I know why you are tired

Hey, Mama, I know why you are tired.

Sure, the baby slept several long stretches, only waking to eat once or twice last night. That doesn’t mean that you slept any better than you did the night before when she was up all night. You are a mommy. Your sleep cycle is unrecognizable, and even asleep, you are half awake, waiting to hear a little cry from a hungry baby.

I know why you are tired.

Your mind is constantly turned on. While you are grocery shopping, you aren’t just planning dinner. You’re planning breakfasts and lunches and remembering that it’s your turn to bring drinks and snacks to the soccer game this weekend. While you are folding the laundry, you’re going through your mental to-do list, checking off picking up the dry cleaning and changing the air filters, but kicking yourself because you – yet again – forgot to call your mother back.

I know why you are tired.

You didn’t get your workout in today because one of the kids got sick. You look in the mirror and wonder what happened to you. It’s not just the bags under your eyes; there are little bags of extra something-or-other popping up everywhere – under your arms, on your butt. You look at your running shoes longingly and try to remember the last time you felt the freedom of the trail under your feet without the concern that you only have 30 minutes before you need to be home and back on “mom duty.”

I know why you are tired.

The worrying keeps you up at night, even though you have children who are plenty happy to keep you away from sleep as well. But the worrying is worse, because a child eventually goes back to bed, but the worrying remains. The small worries – did you remember to lock the front door? – aren’t so bad. It’s the bigger ones – what if something happens to my child? What if she gets sick? What if someone breaks into the house and tries to kidnap her? – that are really hard to shake.

I know why you are tired.

You aren’t always sure you are fulfilling your purpose. Of course you love your children. Of course you wouldn’t have it any other way. But what happened to those dreams you had before you had kids? You remember planning big trips and setting career goals. Maybe those got put on the back burner. Maybe you try not to think about it, because it stirs in you a sadness that makes your body feels like it weighs 1,000 pounds, and you just want to lie on the couch and feel sorry for yourself. Just for a moment. Just until one of the kids tugs on your shirt to ask for fruit snacks.

I know why you are tired.

You aren’t alone. You have friends, family, maybe a partner who helps. Yet sometimes, you still feel like you must be the only person in the world who feels a certain way. In the middle of playing “tea party” for the 50th time in one day, you get lost in a daydream about having tea, alone, in some cute little pastry shop, where you can read entire chapters of a book without interruption. You wonder if your husband has ever had that feeling. Then you realize the thought may never cross his mind, because he has plenty of alone time during the day.

I know why you are tired.

Your husband or partner or friend or parent is constantly asking you, “Why are you so tired?” You are so tired of being asked why you are tired. You want to throw your hands in the air and motion to everything around you – the house, your job, your kids, the dog, the dirty bathroom, the pile of dishes, the constant chores – and reply “THIS! ALL OF THIS!” No, you don’t need to see a doctor, and if one more person offers the completely futile suggestion of “You need to rest more,” you may just lock yourself in your closet for good, which you have been threatening to do for a while now, anyway.

I get it.

I know why you are tired. You aren’t sure when the day will come that you will ever feel like you aren’t tired. You are worried that come 3 p.m. every day for the rest of your life, you will feel like you just ran face-first into a brick wall.

I know you are tired, because I am, too. And at least we know we have each other.

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1 Comment on I know why you are tired

  1. ️Catarina
    April 27, 2017 at 2:51 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for Your words.
    It seems like you’ve been to my house!
    I’m a mom 3 kids( 3.5, 20 mos and 8 mos) I’m always tired!
    Besides being tired, I feel like parenting is not my strength … Traveling through toddlerhood is tough!


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