To the Tired Mom,
I see you. I see how tired you are. The type of tired that makes your muscles ache and your bones hurt and your brain feel like mush. The type of tired that causes you to focus solely on how tired you are with little energy to focus on anything else. The type of tired that allows hitting the snooze button for 5 or 10 minutes more of sleep to trump shaving, or neatly groomed hair, or makeup, or ironed clothes, or matching socks. The type of tired that mocks and taunts you – that causes you to think it will never end … that makes you think tired is your new normal … that weakens your resolve until you compare yourself to other moms, that makes you feel inadequate, or less than, or like you should be doing more … or, worse, better.
The type of tired that makes it difficult to imagine how you can possibly keep going …
… but you will keep going.
As you have always kept going.
I know you will. I believe in you.
Because I see you. I see how tired you are. The type of tired you are feeling is the accumulation of wanting to give your all, 100%, to too many things—work, your children, extracurriculars, homework, housework, yardwork, making your marriage work —it catches up to you. And, I see how much you care. I see that you are worried that your tiredness might be negatively impacting your children and your family. I see how much you love them and how desperately you want to be more available to them.
And, I see how guilty you feel taking any time to take care of yourself. But it’s time. It is time to go for that run. Or to hire a sitter so you can take a nap. Or take that exercise class. Practice Yoga. Meditate. Write in your journal. Have a good effing cry, and let it all out. Or take a mental health day from work while your kids are at school so that you can have six uninterrupted hours of mindless, television binge-watching. Give your kids the tablet or sit them in front of the television for an hour so you can take a warm shower, drink a hot tea, think, or just be by yourself. I promise you, it is okay.
It is time to recharge your batteries. And, then plan to recharge them regularly.
And, even if you are not ready to take care of yourself just yet (these things take time), breathe easy, Tired Mama, you are doing a great job. Even at your most exhausted, when you are just going through the motions, when you are not sure how on earth you are going to find the strength to keep moving forward, your children still love you.
Because they see you, too. All of you. Not just the tired days (or weeks, or months).
An equally exhausted mother