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Exhaustion is something new moms come to expect. It’s something that comes and goes throughout motherhood, like when a stomach virus hits every member of our family two days apart so there’s a mountain of laundry that will never go away.

But even though exhaustion is present in motherhood doesn’t mean that it is a good thing (kinda like that pile of laundry).

How many times have you snapped at your kids because you were so tired you couldn’t think straight, let alone deal with another sibling rivalry? Or thrown a temper tantrum that would rival any toddler?

Other than trying to get more sleep or powering through burnout, these tricks will help you stay patient (and sane) even if you’re exhausted. Best of all, even though these ideas only take a few minutes, their benefits are far-reaching and will have you feeling so much calmer and ready to handle everything motherhood throws at you.


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How to be a Patient Mom
(Even When You’re Exhausted)

Practice gratitude to be more patient

Practicing gratitude is one way to stay patient, even when you're exhausted. These 5 ways will help you stay calm even when life is chaotic.

Trying to be grateful when you’re in the middle of a toddler meltdown might seem laughable, but it really is life changing.

No matter how tired or cranky or horrible you might feel, taking a second to remember your blessings will help you feel calmer.

I have a block on my daily planner to reflect on something each day. However, you could also jot a note in your journal.

Each day, try to think of one thing that brings you joy. This is a great activity before bed, but it works really well during the day, too.

Whether you’re in the throes of a temper tantrum and pause to think happy thoughts or trying to relax before bed, practicing gratitude, even if it’s just for five seconds, will help you feel calmer and less stressed.


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Journal or brain dump your thoughts to stop the overwhelm

Clear your mind clutter with this ultimate, step-by-step guide to doing a brain dump. Organize your thoughts on the worksheets and make sure you're keeping track of every part of your to-do list.

How often do you have an important thought, only to forget it two seconds later?

Trying to keep your thoughts straight in your head is exhausting.

While spending time journaling or doing a daily brain dump might seem time-consuming, it’ll actually help you organize your thoughts, which will make you less stressed and more productive.

Instead of spending twenty minutes trying to remember your last thought, you could spend those 20 minutes jotting down your thoughts or walking through a brain dump of your day (and upcoming week) to organize your thoughts and relieve stress.

I often do a brain dump on Sunday afternoons to plan for the week ahead. I also do a mini-brain dump before bed so that I don’t lay awake all night worrying about things I can’t control (because let’s face it, there’s not much you can do about things in the middle of the night).


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Make time for self-care so you get some relief

Spending time on self-care is a great way to be a more patient mom. Learn 4 more tips to have patience, even when you're exhausted.

Who has time for exercise, eating healthy, and sleep when you’re overwhelmed?!? Does eating the last carrot off your kid’s plate count as eating healthy?

I get it. I ate pita chips and hummus for breakfast yesterday because it was easy to eat as I walked through the kitchen.

But between your lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, and lack of physical activity (unless you count chasing a toddler who just learned how to open a childproof gate), you’re not doing yourself any favors.

  • Join a gym, if only so you can have childcare while you exercise and a shower (shower shoes are just a small price to pay for 20 minutes of uninterrupted hot water and time to shave your legs).
  • Go to bed earlier (seriously, the laundry will still be there tomorrow).
  • Eat healthier meals as a family. Try meal prepping once a week so that you can have healthy meals ready when you need them. I’ve been washing lettuce as soon as I get home from the store. Then I store it in produce bags so it lasts through the week. I’ve also fallen in love with MyFreezEasy to simplify dinner.

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Let things go to focus on the important things

Let things go and focus on the important things. You'll be less stressed (and you'll be a better mom).

My sister-in-law came home from the hospital after having a c-section and scrubbed her floors on her hands and knees. I have no idea how she did it, but she’s my hero.

As a new mom, I let things go. My house was a mess, my kids were a mess, and I wasn’t far behind.

It’s ok to let things go. Up until having kids, I had a rigorous cleaning schedule. Since having kids, cleaning has moved from daily to weekly (and some things got knocked off the list completely).

Instead of doing a full vacuum session, invest in a Roomba for quick cleanups or just sweep under the table after dinner.

Simplify your tasks. Stop doing unnecessary tasks, batch as many together as you can, and make your life easier.


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Set limits so you don’t reach burnout

Use time blocking to stay focused and manage your day.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with your to-do list, your kids’ and husband’s needs (and wants), and taking care of your house on top of everything.

Set limits on everything that you do.

  • First, set limits on others’ expectations. Your son wants to play baseball? Great, but that means he needs to give up wrestling.
  • Next, time block your day. This will give you a realistic perspective on what you can (and can’t) accomplish every day.
  • Finally, add margin to every task on your list. Chances are, you think you can do tasks faster than you actually do them.

Think you can take an exercise class, run through the grocery store, and still make it to preschool on time to pick up your daughter?

Even if each task fits onto your calendar, add time to the start and finish of each task.

If it normally takes you 15 minutes to drive to preschool, plan to take 20. If you can grocery shop in 30 minutes, add an extra 15 in case you get in a slow checkout lane.

The trick to giving yourself margin is to use it wisely, though. Don’t give yourself an extra 15 minutes of drive time, only to spend it doing “one last thing” before you run out the door.


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If you’re exhausted and there’s no end in sight (you’re a new mom or the kids keep catching one virus after another all winter long), sleep will do you wonders. But if that’s not a possibility or it’s not enough to keep you from snapping at your family, try these five tips to be a more patient mom.

Be a more patient parent with these tips, even when you're exhausted. Positive parenting is possible with a little self-care!