Someone asked me why I’m so tired all of the time. At the time, I just said that I didn’t sleep well and left it at that, but the reality is that there is so much more to it.
Why am I tired?
I am tired because in almost 6 years, Ellie has slept through the night maybe six times.
I am tired because Laurel is a very willful child who knows how to push every button I have. Having the same arguments over and over again is mentally exhausting.
I am tired because in addition to her pediatrician and dentist Ellie sees seven different specialists, and it is my job to keep track of all of her appointments.
I am tired because every week Ellie has two half-hour sessions of speech therapy, two sessions of occupational therapy, a session of physical therapy, four hours with a behavioral coordinator, and fifteen hours split between two different behavioral therapists. That’s right 21 1/2 hours of therapy. Every week.
I am tired because I am now homeschooling Ellie, and most days she’s too tired to pay attention to half of what we do.
I am tired because Laurel wants more one-on-one time with me, so instead of relaxing on the weekend I try to squeeze in as much time with her as I can, which means that I have to cram things like cleaning in at night…the only other time I have to relax.
I am tired because keeping a house even relatively clean while having small children is one of the most futile battles a person can fight, but with therapists in our house 19 hours a week I have to do my best so they don’t call CPS on me.
I am tired because Ellie’s favorite word for three years has been NO. She has also recently added the phrase “I can’t” to her repertoire.
I am tired because I have to feed a family of four (three of whom can’t have gluten, two of whom can’t have dairy) on a single, small income. Not to mention pay the mortgage, the electric, and everything else.
I am tired because I have seen every episode of Sophia the First so many times that I can recite them all. And the Lorax. And Frozen. And Mary freaking Poppins.
I am tired because every time we leave the house, I have to be on high alert, making sure Ellie is secure so she can’t wander off, dart into traffic, or happily go home with a stranger.
I am tired because it is my job to keep track of all of Ellie’s medications. And Laurel’s. And my own.
I am tired because I’m constantly watching my kids for signs of other issues. Laurel may have ADHD. Does Ellie just have Sensory Processing Disorder, or is she actually showing signs of Autism? Is that eczema? Not ringworm again!
I am tired because I don’t get enough exercise, and I don’t eat as well as I should. How do people fit exercise into their schedules?? Also, pass the ice cream. I’m going to eat my feelings while binge watching NCIS.
I am tired because people expect me to be happy all the time, but most of the time I feel overwhelmed and lonely. Being a mom is hard. Being a mom of twins is harder. Being a mom of a kid with special needs is harder still. But people make it seem like if you admit that, you’re a bad mom. I’m suppose to cherish every moment. But some moments suck. Some suck so bad that I want to hide in the laundry room and cry and never come out.
I am tired because when people ask how I’m doing, they don’t really want to know. No one wants to hear that my day has sucked. They have their own crap to deal with.
I am tired because I don’t see an end to being tired. When I look ahead, I can’t be sure that I will ever get enough sleep, or be able to stop worrying. Every stage brings new things to stress about.
I am tired because I’m a mom.