Moms need more energy than ever right now—here’s where to get it

And for once, coffee is not involved. :coffee:

how to have more energy

Energy has always been a mom's top commodity, and that's never been more true than right now. Mothering during a pandemic is frankly exhausting. Hustling after little ones, juggling all the to-dos on your list, managing remote learning, balancing your needs with your family's—it all takes work, and that work is way harder when you feel depleted.

No mom can do it all. But when we focus on maintaining our energy levels, we can do what really matters to us and do it well. Here's how to maintain your energy.

1. Put your phone (and the TV remote) down

It may feel more tempting than ever to scan the news headlines every few minutes, or grab your phone for distraction when you feel anxious. And I love Netflix just as much as the next mama. But, man, can screen time be a time suck.


If you want to chill out with a movie on a Saturday night, that's one thing, but be mindful of how much time you're spending on a device or in front of a screen without any real purpose, especially at night. Experts recommend unplugging from screens at least one hour before bedtime for the most restful sleep.

2. Get your body moving

Exercise raises levels of dopamine, the feel-good hormone our bodies love. Get out in the fresh air for a walk with your kids, have a dance party in the living room or throw on an online yoga or Pilates tutorial. Put movement and motion at the top of your must-do list, aiming for at least three sessions per week, even if you're in your pajamas with a 2-year-old at your hip. Your body and your mind will thank you for the extra get-up-and-go.

3. Stop multitasking

Even though most moms pride themselves on the ability to multitask, studies show humans are actually horrible at concentrating on multiple tasks at the same time. When we think we're multitasking we're actually task-switching, shifting our attention back and forth from one task to another. This forces our brain to work much harder than it would if we focused on one mission at a time. We end up less efficient and more drained in the process.

Instead, practice single-tasking. When we're at home with our kids, that means letting the laundry pile up while we finish Candy Land with our toddlers or play peek-a-boo with our babies, leaving them for later. At work, it means removing as many distractions as we can while we finish an email or a task.

4. Give yourself 5 minutes of downtime

Sometimes it feels like using every spare moment to check a few items off your ever-growing to-do list will make you more efficient and satisfied. But without a few breaks, our days can get exhausting fast.

Be intentional about being unproductive for small intervals throughout the day—even if you can only sacrifice five minutes at a time—so your brain gets the breaks it needs. When you pace yourself, you're left with more reserves at the end of the day for your family and yourself. The added bonus? Life feels more enjoyable when you're not rushing through it, stressed at every turn and letting mental overload get the better of you.

5. Prioritize what matters most and leave the rest to someone else (or for another day)

Instead of spinning your wheels on obligations you'll never get to or will never remember, delegate to the others in your house or in your proverbial village. If you've got a partner, put them in charge of some of the must-dos (it will be one of the best moves you ever make). Take full advantage of technology, like online grocery shopping and bill autopay. Delegate, delegate, delegate and stop feeling so guilty that you're not superwoman—no one is.

6. Take care of yourself first (seriously)

You've probably heard the phrase, "You can't pour from an empty cup." It's cute, but Penny Reid's quote, "Don't set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm," captures the necessity of self-care for moms much more accurately.

It turns out there are no brownie points for motherhood martyrdom, though we all try to earn them from time to time. You can't fill other people up and you can't be your best self to the rest of the world (including your children) if you are not doing the things you need to do to be content, whether that's dancing around by yourself in your house to your favorite Lizzo song or taking time to write, read, exercise, draw or organize—whatever makes you feel a little more like yourself right now.

The world says we can have it all if we do it all, but that's exhausting. Finding energy as we mother is about learning how to take care of ourselves, working smarter, not harder, and spending time on what matters most.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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