Getting Your Energy Back as a New Mom
Where did all the time go?
As a new mom, I cannot stress enough how much time for everything I do NOT have. My baby is almost a year old, and I'm constantly buying red bulls and other energy drinks. I drink about 4 cups of coffee a day. I do take vitamins thank you very much! I try to exercise when I have both the time and energy (which isn't very often).
Somehow, though, I still can't seem to stay up any later than about 8:45 every night. Granted, I do have a full time job and multiple sclerosis (which would wear anyone out!). But I'm 24 years old for crying out loud! This isn't fair, and by golly it just doesn't seem natural either!!
What actually works
When I asked my doctor what to do about my lack of energy, it sounded a little something like this:
"Listen, Doctor, I know I'm a new mom and all. And I know with the MS I can expect to be tired. And I know that I've always been a sleeper and nothing about that has changed except for the fact that I can't take a nap whenever I please. I get all that, I really do. But I need to know what the crap I can do because this whole 'tired all the time' thang ain't cuttin' it!"
Unfortunately, he had no new science breakthrough nor did he have a time control device that can stop time for me so I can sleep a few hours. What he did was go over my habits with me. He stopped when we got to my diet because it's not that great. (Valid excuse here: I'm on a budget and can't afford to eat healthy...well, it sounded valid before I told him that) I got a little lesson on eating right and how it doesn't have to be expensive and he told me i need way more fruit and vegetables in my diet. He also suggested I take a B Complex vitamin. Like I didn't know that! Gosh, and he just got paid how much to tell me that?? Okay granted, I'm the one that asked!
What have we learned here?
So, I hope you just read that and said wow I guess I should call the doctor and see what's up! Because oh yeah, they are there for a reason. Probably one of the most important things I've learned being a new mom that I was able to transfer into my own personal experience (if that makes any sense whatsoever) is that the doctor is there for a reason. If you're a parent you probably have your pediatrician listed in your cell phone contacts, if you don't have the number memorized. It's just a thing. Well, why can't we call our doctor when we have general questions? Why can't we be so concerned about our own health that it can't wait until the next checkup?
So because of this little interesting idea I had, I've probably had more doctor's appointments in the past year than I've had the previous five years. Maybe ten. But hey, I have to know what's going on with my body and how to make it the most efficient body it can be. And sometimes the internet just won't cut it.
A few more ways to get more energy that sort of work for me are:
- Coffee, coffee, coffee!!!
- Water, water, water!!!
- Sadly, I do feel more energetic when I exercise. I say sadly because it's like really? Why do I not exercise when everything about it is beneficial?
- Do not take long, hot baths before you straighten up the kitchen. I've done this before thinking that I just need to get re energized. Well let me tell you right now that soaking in a bath tub is not the way to do it.
- I'm kind of a list person. I love making a to do list and marking items off. It gives me a bit of a boost every time I finish something. My list would look something like this:
- Clean kitchen.
- Wash dishes.
- Drink coffee.
- Feed fish.
- Watch new episode of "The Big Bang Theory".
While it may look like I'm a slacker, really what I've done is psychologically boosted myself because hey! I just fed the fish! OOH look at me! I CAN do this today!! See! I have energy! I just drank coffee for crying out loud!! Now for the dishes.....
Ask your doctor
I am a big fan of asking your doctor because they are smarter than you about this stuff. I'm not saying you should take what they say and run with it. I had a doctor in the e.r. a month ago tell me she wanted to put my baby on an i.v. because he hadn't peed in like, 4 hours. Which I might have been okay with if he didn't pee right after that. Everyone says "you know what's best for your baby." It's true for yourself too. "you know what's best for yourself." So take your doctor's advice and maybe you'll agree, and maybe you won't. I'm really bad about thinking doctors are geniuses while I'm talking to them and they know everything and then when my mom asks what they said, I tell her. Well, then she says something smart like "Why would he think that?" Or "did you remember to mention blah blah because that might change it?" So I've finally started to learn that I need to listen and not rush into any decisions during the appointment. Once, I even said "Can you maybe give me a minute to think about this?"
With the no energy thing, it could be poor diet, like me. Or it could be lack of vitamin D, like my mom. Or lack of iron, like millions of people. All three of those issues need to be addressed, including a ton of other things it could be.
So, if my cool fun list of chores doesn't pep you up, ask your doctor!