Why can’t I sleep?  I’m exhausted.  All. The. Time.  Yet, here I sit, at 3 AM, blogging about sleep, instead of actually sleeping.  I did sleep tonight.  I probably passed out around 10:30, while I was getting up the gumption to get off the couch and into the shower.  I remember thinking, “If I’m asleep by 11:00, I’ll get 6 1/2 hours of sleep.”  Then, oblivion.

My eyes popped open at 2:40 AM.  Four hours of sleep, back hurting,  and wide awake.  Why????

Today, I will find myself staring off into space at work while I’m waiting for the sinks to fill with soapy water, rinse water, and sanitizer–the sound of the water either lulling me to sleep or inspiring a visit to the bathroom.  I’ll drop things–I always do.  I’ll walk in a circle at least 3 times–forgetting what I’m looking for or what storage room to find it in.  I’ll ask a dumb question–or 10.  I’m afraid I’ve got a reputation at work of being a klutz or just an airhead.  I want to plead my case.

“I’m not a ditz.  I’m EXHAUSTED and I HURT!”

But I laugh.  It’s easier and consumes less energy.  I have a limited supply.

After work, I’ll go to the library or the Starbucks to wait for my kids to get out of school.  I’ll sit and try to read or write a little something.  I will nod off.  The other day at the library, I was sitting there, pretending to read, when I did one of those nod off, almost fall out of the chair maneuvers.  Humiliation.

When I get home, the noise of five children and the television will feel like a million tiny elves stabbing a million tiny ice picks into my brain.  I will mutter to myself in the kitchen while preparing dinner, complaining to the air, as no one is listening.  They’re too busy talking and breathing too loud.  I will snap at one of the kids for something.  They may or may not deserve it.

Dinner will be consumed, baths will be had, fights will be broken up. Baby girl will wage her nightly war with sleep, surrendering once she’s in my arms and we both crash on the couch.  The difference is she will remain asleep and I’ll awake four hours later, stiff from holding her and rested enough to not be able to fall back asleep.  Not rested enough to get anything productive done.

A couple of hours watching mindless television, a load of laundry (there’s always a load of laundry waiting), or like tonight, whining blogging about NOT sleeping.  I’ll eventually go back to bed for a couple of hours.  Then, just when I’m reaching the all-important deep sleep stage, the alarm will go off.  I’ll begin the ordeal of waking up five children and getting to school and work on time.

Then I’ll be at work again, walking in circles, dropping stuff, and building my reputation as an airhead.


17 thoughts on “Exhausted

  1. Oh, I can relate! (By the way, even with no sleep, your writing is awesome.)Would it help you any if I told you I am right there with you on this airhead thing? (No? that’s okay,I understand) I have had four nights in a row with hardly any sleep. Last night, my daughter got into bed with me and proceeded to whine and cry off and on all night long. I maybe got 2 or 3 hours of broken up sleep. I am a walking zombie today. And I only have the two kids and a baby to deal with! I hope your back pain goes away soon and you can get a solid block of the zzzzzzs.

  2. Erin, that would happen to me about every 7 – 8 weeks. i don’t go to bed until about 1am anyway, but i’ll still be wide awake by 3 am. So i get up, make tea, wacht tv i might go on the pc for a while.
    But i never have a doze that day, its the worst you could do.
    It does not bother me, but then i’m not working, no kids, etc.
    You need a break at home, someone to help with chores and kids.
    Hope it all works out for you.

  3. I haven’t slept either, this whole week (actually for a couple of months now, truth be told). I feel like I am going to fall over when I sit down for very long. If only I could get out of the bed and write, or fold laundry or do anything productive, but if I do, I can’t possibly go back to sleep, so I just doze fitfully. Sigh….a nap does sound good, but I never sleep during the day. My husband naps now and then and seems to wake refreshed, I only wake up groggy and grumpy.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever woken from a nap refreshed. I’m always in a bad mood and feel like going back to bed.

      Last Friday night/Saturday morning, I slept for 12 hours in two shifts a couple of hours apart. It was fantastic. Wonder if I can get away with that this coming weekend?

  4. Oh Momfog, my heart goes out to you! I think you need to start delegating to your brood and your hubby! Or maybe you and another Mom could take turns watching each other’s kids so that on your ‘day off’ you’d have a little time to catch up on little chores or SLEEP! You do too much. As much as we love your posts, feel free to take time off from the blog (I know I do, and I don’t have 5 kids!) I know the grass is always greener, but it sounds very sweet to be able to fall asleep with your little baby in your arms 🙂 Just take time for yourself, I bet your family will like the chance to be able to ‘do for themselves’. I hope you get a good night’s rest tonight. 🙂

    • I did get a good night’s rest last night and it helped. It is very sweet to sleep with the baby in my arms, especially since she’s my last, until grandchildren, that is. I just taught my 12yo son to do laundry and everyone is doing their jobs fairly well. I am too easy on them, though. It’s time to up the responsibility a little bit.

      Thanks for the good wishes.

  5. That exhaustion is torture – I feel your pain. You might not be sleeping well but you sure are writing well! My babies have moved on thank God but for so many years I felt like the walking dead while they grew and flourished. I simply grew old, very quickly. I turned my sleepless time into my quiet time with a good read under low light and a cup of tea, or writing time but with pen and paper. For me, computer light, internet etc, in the dead time of night makes me feel I have had blowtorches applied to the backs of my eyeballs.

    As it is with kidney stones, this too shall pass. Eventually. Good luck!

  6. Hey lady – I empathise!!!!! I’d love to find a couple of hours for mindless TV, or even 5 minutes to write an article.

    I’ll swap you my hip for your back if you like – they say a change is as good as a holiday……………. 😆

  7. I am so sorry! There’s no rest for moms, really. Always something else to be done, someone pulling at your sleeve, etc…

    Can you try to sneak in some more “me time” somehow? I feel for you. I’m about to have a baby (my 3rd) and I am determined this time around to use a sitter more and get my older kids to pitch in with chores they can handle….

    • I’m getting a little “me time” here and there. With 5 kids, it is hard.

      Congratulations on #3! We get better at the time management and establishing priorities with every new baby, but life is still overwhelming at times. We’ll both find our balance, I’m sure. Thanks for stopping by.

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