I never knew how much I loved sleep until I had kids. Nights filled with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep feels like a fantasy. And I definitely didn’t cherish the days before kids where I slept in past 6:30 AM.
When our first baby was born, everyone told me “nap while the baby naps.” Yes, this sounds like a great idea, in theory. The only problem was I couldn’t sleep when my baby was sleeping! It was “my time” and my mind wouldn’t turn off long enough to actually sleep.
As time went on the exhaustion caught up with me thought. I was tired and many days felt like I couldn’t make it one more second without more coffee!
As moms we have so many things on our plates.
The struggle is real when we get a quiet moment. Do we go to bed early, finish the housework or spend time doing the things we want to do!?
If you’ve struggled with this and find ourself saying “I need more sleep” Keep reading!
No Longer Feeling Tired
Somewhere along my journey 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. But as the keeper of your home, you can make simple changes in your family’s routine to help everyone get more rest.
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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 need to talk boundaries. They are not always easy to implement, but when you set up boundaries it is life changing! 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. I never thought of this.
This new way of thinking changed me! I need my morning routine as a mom. Alone. This boundary helps me get it. It took some getting used to but now our kids love it too. Our older two kids have wake up clocks in their rooms. First it turns yellow which means they can get up and play. Then it turns green which means they can leave their rooms.
If our oldest doesn’t have time to read when she wakes up she isn’t happy. She’s learned to love those quiet moments alone when she first wakes up too! I truly believe this happened because it’s been her routine since she was a baby.
I realized I am so much more patient and loving when I have a few minutes to myself in the morning. When I’m intentional about waking up before my kids I’m more refreshed and ready for the day.
We also got strict about our bedtime and it made a world of difference.
Second, I found rest by setting boundaries with myself. I’ve learned to say no to things that burden my schedule and prevent me from relaxing. I also prioritize 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.
It’s not easy, phones are addicting and it’s nice to feel an escape from reality sometimes. But the lasting effects may be more harmful than helpful.
So put the phone down. Unplug and shift your focus to more peaceful, lovely and excellent things. I’ve found when I’m not as wired, overstimulated or stressed I sleep more soundly at night!
Third, if your mind races as soon as your head hits the pillow keep a pen and paper on your nightstand. For some reason my brain decides to meditate on all the things I need to do or forgot to do right when I’m ready for bed.
If I get up and just write it all down I’ve found it’s easier to let it go and rest. This feels too simple, trust me I doubted it at first too. But there is something about transferring your anxious feelings to a notepad. When you write it out, it truly leaves your mind!
Pray for Sweet Sleep
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). If bad dreams are keeping you or your children awake at night Inspired Motherhood has a whole article on 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!