Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Does it Mean to be Overtired?

For a baby it means not enough naps and too much stimulation resulting in crankiness and the need for a more definite schedule.

For me, the symptoms are:
-irritability when the tv is on too loud early the morning
-the clean laundry is in piles on the ironing board, the extra chair in our bedroom, and the rocker in the nursery
-dirty wine glasses are in a row on the counter
-i stay in my pjs all day because what is the point in getting dressed at 3pm when you have no plans and the babies go to bed at 6pm
-i can't hold any concentration longer than 5 minutes to enjoy sitting down to blog or read a book
-the urge of wanting to shop or go out to eat but we can't afford it makes me anxious
-the urge to want to stroll around the neighborhood is ruined by rain or ear infections which makes me anxious
- the thought of more microwaved green beans and baked chicken nuggets makes me lose my appetite

There comes a point in my week when I realize I haven't treated myself lately and I start to go stir crazy.  And by treat myself I don't mean buying a new wardrobe or getting a pedicure.  I mean looking around at the house and thinking "it's so nice when the floors don't have a colony of dust bunnies holding an auction for the escaped dryer sheet" or being able to go for a jog and not wondering who I am inconveniencing by not being at home.  

I have friends that I don't get to see enough that I miss.  I have books that I want to read that are stacked on my night stand.  I have blank canvases at Hobby Lobby that long to feel wanted and be displayed.  I have split ends that need to be swept up and put out with the trash.  I have purple clover in my yard that needs to be cut... wait, that's not my job, thankfully.

My parents always told me, and yours did too I am sure, "just wait until you have kids, then you will watch your life fly by."  I can see how there is truth to that.  As a working mom I work hard all week M-F 5:30am till 6:30pm and then the weekend gets here and all I want to do is just be.  Then a new week starts and you think, "ga, we are half way through February!?"  My babies will be one year old in exactly 3 months.  One year has gone by almost!? That is crazy.  On my next birthday I will be 27.  27 is so not old but I can see the end of my 20's coming fast.

There is a heaviness that weighs on me keeping me from enjoying the small stuff and getting the big stuff done.  I posted once this summer about "small tasks, big accomplishments" and found that it is a new season, same situation.  

So now, I hit publish post, take the last sip of my cold coffee, get dressed and start doing the things that need to get done.  You don't have to be a mom to comment here - what are some of the small task that feel like big accomplishments that you are needing to get done?


mary said...

We've been collectively putting off the laundry all weekend. But, it has to get done today. I really shouldn't complain, we only do laundry once every two weeks because it's four flights down in the scary basement. But I seriously have no more clothes to wear so it has to get done. I personally have been avoiding school (which I'm currently doing by reading blogs) but that leaves me with like three days of homework to do today.

It seems to me like the older we get, the faster time goes by no matter what. I also can't believe H & L are going to be a year old soon! That's crazy.

There is some good news at least - it's a three day weekend :-)

The Bean said...

LAUNDRY!!!! I think instead of elves coming in the night to do it for me they are coming in the night to make more for me to do in the morning. :(

Catie Murphy said...

Hey Laura! I miss you! Thanks for this thoughtful post, you are a writer. I enjoy reading your words. Hmm...I have many small tasks that feel big to me these days. Sometimes just cleaning up Sullivan's high chair (not the whole kitchen!) after a meal and seeing the fresh and clean plastic tray feels like I have done something. Or maybe getting dinner on the table and checking off one or two items off a shortened, modified "to do" list. I can also remember when Sullivan was a newborn how walking outside to get the mail (down our sort of long driveway) was my "outing" for the day. It is so easy to become overwhelmed and beat yourself up for what you haven't yet the end I tell myself what my dad always told me, "the sun will come up tomorrow," and I breathe deeply and realize whatever I didn't do today can really, honestly, just wait. It is not a huge deal. Life will go on and although I hate a dirty house and put pressure on myself to clean,I don't think I'll look back one day and wish I'd done more housework...I've got to let it go.

Anonymous said...

I know about being over tired sometimes and in my case it seems to stem from being exhausted on going to bed and not having any wind-down time before going to bed. Then I will lie there and think of the things I haven[t done that really stress me like the pantry being in a mess and all of a sudden it's like a switch has been thrown and I am wide awake - that's anxiety. I use all the yoga techniques I know and they do help sometimes but other times they don't and i can lie there for more than an hour which seems an eternity in the dark. Also why do things always seem so much more terrible in the dark?
Sometimes I wake up too early, say around 4am and can't go back to sleep but what I generally find very helpful is to get up and make myself a warm mug of milk with honey. Also have you ever heard of the technique of breathing in and out of a paper bag - carbon dioxide is natures tranquilliser. It certainly helps in the winding down process and can help you to go to sleep. Hope this is of some help to you. Jann