to the mom tired of being tired

I don’t know what it is right now.


Maybe it’s fall. Maybe it’s the sinking into a new routine and the novelty has worn off and now it’s just a whole bunch of getting up early and staying up late and kids who have also realized that they’re stuck in this cycle.

Maybe it’s external pressures – social updates and articles and paperwork like crazy (what is that all about? Every week it takes me so long to just go through paperwork from school). Maybe it’s just that we’re not getting any sleep and we’re beyond worn out. Maybe we just want a teeny teeny break where our mind isn’t running at exponential speed telling us all the stuff we need to do and should have done and where we probably messed up.

I don’t know what it is.

But I hear you all.

I hear the cries of losing self and being overwhelmed and having those bad days and needing a friend and needing a break and wondering about this whole motherhood journey.

But more than that I hear this underlying cry of simply being tired.

I’ve written about being tired before as a mom.

Somehow even though we know we’re going to be tired that level of tired plus bad days plus kids who have these wills that won’t be budged adds up to a whole bunch of hanging on.

I don’t know about you, but man oh man, my hands get tired from hanging.

I’d like a break, but when you have a world of plates you’re supposed to keep spinning while you hang on and do yoga and cross fit you can’t let any drop or they all come tumbling down and we’re supposed to be purging our houses of extra stuff because that’s the trend so we can’t have anything mess that system. And while you’re spinning them all someone is tugging on your leg or relationships are crumbling or you’re just stuck in the monotony of is this really my life?


Collective motherhood sigh.

And again.

So first – it’s okay.

Wait. You are okay. As I’ve been writing and recording over and over – you are not a bad mom when you have a bad day. Your track record for bad day success is 100%. Now, don’t just gloss over that statistic. Let that sink in. That means for every sleepless night you win. Every day cleaning up vomit and doing laundry and picking lice nits out of hair – you win. Every week worrying about bills and finances and working hard – you win. Every birthday party completed and floor vacuumed and child put to bed who decided they weren’t going to go to bed – you win. Every school pick up where you were late and every kid you fought to wear a coat – you win.

Do you see that?

Do you see how even though you have had bad days and are often bone ridiculously tired and are worn from hanging on – you win?

Because you do.

Now, now that you know that I want you to stop all the thoughts going on in your head. Just for a moment. Stop the worry about everything that has to get done. And stop the worry that you’re messing up the kids. And stop the worry that you’re not measuring up or are a good mom. And stop worrying about finding you again. Instead, in this moment of quiet space, I want you to breathe deep and look up and to be absolutely proud of you.

Yes, you.

Don’t tell me about the mess that you might see or that the kids aren’t in bed yet. I know about the laundry and the crumbs in the car and the to-do list that you keep rolling over and over and over. Instead, instead tell me about the victories. Yes, the victories.

About how you got up this morning and walked into the kitchen and started doing all the simple things that are so ordinary. Pouring milk, sweeping the floor, buttoning coats, packing lunches, waking kids and mothering. Tell me that. Tell me how even with kids that are disrespectful or teens that are crabby that you still made them dinner, washed their clothes and cared about them.

Sometimes I think motherhood can feel so lonely in those tired moments. We don’t really celebrate them. In a world of accolades for the big things in life those little motherhood moments in the days when we’re exhausted really matter most.


So listen, sweet mother sojourning with me on this road of life – you are not alone right now. You may not have another mom in your space cheering you on, but maybe it will help just one teeny bit that I believe in you. Yes, I do. I believe that you will get through today. I believe that you will discover all the things you love to do again. I believe that you will laugh and smile and have days where you feel like you are supermom.

Life isn’t a flat and boring adventure.

In fact, in order to be an adventure we have to have hanging on days and bad days and good days. It’s the hard days that teach us to appreciate the good days. It is these days right now that give us the strength to carry through and to love others and show us how beautiful good days are. In fact – these days often teach us that fine art of finding joy in the little things.

So now, now that you’ve breathed and had a moment to be proud I want you to think of one thing today that went well. Just one.

Hang on to that instead.

And know that you will get through. You really will.

Those collections of one things from a lifetime of motherhood will be the things you cherish most.

Even when they’re found on these hanging on tired days.

