“Maybe, it’s OK to be tired right now.”
Eight beautiful words my husband said to me when I collapsed into a heap of tears one night over the fact that my exhaustion, my bone deep weariness, makes me feel like I’ve failed life in some way.
That even though I’ve cared for our toddler, our home, put in work on my at-home business and somehow managed to squeeze in a workout, I can’t seem to enthusiastically run through any of those tasks with the energy I would have normally expected of myself BC (our term for “before child”).
He continued, “Maybe it’s OK to be tired because this season is challenging. And because you’re a good mother who cares so much for her family, her home and her work, she’s tired. And that’s OK.”
These words were like a balm to my soul. Words I needed someone else to say, because I couldn’t get myself to believe it when I spoke them to the mirror. I somehow, since my son was out of those early hazy newborn days, wanted so badly to wear bursts of energy as badges of honor. I felt that on the days where my body, mind or spirit weren’t well-rested that I wasn’t worthy of wearing the title of great mother, great wife, great entrepreneur, great friend and so forth. When really it was the consuming pressure of perfectionism that was the enemy. It wasn’t my sleepless toddler, my desire to skip my own bedtime to have an adult conversation with my husband, or even the autoimmune condition that fatigues my body. It was my idealism of how I “should” feel at this point in my life.
And those thoughts were doing nothing more than stealing my joy. Redirecting to my thoughts to loss instead of what I’ve gained. And I had reached my breaking point where I had to say no more.
Longing for deep rest isn’t a bad thing, however, when it’s what consumes us, when it’s what leaves us feeling “less than” when it isn’t achieved, is where we can miss out on the life playing out right in front of us.
So mamas, if you’re sleepily sipping coffee while your toddler reads stories to you, if you’re barely pushing through your workout, if you’re yawning in the school pick up line, or couldn’t manage to bust out real pants today. If you need to hear the healing words my husband spoke to simply to me that night, I will be a friend and speak them to you…
“It’s OK to be tired.”