“You look tired?”
“I’m a mum, I’m pretty sure that’s just how I look now…”
So, the internet meme goes. And so say mothers everywhere.
But with Sonny Jim sleeping sooo much better (touch wood!) I’ve found myself wondering just why I’m so blooming tired all the time. Still.
And then, the fact I had to stop wondering about it because the toddler was about to attempt a backflip off the sofa, kind of gave me my answer.
Us mums are so tired because we can never switch off.
When we’re with our kids we’re in a constant state of high awareness.
Even when they and we are asleep, we’ve still got an ear out.
And our brains are constantly playing keep up with a never-ending checklist and to do list. Everything that hasn’t been done and everything that needs to be done plays on this loop in our heads. While we’re busy trying to keep no-concept-of-danger tots out of trouble, hold a conversation with friends/family, do actual paid for work.
Let’s face it, why do one thing when you can do three and worry about six?
I can change a nappy, chat on the phone and plan dinner all at the same time. I’ve written this very column, while Sonny Jim naps on top of me, while ordering a job lot of dog food and messaging a friend about a play date.
Even when our child isn’t actually physically there in front of us, attempting to dive down the stairs or thrown themselves off a bed, we’re still worrying about them. About if we remembered to get blueberries for their porridge in the morning. If their boots are maybe getting a bit small? If they need to see a doctor about that cough? If they miss mummy?
It’s invisible. A mental load that we carry. I’m not sure there’s anything we can do to fix. Or even that we’d want to. But. It. Is. Exhausting.
And that’s why we’re tired. Right mamas?