You can do this, tired of being tired mom. You really can



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9 Responses to “to the mom tired of being tired”

  1. October 21, 2015

    charlotte wise Reply

    I think I love you ;-p thank you again xx

  2. October 21, 2015

    gailen Reply

    I know in a rather other worldy way, that this matters. However , it does not stop the longing for some space of quiet and calm. It does not stop the feeling of wanting at least one kid or spouse to be kind.
    It is this feeling of not being appreciated at all. I have started making sure, I do some one thing nice for myself everyday. Yet, it would really feel great if the people I lived with just even said : ” Thank You.”
    I know what I do matters. Yet, I want to do something for myself, out in this world that matters on a different level. That is more than just the mundane, of getting things done.Things that really truly do not matter, but that I try to give meaning too.
    Right now, as we speak my house is utter chaos. The clean laudry lays mixed about with dirty on the floor, outside of my kids bedroom.
    The sink is piled high with dishes and the counter and every available space is covered with crap, abandoned projects, incomplete homework, ( I no longer care) .
    There in one corer of the house is my life, my painting, taunting me.
    I am an artist a writer and yet, aside from these early morning stolen moments, I seldom get to the that work.
    Maybe, it’s just a band aid, but I buy plastic plates and cups. I am not doing dishes anymore.My kids do not care that the plates are pretty, they care that someone else, anyone else, makes their food.
    The mess of the house , bothers no one but me, not enough for them to actually clean anything up.
    I get that there are things I have to do for my kids, and whether I like them or not, I do them.
    Howvere, the shift in me is that I am over being everything to everyone and no one for myself.
    At some point, my kids re now 11 and 13, they will have to manage parts of their lives, they will have to take consequences of not doing stuff.
    This hard, it is so tempting to get there and fix it, or do it for them.
    But, a truth I have discovered , perhaps only recently, is this: If I am always fixing things and trying to control things and making picture worthy meals for everyone, I am rather handy capping my son’s.
    I really don’t want to raise boy’s into men, who think a wife, a girlfriend, exists to do every unpleasant task that there is.
    At some point, my son’s will have to feed themselves and they will have to wash and become organized.
    I feel the weight of how the men in the house, manipulate me.
    How, they act helpless.
    Their father, who lived alone, most of his life, has somehow become this incapable creature.
    I have children, he does not.
    He lines up for the goodies, plate in hand. Never once, would he make a meal or do any dishes. He has a ” wife”. I never once agreed to these terms. So now, instead of stomping around like an elephant and waiting for someone to do something nice or even something as simple as picking up their own clothes, I go and do something nice for myself.
    I carve out a little place of my own,.
    Like Virginia Wolf said: ” Every woman needs a room of her own.”
    I begin to look for a studio space, a bought myself a guitar.
    I stopped demanding that the bedroom get cleaned up. I just throw everything in there and if it doesn’t bother them and they don not care if a bed is made, or iof the sleep tangled in clothing and toy’s, then why make myself crazy.
    I sleep in my made bed, and that is really what matters.
    I have found that once the problem becomes their problem and not mine, once it matters to them, then perhaps ,with practice they will learn to solve it.
    I untangle myself.
    I am quitting being a mom, but I am reclaiming, being a person as well.
    If I do not do this, I am a withered root on a vine. Slugging through the days, with just a to do list of meaninglessness.
    I am a single mom, and for the last 13 years I have ignored myself. I am now learning, to at least, some of the time, put myself first.
    It shows my son’s and their father, that I matter. Even if it doesn’t, it shows me to honor me. I do not want to be miserable, I do not want to be this crabby, worn out, ignored Cinderella.
    The shift, however small, has been met, with resistance. In a quiet way of , amped up bad behavior. The dad, is pissed off. The kids are pissed off. For when we finally stop doing things for others that they can actually do for themselves, well, no one likes it.
    I must first matter to me.
    I take a hot bath, and I hide my special things, my gorl things from the boy’s.
    I buy myself a cup and that cup is hands off.
    Little by little, I step out the arguments.
    I simply just do not engage.
    I am learning to not over explain myself, or try to prove I am right.
    There father is pissed off, that I am no longer his social secretary, smoothing things over for him with his family.
    I no longer take the bait,: ” What is there to eat>” said by the chef dad, who is standing in front of the fridge.
    I ignore the cries from the sofa of ” I am thirsty” as my kids sit playing computer games.
    I am becoming a much more calm mom, a much more self loving mom.
    To the best of my ability, I try to do this without being ” bitchy”.
    Now, when my son’s don’t do homework, I leave it for the teacher.
    I am ot going to stand over them, nagging and hating the sound of my own voice.
    If they get a C, oh well.
    If they are dirty and smell. I leave it to the kids at school who will certainly, let them know.
    I have not quit, but I have quit functioning for them.
    My nagging does not produce a clean room. My nagging does not produce anything other than resistance and a pissed off, stressed out me.
    This is incredibly challenging for me, those things done for them seeming like an act of love, but is it really?
    I find myself, being more selective with the people I choose to spend time, and how I spend my time in general.I focus, instead of what I am eating, what I am saying, what I am avoiding and what I need to take care of.
    Don’t want to go to bed kids, still have to get up at 6:30 and they are tired. They will answer to the teacher about all undone work.
    So, here is too be a good enough mom, less tired and leaving a lot of stuff undone.
    Thanks for the post, they always hit a nerve and console as well as leave me feeling like I am not the only one having this life.

