When You Are Beyond Exhausted
I used to think it was just me. Maybe I was a bad parent. Maybe my kids just didn’t like listening to me. Maybe I just didn’t know how to keep a clean house or how to not burn dinner. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this task like I thought I was.
Maybe everything was my fault. Or maybe.
Maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe it was my kid. Maybe there was something wrong with him/her.
So, what did I do? I started talking to people about it, dropping hints about their behavior. What did I get? A bunch of answers along the lines of:
“My kids do that all the time!”
“Ya’ll used to do that when you were a kid”
“What do you want me to do about it?”
Do you know what those answers did? Nothing. They did nothing.
So, what did I do? I turned to the internet. I started typing in all of the things that my kids did and guess what I found out. That they had every stinking disorder under the sun. It’s kind of like looking up cold symptoms on WebMd only to be told that you could have a cold or you could have some horrible tropical disease with no cure.
I don’t want to treat disorders of real people lightly here it’s just that, not every kid out there has a “problem”. Sometimes, they are just kids.
Kids with a lot of energy and well meaning parents.
I knew being a mother would not be easy but what I didn’t know was just how exhausted I would be. I didn’t know that waking up every two hours to feed a colic baby would turn me into a mean, sad mommy. I didn’t know that it was possible to feel so much stress while on bedrest. I didn’t know that it was possible to feel so much fear for the unknown that something, somehow, someway was going to go wrong. I most certainly didn’t know how tired I would be at the end of the day.
As my kids grew up, I thought things would get easier, but they didn’t. They just changed. Sure, somethings got better. I no longer wake up every few hours with a crying child but now that same child looks me in the eyes and screams “no” at me many times through out the day. Some days, I only hear little children screaming at me.
So, my tactics change as I surfed the internet. Maybe he/she needs more sensory activities. Maybe I need to teach them a new language or how to read or how to color within the lines because maybe they are bored and need more structure. Soon my days are spent going from one task to another and guess what, I’m still tired.
Then the guilt sets in as I call it all quits. Just go outside and let them play, I think to myself. They seem happy, I seem happy and the weather changes, I can’t take them outside to play when it’s cold. Or could I? Maybe I am not the best parent because even though it’s cold, the sun in bright but we site inside and so maybe we should go outside. Maybe that will make things better.
The Truth Of The Matter
Here’s the point. Nothing that I do when I am to this crazy point of exhaustion is going to matter. Yes, my children may have wonderful memories of me and so that does matter, they will be happy and that matters. But will I? And if I am not really happy will they be really happy?
When you reach a certain point of pure exhaustion from being a parent it is really easy to slip up and just quit. It’s so easy to suffer from depression. It’s so easy to not put on your makeup or change out of your pajamas. It’s so easy to just want to lay down on the couch and watch tv all day. It’s so easy stay in bed, only the kids do have to eat and at that point, it’s so easy to snap.
Dear Busy Momma, before you reach this point, please stop.
Please take a moment to rest. It’s the only cure. You must also take care of yourself. You don’t have to give up, you just have to rest.
Even God in all of His glory took a moment of rest and He told us to do the same in Psalm 46:10 when He said “Be still.”
To The Not So Tired Momma:
If you see a mom in your life who has gotten to this point, be sensitive to her needs. Let her rest. Make sure that she does. She may not know that she doesn’t have to carry the world on her shoulders. She may not know that it will all be okay. She may not know that she doesn’t have to make cute crafts like she sees on Pinterest for her children to be happy. If she needs a babysitter, babysit. If she needs a girls night out, take her shopping. If she needs a friend, listen.