you’ll decorate the tree. Once the kids go down, there’s about 30 mins before the youngest wakes up for a drink of water, in which during that time you can work on the office Secret Santa list. And at some point before you pass out from exhaustion, you’ll actually clean the garage for the New Year’s Eve Party ….remember; you can’t commit to everything.

The holidays are meant for family, and if you simply have full day after full day planned out, then skip a few office parties and social gatherings with that couple down the street (who have three dogs and no children). There’s no shame in it, and it will give you more down time at home to rest, and catch up on necessities-like cooking and cleaning.  One big tip I took full advantage of with a 5 month old…

 

The Internet Is Your Friend

You can totally do all your holiday shopping online – and really should! Avoid the malls and shopping centers altogether, and (usually) get a better deal, money-wise.

Cyber Monday follows Thanksgiving, so instead of fighting over stuff on Black Friday, stay at home and shop in your jammies. And Amazon Prime…hello?! Enjoy the free shipping and never leave the house. Basically, everything’s in boxes anyway, so you can just shove all that crap somewhere in the house and wait to wrap it. Then you don’t have children hunting down their presents for a sneak peek.  And with gifts in mind, let’s remember…

 

Keep The Big Gifts To Yourself

Or rather, make them “from” yourself-don’t give the Fat Man all the credit. Santa doesn’t have to bring all the gifts come Christmas time. Let him have given out the clothes and small toys. Let the big gifts, like expensive toys and electronics, have come from you (the parent) and other family members. Why? It’s hard explaining to children why Santa discriminates when it comes to presents. And it isn’t fair when the Jolly Fat Guy decides one child can have the newest “Hot Toy” of the year, and another can’t (because their parent’s simply can’t afford it ).

I’m not saying that if you can get your children the biggest, most expensive things, not to do it-I’m just saying to put your own name on the tag, not Santa. Because kids naturally talk, and then they can at least give that well deserved credit where it’s really due – and hopefully, save some hurt feelings that inevitably, will happen.

Hopefully some of these little reminders can help you get through the season. What’s some things that help you out during the Holiday Season?

 

Handy tips to help keep you sane during the Holidays!

Traveling With A Newborn? 5 Feeding Tips


Traveling with a Newborn?

The holidays are upon us! For most families, this means travel. And if you have a newborn in tow, this can sometimes be a more lengthy (and difficult) process.
The Honest Company, reminded me of the trips we took with my son, while he was a newborn. It isn’t easy, but here’s a few things I learned along the way.
Also, check out these great resources from The Honest Company that can help you, be it breast or bottle, with great products to help you feed your baby! Supplements, boosters for your supply, nipple creams, bibs…they have it all!
But when preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas vacations, consider these tips that I used, for those long trips in the car…

Plan extra time for feedings

I exclusively breastfed my son, but this applies to everything – breast, bottle, or tube. You have to allow a certain amount of time for feedings. it’s important to know your baby’s routine, and plan accordingly. If they feed for an hour (every hour!), and the drive will be at least two hours long, then you have an idea of a timeframe.
Plan to strike out early. My son cluster fed like clockwork-so we left an hour early, and after the first session, he would be good until we reached our destination.

Comfort is key

Because we chose travel by car, I tried making things as comfortable as possible for me, and my newborn baby. Snuggly blankets, a neck pillow for Mom, space arranged in the back seat for optimal room (avoiding claustrophobia) – whatever it takes to ensure you and your child will be comfy during these stops. Traveling is hard on babies, and the easier you can make it on your baby (and yourself!), the better. And if traveling by automobile, remember you can sometimes…

Get Out Of The Car

We are lucky enough to live right on the Georgia/Florida border. So we never encounter snow! But if you are able to on a nice weather day, consider parking at a rest stop with a nice picnic area, and vacate the car. It will help you to refresh yourself and stretch your legs. And give your baby a different environment for a short change. My son was always a very active eater, and enjoyed looking around until the “milk sleep” took over. Plus, being outside the car for a bit should help you, and your partner, from loathing the car ride to the cousins who just have to live 3 hours away. Something to keep in mind while packing up for the trip, though…

Make A List Of Supplies, And Check Twice

Lists are super handy for all the little details. make sure you have everything you will need for feedings, and at least one extra item (if possible) on hand. Be it bottle, nipples, nursing covers, breast pads, gas drops…make sure that you have backups of anything that can get dirty, or can’t immediately be re-used without proper cleaning. You may not find yourself stopped at a place that will have access to water and soap (that you will feel comfortable using your baby items with), and you don’t want to add more time to your trip (spent washing things).
Pack just enough (not everything!) of the necessities that will get you to your destination, which at that point you can sterilize and clean. Because when baby needs to eat-baby needs to eat! And you’ll want to get back on the road ASAP.
But in the grand scheme of everything, always remember…

Take It Easy

Traveling is hard on anyone, including being stuck in a car for a few hours. Especially hard on newborn babies. The less stress you endure with the preparation, and execution of your trip, the better the ride will be for your child. Children feed off their surrounding energy – if you are calm and collected, it will rub off on them! So relax as much as possible, take moments to stretch your legs and smell the roses (or, at least, fresh air as opposed to the little tree freshener hanging from the rearview mirror), and make life easier on yourself by not rushing. The ride will be a lot more enjoyable for you, and baby!

