Have you ever been so tired you started randomly falling asleep? I have….Zzzzzzzzzzz….. I mean, I do. In fact, I might have just done it again. I swear it was breakfast when I started writing this but my constantly-hungry 3 year old is already asking for lunch.
This is my life: Start a movie – never see the end. Try to read a book – only make it a few pages. Sit on the couch to fold a basket of laundry – wake up with socks on my face.
Just for the fun of it, I typed my symptoms into a Google search one day.
Check out these results:
Y’all, if I was an anxious person these results would probably send me into a panic and you would find me hiding somewhere in a dark corner rocking like a baby afraid I was about to die.
Fortunately, I know what’s wrong with me, so I don’t have to worry about all that. My diagnosis? Kids.
All of my babies have been terrible sleepers for the first 12-18 months of their lives. They either had chronic ear infections, or reflux & gas issues, or they were early teethers, or who knows what else. I tried all the things – read all the books – cry it out, co-sleeping, Ferberizing – you name it, I tried it. And it just didn’t matter. Apparently, this is a genetic design flaw written into my very DNA because all 5 of them were exactly the same…wake up every 1.5-2 hours ALL – NIGHT – LONG.
In a conversation with my sister over her unusually fussy newborn she said “So basically you haven’t slept in like 11 years – Wow?”
I was a naive young thing barely in my 20’s when I had my first baby, and although I was tired, it was nothing like the all nighter’s I pulled studying in college, or the late nights I spent out with the girls chatting into the early morning hours, or even the times I’d stay up all night long professing my love to the sweetheart who was away at school. I managed to do all that – and still function as a normal person, so this crying baby wasn’t about to stop me from living my life as usual. More caffeine? Yes please.
And then the second baby came and I was like – wait – you mean they don’t sleep at the same time? It seemed like one of them was ALWAYS awake and the tiny conspirators were working in tangent to make sure my eyes never closed for more than a few seconds at a time. Where was THAT tid-bit of information in the parenting books?
And the cycle continued with babies #3, #4 and now #5.
Except, I’m not in my 20’s anymore – I’m about to be in my mid-to-upper 30’s as of my birthday next week and my body is T-I-R-E-D from 11 years of sleep-deprivation torture. There is a reason the government uses this tactic as a method to extract crucial information – BECAUSE IT WORKS! Yes – Please – I will tell you anything – It was me on the grassy knoll! – JUST LET ME HAVE A NAP!
But even now as I write this through blurry eyes while sipping my
second third cup of tea, I know this season will pass. I cling to knowledge I didn’t have before – this baby; our precious #5, is the last one (pending some miraculous intervention from God in our medical procedure which I know does happen because it happened to two of my friends, one of them twice, but for real, this better be the last baby) and he is already 6 months old. I see the distant light at the end of the tunnel. And while I am very excited about the prospect of a good night’s sleep, I wouldn’t rush by what little infancy is left in my last sweet baby for anything. I am already painfully aware that it is moving by much to quickly.
So how do I manage? I’m just tired. That’s my big confession.
There are no tricks or secrets to functioning with 5 kids underfoot & managing a household while sleep deprived – you just do it. And most of the time you are tired.
But, while I cannot do anything about my exhaustion – I do find hope and encouragement for my spirit in God’s word.
This morning while doing a devotion with my big kids before school, I was reminded of this verse
“Even youth will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.” Isaiah 40:30-31
The strength to persevere through my tiredness does not come from within me, but from my faith in the One who never tires. Who never gives up. So I offer you this morning a prayer – a short prayer written for a child’s devotion and yet so applicable to the weary mother who was reading and praying it over them.
Dear Lord, we are not like the Energizer Bunny, who keeps going and going. We get tired sometimes. Give us your strength, Lord, when we are weary. – Amen