There’s no doubt about it: Motherhood is exhausting.
Take a quick survey of your friends who are parents and you’ll immediately identify a common theme: they’re all tired. Even after the kids leave the “up all night” infant phase and you’re actually able to sleep through the night again, it’s still incredibly difficult to stay on top of everything. But there’s more to the exhaustion than meets the eye.
As mothers, we’re expected to basically run the house. Whether we work outside the home or not, most families rely on mom to maintain the schedule, buy the groceries, prepare the meals, and get little Bobby to soccer practice on time. It’s like having a second job that we can never leave.
There are no sick days, no vacation days, and we don’t get paid. In fact, nine times out of ten we end up pulling out our wallets and buying something for one of the kids when we can least afford it!
Even if we have supportive partners at home who help out by loading the dishwasher or doing the laundry, the real household management almost always falls squarely on mom’s shoulders. Sure, we’re strong — we can handle that load! But it’s hard… and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
The most exhausting aspect of motherhood isn’t even the “doing,” it’s the thinking. A mother’s mind never fully shuts down, even when she rests her weary head on the pillow every night. She’s always got a mental checklist of things that didn’t get done, things that are going to happen tomorrow, things she has to not forget to do or else bad things will happen.
And then there’s the worrying. Don’t lie; we all do it.
Even the most secure, well-rounded mom wakes up in the middle of the night to fret over her kids. Will they be safe? Will they be well? Will I live long enough to be there for them as they grow into the adults we dream they’ll become?
The worrying is constant, and it never ends. Even when the kids are grown and have children of their own, mothers will still worry about them.
So no, it’s not the physical exhaustion that is the toughest part of being a mom, and it’s not even the go-go-go schedule of a busy mother trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. The reason moms are always tired is that our minds are always working overtime; always on.
The cure for this permanent state of mental exhaustion can’t be found at the bottom of an empty wine glass (believe me, I’ve looked), but it can be found in the company of a good friend or two.
Sometimes just talking to a fellow parent is all you need to feel validated, and to understand that you’re not alone. We’re all wearing many hats and trying our best to raise good human beings, and that sort of thing is incredibly tiring.
So text a friend and arrange for some “you” time, mama. You deserve it, you need it, and guess what? Your friend needs it, too.
Please share this story with all the hardworking moms out there!