    • October 21, 2015

      LM Reply


      You describe me too. In so many ways.

      I feel you.

  3. October 21, 2015

    Mama A Reply

    I feel like you’ve taken me by the hand, settled me onto a park bench and given me a much-needed peptalk.
    Here I sit, nursling in my arms, longing for the type of sleep he gets, whilst listening to our other littles running noisily amok. I long to simply close my eyes and nod off, even if just for a few minutes to escape this tired that has seemed to settle itself into my bones.
    It truly feels like this post was written to me, as the sleepless mom facing little people who simply won’t listen. Yes, I did have something go well today, and after this little guy settles for a nap, I plan to have a bit of me time, even if a nap is entirely impossible! Thanks for the much-needed dose of pick-me-up!

  4. October 21, 2015

    C Reply

    This is so me right now. Thank you, ive had a hard day and this was perfect x

  5. October 22, 2015

    Natalie Reply

    I could kiss you for this! I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face because you just made my day. I am not the worst mom after all. I’m just really, really tired. Thank you!

  6. October 23, 2015

    Amanda Reply

    I just…I’m speechless. Every time I read one of your posts I feel like you’re speaking directly to me. And your amazing posts always come right on time.
    Just…thank you.
    – A Mom Who Constantly Feels She’s Failing & is Always Tired of Being Tired

  7. November 4, 2015

    Beth Reply

    Most days, I find ways to identify aspects of failure in my mothering skills. Every day, I am tired, debilitatingly so. In many ways, over the years, I have lost myself, my core of who I was. My best (and only) friend worries for me because of this. I have always wanted to be a writer, but cannot find the time (therefore, it must not be a priority).


    Today, my 8-year-old daughter made a birthday card for her math teacher. When we got to school, she could not find it. We were already late so afetr about 30 seconds of her thrashing through the car trying to find it, without success, she trampled to her classroom, dejected. I dropped the kids off at their classrooms and marched right back to the car, determined to find that card that meant so much to her. Alas, it was under her car seat (the first place I looked – we mothers are the finders of all things lost). I brought it to the school’s front office staff who immediately delivered it to my daughter.

    I know that, by the time I pick them up this afternoon, she may have forgotten about this small thing her mother did for her. But I will not. I felt like a rock star after dropping off that elusive birthday card. I gave myself an internal high-five. Because it is small moments like that which remind me that even though I am always tired, often irritable, sometimes selfish, often whimsical to my “former” life, being a mom who would do anything for her kids (within reason) is kind of a great person to be. They need me, and I need me. I hope that when they’re older, I’ll rediscover myself.

  8. February 1, 2016

    Andrea Reply

    Thanks for this one today. The past weeks have been rough, and Friday was *finally* supposed to be my day to say, “screw it all!” and sit with my book and my feet up. Guess what? Didn’t happen. In fact, the whole weekend was banjaxed. So last night, 2 of 3 kids in bed, I sat down with my book and glass of wine – and the doorbell rang. It was my senior neighbor who needed a ride to the hospital 40 miles away because his wife had been in an accident (she was fine, thank goodness). So I got back out of my p.j.s and left my (sick) husband at home with the kids, and drove him to the ER. Ended up staying for almost 4 hrs and acting as their liaison to the drs, etc. Got home after midnight with my brain wired (downtown big city ER — lots of traumatic stuff), and couldn’t sleep. Then the alarm went off at 6, and now my week has started up again. So I was cranky to my kids, and eager to get them to school, now I’m at work but frazzled.

    BUT I’m glad I could be there for my neighbors. I’m glad her injuries weren’t serious. I’m glad my child wasn’t the one screaming her head off in the ER down the hall (I don’t mean that to sound rude, but the screaming ripped my heart and I kept being so thankful mine were home in bed). And I’ll make it through this day. And yes, I’ll be tired as hell, but a day *will* come where I get to put up my feet and read.

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