Check out the feeding resources page on The Honest Company’s site for some awesome products that can help you nourish your little one, and as always, be safe while traveling this holiday season! And many thanks to The Honest Company, for inspiring this conversation amongst mothers! it’s important that we, as a collective, support each other with our experiences!

If you’re looking for more holiday posts, check out this linkup as well!

5 Feeding Tips For Traveling With A newborn

Motivational Workout Pointers

Need to motivation to start working out again? I was recently talking with Vanessa about how entirely unmotivated I become (and stay!) about developing a workout routine. Her words really helped me, and I encourage you to read them and get moving! Vanessa has an awesome blog, Fitfoodiemomlife, and I’m so happy we could have her posting here today!
By Vanessa G.
Exercising is one of those things that I absolutely LOVE! And when I say that I am definitely not over exaggerating.
Putting in a good workout is something for this mama and I definitely need an avenue to escape every single day. I’m a fulltime mama (is there any other kind?) and I literally chase little feet, wipe dirty chins, wash peanut buttery fingers, and change poopy diapers all day long. I rarely have a chance to just breathe or sit down and when I do sit down it’s usually playing with my son. In fact, my son is the one who motivates me to workout. That little chubby 15 month old doesn’t even know it but he’s the one who literally kicks me in the butt every single morning. Many times I want to pull the covers over my head, throw the alarm clock out of the room, and go right back to sleep. But then I think, “I want to be a healthy mommy! I want my son to make healthy decisions!” And so I always get up and grab my shoes and kick butt in the garage.
I understand that not everyone grew up with a daily exercise regimen and so I have a few pointers and maybe motivational key points that might help you begin to move that beautiful body of yours!
  •  “I’m not a morning person!” This is perfectly okay and please, DO NOT beat yourself up for not getting out of bed before 7, or 8 or maybe even 9 (if you can sleep past 9am, please email me because I want to know your mama trick!). You don’t have to workout first thing in the morning, just start out with a walk or after brushing your teeth in the morning and evening time push yourself to do a 15-30 second plank. Those basic moves will kick start your body.
  •   “It’s too late. I will never be thin again!” MYTH! MYTH! MYTH! You can do absolutely anything you want as long as the mind is up for the change. Just by walking 20-30 minutes a day you will train your body to do some extra moving and you might be amazed to see how good it feels! Not everyone can start off with a high intensity workout. Start slow and gradually increase your activity. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t because you better darn right believer you can!
  •   “Cardio is boring and too hard!” I agree. Cardio sucks! Try mixing up your workout routine if the thought of having to do cardio discourages you from even trying. Maybe do a high intense move (burpees, jumping jacks, high knees, lateral jumps, etc.) for 30 seconds and then move to the weights for 10 reps. This up and down heart rate interval training is super beneficial to weight loss.
  • “I get bored!” Okay, I can understand that. So maybe think of a friend or another mom who is in the same boat as you. Reach out to her and start a workout routine together. Doing this will force you to stick to your commitment because the other mama has a schedule to follow too!
I listed a few of the excuses most people seem to have (I’ve thought them before too!) but it’s now time to kick yourself in the butt and run after what you want most. If you want those slim legs or if the muffin top bothers you, then stop complaining about it and actually do something about it. You can’t complain about your issues if you never work against them. I know it’s so easy to tell yourself you’ll just do it tomorrow. Because who doesn’t have a baby who wakes up during the night? Or who doesn’t deal with the annoying bladder that screams in your face at 3am—just another one of the changes that occur after birth. I know. I get it all. But not doing anything for you actually discourages you more than you realize and moving your body 20-30 minutes every day will do lots for your mama brain!

Get moving mama. No workout will ever be a regret!

vanessa
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Vanessa is a mommy blogger, wife to a Naval Officer, and a mother to her one-year-old son. She loves everything fitness and health related and also enjoys cooking and baking. Motherhood is by far her most favorite and challenging journey and life task she has ever taken upon herself, but she would never trade it for anything in the world. Vanessa loves family, coffee, Jesus, traveling and good conversations.  
motivationalworkoutpointers

How I find motivation (when feeling unmotivated)

Sometimes, you just aren’t motivated…

Being a wife and mother to the most important of two (well, 1.5)men, takes a lot of energy and time. By the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted, both physically and mentally. Continue reading “How I find motivation (when feeling unmotivated)”