Before I became a mother I knew it was a tough gig. I've seen enough friends become mums to know that there's a reason for the memes, the comics and the wine jokes. It's a full time job, and it's exhausting. Before I experienced it though, I didn't know what it really felt like to be so exhausted but still soldiering on through the day.
As mothers we always have the energy to play, to smile and laugh with our kids. We have energy to cook meals for everyone and yet forget to eat ourselves. We have the energy to do countless loads of laundry, load and unload the dishwasher and make sure there's enough milk in the fridge. Our eyes will burn with tiredness as we dish out countless cuddles and dry tiny tears. Our brains will turn foggy at 3pm while we're sitting at work, having focused on our jobs all day.
Why are we so tired? In my case I'm lucky enough to get at least 8 hours sleep every night. But it seems like it's never enough, I never wake up feeling refreshed like I used to pre-pregnancy (coz let's face it, pregnancy was a whole other kettle of fish). Every morning I stand in the shower, enjoying the three precious minutes to myself while trying to not nod off. Here are my theories about why we are always tired.
We're always 'on'
Unless you're a mum, you might not really understand what I mean by this. We exist in a state of hyper-vigilance, never getting a break from being on alert. Whether it's making sure our children don't hurt themselves, or making sure we're always fun and interacting with our kids, it's hard work. Sometimes you just want to rock your resting bitch face and drink a cup of coffee in silence.
What this really looks like is drinking lukewarm or cold coffee while praising your kid for whatever trick they just pulled out of the bag, or giving them a cuddle because they ran into the corner of the kitchen bench again. When you're existing in this state of always having someone else's emotional needs at the forefront of your mind, you never get the chance to clear your mind and just chill.
We're the chief rememberers
I've written about this one before, but keeping all that stuff in your brain is so exhausting. We remember when the nappies were last washed, when the dog needs his vaccinations, when baby last breastfeed, when they last pooped, when I last pooped, when the car needs a warrant, you name it, it's usually mum's responsibility. Add in extra kids and I just don't know how you mamas do it!
The point is, your brain has a limited capacity. Even if it's hard to admit that, it does. It can do a lot, but eventually that remembering is going to catch up with you. And chances are it'll be in the middle of the night when you suddenly remember it's Father's Day tomorrow and you haven't got anything for your husband.
We don't get any alone time
Or if we do, it's rare. It's coveted, precious time. For me personally, when I wake up I purposely leave my baby in her room, safely in her cot for 5 minutes while I have a shower. That's my 5 precious minutes I get to attend to me. Once she's gone to bed for the night, I usually work on this website (ha!) or some of my other side hustles until I am too tired to continue and go to bed.
Of course I could take a night off the side hustles, but they wouldn't really be hustles then would they!? Besides, even if I do hop in the bath for some me time, I'm usually just scheming and planning anyway. Somewhere in there I also have to fit in actually spending time with my husband, or he gets a little cranky about being neglected.
Can you relate? What are some of the reasons you think you're always tired?