As a mom, I am tired all. the. time. OK, maybe not all the time. I think I’m fully energized for a few scant minutes around noon, but that’s about it. When babies are born, they wake up what seems like every few minutes, and you wonder, “When will they sleep through the night?” You think that once your baby starts sleeping for more than three-hour stretches you’re in the clear. Woohoo! They’re sleeping through the night! This is great.
Until you factor in teething.
And growth spurts.
And sleep regressions.
And any life transitions.
And their growing developmental skills, which compel them to wake up at night so they can finally build that block tower more than three blocks high.
And so on and so forth.
Because of this constant exhaustion, I’ve compiled a list of the different types of tired that affect us parents. What? You didn’t know there were different types of tired? In between yawns, give this list a read and let me know if you identify with any of them. Or all of them, like me.
1. The Too Anxious to Sleep Tired: This is where you’re so frazzled from trying to keep your kids entertained and out of trouble that you can’t sleep when you lay down in your own bed – hopefully by yourself. Your eyes are heavy, you stretch, you yawn, you think about sleeping and … an hour later you’re still wide awake, trying to figure out how exactly your son got into the bathroom sink. It’s not your fault. It’s because you’re tired.
2. The Newborn Foal Tired: Growing up I watched a lot of Discovery Channel, and it turns out when animals are first born they can’t walk right away. They’re clumsy, they trip and stumble and fall. You know you’re this type of tired if, out of nowhere, you suddenly drop your cup of coffee on the floor. Or you fall over while trying to stand up from the couch. Or you somehow just miss the sidewalk completely and go sprawling onto the pavement. It’s not your fault. It’s because you’re tired.
3. The Excessively Nodding Off Tired: You know those days where you find yourself dozing on the couch, only to have the familiar sound of your kids getting into something suddenly jolt you awake? And then you find yourself dozing off again in the middle of disciplining them and explaining that the pots and pans are not step stools to use in order to gain access to the fruit snacks on the top shelf? And then again when you’re sitting on the toilet trying to pee by yourself? It’s not your fault. It’s because you’re tired.
4. The Coffee Doesn’t Touch Me Tired: Coffee is a mom’s best friend because it wakes you up and gets you going at 4 a.m., when your children have chosen to start their day. It’s also used in the afternoons when you’re counting down the minutes to bedtime. There are days where the coffee can’t defeat your exhaustion. You drink it and you drink it and you drink it – all the time knowing that you could pass out in a second if given the chance. It’s not your fault. It’s because you’re tired.
5. The I’m A Mom Tired: This final type of tired begins the first night your baby is born and ends … well, according to my mom, never. Being tired is no longer something that just happens, but it is now a part of you. It’s embedded deep in your soul. Oh sure, you have moments of life and vibrancy, but in the end, the tired is always looming in the shadows, waiting to take over your body when all you want to do is be productive after the kids go to bed. Let the dishes sit in the sink. The laundry can wait. It’s not your fault the house is messy and you haven’t had a shower today. Or this week. It’s just because you’re tired.