Acid Reflux Caregivers Must Take Time to Recharge
This year, I hope that all of the hard working Reflux Moms out there will resolve to take a nap! I know you hear a lot of advice from friends, relatives and medical professionals about how to cope with caring for a baby with reflux. But taking a nap really helped me to be healthy and happy all year long. At the same time, it gave me the energy and good humor to sustain myself during the reflux years.
I didn’t expect parenting to be so exhausting until I had three children under the age of 5 years of age. The youngest, Rebecca had severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and asthma from birth. Each day was a struggle to meet the multiple needs of three young children and deal with the added stress of managing the reflux treatment plan too. I never had a full nights sleep and before dawn, my day would start again. I am sure many of you are on that same schedule right now.
So, I resolved to take a nap or a rest each and every day. With three children, it was highly unlikely they would all nap at the same time (or at all) unless we had a flu epidemic in our household. I would wait until baby Rebecca went to sleep safely in her crib and then put on a 30 minute educational video or TV show. The other two children, ages 3 and 5 were instructed to play quietly, watch TV and stay in the room for 30 minutes. I made it very clear that they could not leave the room or wake me up unless there was a dire emergency like the house was burning down. Assistance putting on a Barbie high heel or changing the video was not defined as a true emergency.
On some level, I am sure we all needed our own version of “quiet time” in the afternoon. I found that I was so sleep deprived that I would go into a deep and restful sleep. And best of all, I woke up full of energy with a positive attitude to face the rest of the day.
When you are a mom, and especially when you are a Reflux Mom, you have to really work hard to get your needs met. Your baby and your other family obligations seem to take priority until there is no time left for you. Remember that your health and well being are central to being able to care for your high need baby and be available day and night. So I hope you will resolve to take a nap-it is a very good investment in your physical health and your well being. Good luck with your New Year’s Resolution!