Decision fatigue is real and how to avoid it
The other night, Amazon delivered my new video monitor for the kids’ room. Oh, how I have missed having one since our old one broke! I could write a whole post on my love for video monitors. Telling the kids to quiet down without having to walk upstairs is one of the best things that ever happened to me!
I raved about how much I loved it all night. But as my husband Carlos and I got ready to go to bed, I asked where we should charge it (the old one the kids broke while it was charging). What ensued was a 10-minute argument.
A for-real argument on where to charge the monitor!
It went something like this:
Carlos: Just charge it on the windowsill in the kitchen.
Me: Why would I want to look at a monitor lying in front of the sink all day long?
Carlos: Well, I don’t know. You asked, if you don’t like my suggestion then you decide.
Me: Why do I have to decide everything?! I can’t even think about this right now!
Followed by 10 more minutes of pointless arguing.
Here is the thing: Most of the time Carlos just doesn’t care about most household stuff. I really do care, even about seemingly small things. Hence, I make the majority of the decisions throughout the day, especially when addressing my kids’ everyday questions: What’s for breakfast? Can I make a volcano? Can I have more snacks? What’s for lunch? Can I play for 5 more minutes?
There comes a point when making decisions that even the small ones are just too much for my already exhausted mental state.
I have come to realize that I get easily frustrated when I have to make too many decisions at one time, even if they seem like no big deal. My attitude is definitely affected. Here are a few things I have found that help me not burn out on decision-making.
We follow a loose routine throughout the day, which helps the kids know what to expect. After lunch, we clean up and then do quiet/nap time. There is no need for discussions or questions. It is just what we do.
I try to have meals planned out for the week. This doesn’t always happen but when I do it is very helpful. I hate having to figure out what I am cooking at the last minute while the kids are asking what is for dinner for the 50th time. Even knowing what we will have for breakfast and lunch really adds calm to my life.
Don’t make decisions when you are tired
This could be a disclaimer for anything in my life; very few decisions I make when I am tired are good decisions. If it is not pressing, write yourself a note as a reminder and make the decision the next day when tiredness is no longer clouding your judgment. This would have really saved me on the video monitor argument.
Ask for help
Sometimes I just need a break from decision-making, so I ask Carlos to help in the evening. The kids tend to automatically come to me with questions or problems since I am the one at home with them all day. In this case, it is OK to tag-team if you have that option available. Simply letting Carlos know I need him to take over answering questions for a while is all I need to do. Then if someone comes to me, I can just redirect them to ask Daddy.
While these tips certainly won’t get rid of decision fatigue all the time, they make a big difference in helping me get through my days with some sanity left intact.