Learning how to protect your energy is one of the most valuable things you can do, especially as a busy mum. It is your number one super power when it comes to handling all the things. So why is protecting your energy so important? and what exactly does it mean anyway?
Think back to the last day you felt a bit gross, maybe you had a headache – or an extra heavy period. Wasn’t the day just that much harder with the million requests being Hurdled your way consistently and at lightening speed?
“Mum, whats for dinner?”
“Mum, can I have a snack?”
“Mum, wheres my homework book?”
“Mum, I peed on the floor!”
“Mum, she stole my toy!”
“Mum, why does the earth exists?”
Etc. You get the idea.
Protecting your energy is like safe guarding your internal state – both mentally, and physically. So you can have fuel for all the things being thrown your way, and for the really important stuff too. Like – engaging with those humans you created and discovering what lights them up. Engaging in the things that light YOU up and define you, instead of the day being about one endless to-do list. Actually finding time and space to enjoy all those little things you miss when your speeding about being a puppet for everyone else’s priorities but your own.
So, how do we protect our energy as parents? As a twin mum of 3, its something I’ve been practicing for a long time. Here are my top 5 energy tips to get you started:
1. Stop saying yes to everything girl!
Reminder, it’s ok to say no. In fact – its sometimes better. Once we step into the fighting ring of parenthood we can very quickly and easily become bogged down with other peoples expectations of us. They can start to weigh heavy if you are not careful. We can’t bear the thought that our Mother in Law might think our bathroom isn’t clean enough, or that Karen from toddler group thinks we’re lazy. We work hard damn it! But no one ever notices – and we so desperately want them too. So we run around saying yes to everything because ta-dah! We are superwoman! We can do all the things!
“I’m too exhausted to enjoy my life anymore but of course I can come to the PTA meeting after doing over time all week for my boss that doesn’t appreciate me – I’ll even bring some homemade cakes for everyone!”
Please. slow the F down. Nobody is really going to notice you draining your energy and doing all the things, in fact do you know what will happen instead? They’ll just find even more things for you to do because they think you enjoy it.
It’s OK to say no to that extra curricular dance activity if its at a time that totally messes with your dinner time and evening. It’s OK to say no to that family event if you feel exhausted after a busy week. It’s OK to let someone else load the dishes after you cooked. It’s OK to sit down for 5 minutes in the middle of the day to restore your energy when there’s cereal and Lego all over the floor.
Slow it down and say no, otherwise you’ll spend your days reacting to life in a perpetually exhausted state mama! That’s definitely not the vibe we are going for here.
2. Wake up before everyone else.
This is a game changer, and it took me far too long to figure it out. Getting up before the rest of the house can be a real energy restorer, set your alarm early and just.get.up. (Mamas up all night feeding or battling sleep regressions, you’re excused. It gets easier, I promise).
Get up early and get your head in the game. Do whatever it is you need to do to simplify your morning and restore your own energy. Maybe its unload the dishwasher so you don’t end up with dirty dishes all over the kitchen after the school run, maybe its doing some yoga, or journaling, or working. Whatever works for you. Just get up earlier than the rest of the world and have that time focused on just you, when it comes to protecting your energy – you will never look back.
3. Safe guard yourself from other peoples negative energy.
Easier said than done, but when it comes to protecting your energy – you need to protect yourself from other peoples energy.
Think about when you walk in a room of happy, joking people – you feel their energy. Same as if you walked into a party, or dinner and everyone was depressed – you would feel it. It’s very easy to take on and absorb other peoples energy, but you need to focus on protecting your own energy. Mother’s especially – and sensitive souls, feel peoples energy quite strongly. They can also tend to try and “fix” this energy. If your partner comes home grumpy after a bad day at work, or your boss comes to work in a bad mood or your child gets angry at a game. It’s tempting to try and fix their energy, and it can bring down our own internal state and vibe.
Try and let others work through feelings they need to process without too much intervention, notice the feelings and let them be. Make a conscious effort and decision to not let the energy of others around you affect how you feel internally. Stay grounded, find an anchor or affirmation for yourself to help you. Decide how you want to feel, and understand we can’t control other peoples emotions and energy, we can only control how we respond to them.
4. Make time for what re energizes you.
It’s very easy as a Mother to fall into the dangerous trap of putting everyone else’s needs and desires before your own. However, its crucial you make time for what makes you happy and re energises you. After all, you are a person too, not just a mum. Different people are energised by different things, so work out what resonates with you? Quiet time or social time out with friends? Early nights twice a week, art classes, a yoga session? Find out what restores you, and what activities gave you joy pre kids, sure it’s harder to factor time in for them now but it’s not impossible. Get clear on your intention for how you want to use your time to restore your energy and get good at setting boundaries around that time.
5. Nourish yourself.
Sometimes it can be tempting on the midst of a crazy day to just skip lunch, or breakfast as there’s too much going on prioritse your needs. However all this leads to is energy slumps and then inevitably reaching for quick fixes and sugar crashes like chocolate bars and coffee. Try and plan and prep a few snacks and meals for yourself on a set time of the week – like a Sunday evening. Having some healthy breakfast bars or some chopped salad all ready to go make eating on the go much easier.
Make a note of how certain foods make you feel, how much caffeine puts you on edge, what makes you feel tired and bloated. What you choose to nourish yourself with needs to energise you, not deplete you. This can be different for everyone, but listening to the subtle signals your body sends you can really help.
It’s all too easy to forget the simple things that make us feel good when we are raising tiny humans, society has made us feel lazy, incapable or selfish for doing so. The truth is those tiny humans need you to protect your energy – so you can not only show up for yourself, but for them too. Which, when you think about it, is the opposite of selfish.
If you enjoyed this blog pop me a message or comment – I’d love to hear from you! You’ll also love My Tips on letting go of mum guilt – which you can read about here. You can find me on my Instagram at @twinsandthings13.com so drop by there and we can virtually hang out! To never miss a blog join the twins and things community here, see ya soon mama x