Mom Life and Narcolepsy: Elementary School

Welcome to part 4 of my series on "Mom Life and Narcolepsy." As we discuss the elementary years, I want to share a little about myself.

My oldest was in third grade when I got narcolepsy suddenly. She is the only one who remembers me without narcolepsy. She is old enough to be able to miss the more energized me. She remembers what our life was like and everything I used to be able to do.

Today, she is 15 and is amazing. Sometimes we talk about life before and her perspective. As I sat down to write this article, I took a moment to chat with her. We reflected again on those elementary years when I didn't have narcolepsy.

My 3 younger kids only know the elementary years, and having a mom with narcolepsy.

8 tips for saving energy

Out of these 2 places, I want to offer the following energy-saving mom tips.

  1. Keep sugar out of the house.
  2. Talk to your kids about your narcolepsy. Age-appropriate discussions will help them and you process your circumstances. Although, they may be confused if you have always had narcolepsy because it is normal for them.
  3. Ask for help FROM THE KIDS. By kindergarten, kids are able to start helping out around the house. There are many lists out there with age-appropriate chores. If you are too tired to teach your kids how to do their chores, hire someone to teach them. It's a worthwhile investment.
  4. Decide how much screen time you want your kiddo to have, and stick to it. Screens are so hard to monitor, especially if mama is sleeping. Have a plan.
  5. Embrace imperfections. If pregnancy and having a newborn didn’t break you of aspirations of perfection, these years will for sure.
  6. Enjoy your kiddo. Even if it’s sleepy snuggles.
  7. Don’t be afraid of boredom. Boredom has never killed anyone. It has however, birthed some amazing creativity and innovations.
  8. Resist the desire to sign your kids up for EVERYTHING. Stress destroys our energy levels. Overwhelm causes stress on our bodies. Overscheduled lives lead to overwhelm. Even when the activities are beneficial. You could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, but if you are doing it too much, it can cause overwhelm and stress.

Knowing when to say yes or no

Know what is important to you, so you know what to say yes to. I am very intentional with my time and what I want for my family.

I make time for daily exercise, time with those we love, church activities, boy scouts, and time for my kids to just be kids.

I say no to a family dog, videogames in our home, nonstop team sports, and yearly birthday parties.

Enjoy these fun years with your kids

We have the privilege of having access to so many great activities. No one can do it all, no matter if we have narcolepsy or not. Being extra diligent about our time as we manage our narcolepsy symptoms will benefit our family.

The elementary years are fun years as we watch our kids develop into who they were created to be. I hope you are able to enjoy them as you navigate where to invest your time and energy.

Do you have any tips to share with parents who are navigating the elementary years? Or, if you're in those years now, do you have any questions for other parents? Share in the comments below!

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