This is for you mom’s out there. If you’re running around buying last minute gifts, planning holiday meals, or just trying to get a shower today, it’s ok. Just remember, you’re not the only one. We can all relate. Here’s a post from this past fall when I was having one of those days. And it wasn’t the only one!
I am exhausted.
Completely wiped out.
Is it because I’ve spent my day in business meetings? No.
Am I using massive amounts of creative energy on a new start-up company? No.
Do I spend countless hours managing teams? No.
Am I creating the next tech gadget that will revolutionize the way we connect? No.
Do I field endless amounts of phone calls for those who are doing all of the above? No.
Am I training for a 5K or even half-marathon? No.
What’s my excuse?
I’m a full-time mom raising three kids. It can’t be too hard, can it?
How can I possibly be tired when I’m home most of the day. And when I’m not home, I’m out “playing” right?
Sometimes I feel embarrassed whenever I’m asked the question, “what did you do today?” because when I think back on what I actually “did”, it doesn’t sound all too exciting. They are not the “tasks” I feel proud to list. I guess I could think back and say:
- I spent half of the morning teaching Efraim how to stay on the rug with his toys.
- I worked with Cailyn on having self-control with her voice.
- I helped Lily learn the proper way of writing her S’s & Y’s.
Pretty exciting stuff huh?!?!
The most baffling thing to me is how tired all of these little things make me.
Filipe and I were talking about this on our date night last Thurs. night.
He took longer to get home than usual, and I had an hour and a half to help Lily with her homework, fold some clothes, and get all three kids bathed and ready. Oh, and not to mention, get myself ready. I was, in fact, going out with my husband, and the t-shirt/jeans combo I was sporting wasn’t exactly the desired outfit for the evening.
He pulled up as I practically threw the kids in the car, and I looked at him and said, “I feel like I just sprinted a marathon!”. And while I have no idea what that feels like, it was the best metaphor I could think of to describe how I felt emotionally.
Later that evening we were talking about the “work” of being a mom. A mom’s work may not be the most physically exhausting job (though on some occasions it feels like it) or the most mentally challenging work you’ve ever done, but emotionally speaking, well now, some mornings I’m “done” by 9am. And I still have the whole day to hold it together.
The past three weeks have taken me up a notch- and I’m even down one kid for six hours a day. Sending Lily to school has only increased my emotional “work” trying to keep up with what she needs while I continue helping my other two with what they need- even if they don’t think they need it.
I think the role of a mom is far more emotional than anything.
- To respond with a gentle tone when your child has done something you have repeatedly told them not to.
- To exercise patience when it takes them 2 whole minutes to buckle their seat belt because they can “do it myself”.
- To be consistent in making clear boundaries…and sticking to them even when if it means your lunch routine has tripled in time because you are trying to teach your 19 month old NOT to throw everything you put in front of him.
- To show them love when they are clearly NOT showing you love.
This takes work. And emotional work effects our physical body. Hard, exhausting, energy-sucking work.
I’ve gone to bed before 9pm many nights over the past few weeks. I’ve taken naps when I should be doing all of my “real work”. I even stopped eating excess sugar to avoid the “lows” during the day. I work out occasionally throughout the week. I’ve done all of the things that you are “supposed” to do when you’re fatigued.
But I finally realized that my job takes real work. And work is tiring no matter which way you look at it.
So, moms out there, don’t beat yourself up for feeling tired and exhausted. Remember your job takes an enormous amount of work too.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23