Originally published on Motherly.
By Justine Lorelle LoMonaco
Ask me how I’m feeling on any given day, and the answer will probably sound something like this:
“Tired… but fine.”
“Tired… and super busy.”
“Tired… but good otherwise!”
Sensing a theme? As a mama, tiredness (and even downright exhaustion) seems to be the common denominator.
We’re tired in those first weeks of new mama life, when we’re groping through darkened rooms for those hungry, fussy mouths that need us — no matter what time it is or how long it has been since the last feeding.
We’re tired even when those nighttime feedings start to lessen because it feels like we’ve forgotten how to sleep deeply, one mama bear ear always listening for our baby’s cries.
We’re tired when those little babies suddenly become mobile and chasing a crawling or toddling child is our new cardio (and naps aren’t always so easy to come by).
We’re tired when those same new toddlers suddenly break up with the sleep patterns we’ve come to rely on, whether that means dropping a nap (or two) or forgetting how to sleep through the night.
We’re tired when our toddlers learn new tricks like climbing out of their cribs or getting up to go potty again or asking for their third cup of water or when we wake up to find them standing over us, staring at us and definitely startling us. (Who can go back to sleep after that?)
We’re tired because we’re caring, we’re remembering, we’re cleaning, we’re preparing, we’re planning, we’re doing, we’re going, we’re handling.
Even when we’re able to sleep, the physical, emotional, and mental load of motherhood leaves us tired — so, so tired — and it can feel like we’ll never be rested again.
But when you feel like you’re about to be crushed under those heavy eyelids, mama, here’s what I want you to remember:
This season will pass.
One day, you’ll all sleep through the night — and you’ll even be able to sleep in while your child gets her own breakfast. (Is it weird that I literally fantasize about my daughter being able to make her own toast? Because I do.)
You are so, so needed right now, but the day is fast approaching where you will both revel in a bit more independence — and more guilt-free pushes of that snooze button.
You are this tired because you are crushing it.
No one works harder than mothers. You’re a total rock star — whether you’re wowing your colleagues at the office or keeping your family running at home. Wear your tiredness like the badge of courage it is — you’re exhausted because you care deeply and work harder than anyone.
It’s okay to drink all the coffee.
I’d never tell you what to do, but if I can make a suggestion? Now is not the time to worry about that caffeine cleanse you’ve been contemplating for the last couple of years. Go ahead and pour that fourth (or fifth!) cup, and ignore anyone who raises an eyebrow.
You’re too busy for that negativity right now anyway.
It’s all so worth it.
Being a mama is the most tiring thing in the world, but I wouldn’t trade a second for even a few more minutes of sleep — and I’m betting you wouldn’t either. (Okay, we might trade a few of those nighttime wake-up seconds…)
So when you are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and just plain overtired, give yourself some grace. Take a minute to rest and reflect on this beautiful life you’re creating.
And grab another cup of coffee. You’ve earned it. ☕
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