I’m sorry, dear kids, for being cranky. For being frustrated and swearing under my breath (more than usual). I’m sorry for snapping at you for little things and yelling at you for big things. That I haven’t got much to say that’s pleasant. And I’m sorry I’m not very fun lately.
I’m just really tired right now, okay?
There’s a lot of stressful stuff going on at home and work that takes my mind away from you. I’m constantly distracted and I know that means I’m not practising what I preach about being mindful, but sometimes life is just too much for one mum to handle. By the time I’ve packed all the things that need doing into my head, there’s just not a lot of brain space leftover for being present.
Being nice is hard right now
There’s not a lot of space leftover for being nice either. I know that’s a really terrible thing to say, but it’s just the way it is sometimes. I try not to be mean and angry and frustrated, but it slips out sometimes. When you’re tired, there’s just not a lot of energy leftover to keep the mean in.
I’m working on it, I promise. It’s just that I’ve been standard-tired for so long that this extra-tired is crushing me. You can only ever manage extra-tired if you start out fresh. Fourteen years of parenting have toughened me up, but they’ve also exhausted me. That’s a mum’s standard-tired. The extra-tired is all the stuff on top of that.
Mums are tired because we care so, so, so much. When you don’t care, you don’t worry, you don’t battle your kids about the little things and you don’t overthink the big things. Caring is relentless. Being a mum is hard work, let me tell you.
The daily battle is relentless
I know you think I ask too much of you, that I criticise too much, and we’re working on that. Just know that the daily battle is because it’s my job to prepare you for both the good and the bad bits of life. I want to help you polish everything you have inside and give you the tools to share yourself with the world.
I care about your potential, I care about your failings, I care about your future. I’m really just a huge load of caring attempting to be a mother. It breaks my heart that some days I’m the worst part of your day, and I know lately that’s been the case on too many days.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I gave too much when you were little. I didn’t rest enough or take days off when, really, I could have, I should have. I always felt like it had to be me there, every step of the way, giving my all. But now you are older I realise the early years were just the warm up. I know I’ve entered the real race exhausted from the training and now I’m scrabbling around at half-speed, too tired to perform at my best.
I need your positivity right now
The thing is, kids, I need you to rally for me right now. I know I’m usually chief rallier, but lately I just haven’t got the necessary get up and go. So I need you to step up and be chief. Do you think you could do that?
I need your positivity and hopefulness so much right now. I also need your attention on the things you know matter to me, but I suspect don’t matter to you so much. Save me from some of the stress by being neat, being careful and being kind to each other. Maybe you could save some of that kindness for me, too?
That’s the trouble with being tired like your mumma is tired: it’s almost impossible to think that anything is ever going to be any different. Tiredness sucks you into a vortex and makes you feel like you’re never going to escape.
Help me find my optimism
I know the frustration that tiredness brings up in me makes me so hard to get along with right now. I need you to know that I’m working on finding my optimism. It’s in there, I know it is. It’s the reason I’m writing this post and the reason I haven’t cried about any of this yet. I know finding it will be much easier if you help me look.
I know I’m going to be okay, so I know you’re going to be okay. In the meantime, just remember, right now it’s me, not you. So please forgive me, support me and love me through it. I’ll be back soon, I promise.
Ever been too tired to be the parent you want to be?