Tag Archives: exhaustion

Groaning in the cold, dark

I lay in bed and the world around me is silent except for the sounds of life, resting.

A few feet away I hear tiny baby breaths and sighs. Next to me I hear heavy and rythmic husband breaths and sighs. And through the open internal door to the next room I hear toddler breaths and sighs.

We share rooms and a heater between the four of us.

Everyone sleeps but me.

Moments later baby stirs. I lay still, barely breathing, hoping he will not wake.

He rolls over. Back asleep.

I sigh with relief just as he stirs again, this time waking with an abrupt cry.

It sounds angry.

After eight months I wonder when he will ever sleep through the night. Except for a few nights he regularly wakes up all throughout the night. Sometimes every two hours, leaving me with four or five or sometimes six hours of sleep, usually broken into several chunks.

I groan and move, not wanting to face the cold night air.

No one said parenting would be easy.

I pull him into bed with me and nurse, nurse, nurse. Wondering how long I can continue on interrupted sleep (and insomnia in between).

I remember that mothers all over the world and all throughout time have done as I’m doing.

Strength.

The days are long but the years are short so I don’t want to waste this time being anxious about the dark hours.

And yet I’m so tired. So, so tired.

I remind myself that this time last year I was about to find out that his life might not be what we thought or expected. And now him being here with us, just like he is – healthy, perfect – is a miracle. Surely I can find the grace for one more night.

And perhaps tomorrow night too.

But my goodness, I’m so tired.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you cope with less-than-ideal seasons of sleep?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

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The one about falling asleep fully clothed

It was a fall-asleep-in-your-clothes sort of day.

One moment I was feeding Judah before putting him down for the night, the next moment I was waking up fully clothed (with my contacts still in – yuck) sometime in the middle of the night.

For every good intention I had of squeezing in some work after the kids went down, my body had another idea.

Seems lately I can barely keep my eyes open.

Lists sit untouched. Laundry sits unfolded. Emails sit waiting for replies. Blogs sit ignored. Projects sit half-done.

I’m behind on every single thing I’m working on, full of new ideas I’m unable to implement, lagging on some of my day-to-day responsibilities, and wondering how to live this season well.

I still have so much to learn.

I probably need to get into the habit of taking an afternoon nap again, like I did for the first few months after Judah was born.

(For the record, Judah is not a fan of sleep. And that? That pretty much just makes me tired. All the time.)

I will say this: for all the things I’m failing at, one thing I’m doing right – I’m playing with my boys and helping them to grow and learn.

(Levi knows his left and right. Seriously? Can I just brag about that a tiny bit? I think it’s amazing considering I still sometimes have to stop and think about which one is which. So yes, my children are genius. *snicker* At least I can be proud of them. *grin*)

I’m multi-tasking less. Trying to listen more. Focusing on enjoying life more.

I know I’ll never regret that.

But still? Dang, I’m tired.

And dang, I’m half-drowning in the not-yet-done.

STOP.

 

Q for you: I didn’t write last night because I fell asleep at 7:30pm fully clothed. When’s the last time you were that tired?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


Spring cleaning, house and heart

It’s autumn here but there’s this urgency growing beneath my skin to do some spring cleaning.

Behind cupboard doors sit unused things, taking up space, collecting dust.

Some are just too hard to reach so they’re forgotten.

Drawers in disarray feel fuller.

Closets that looked bare only months ago now seem to burst with a sea of cotton.

At a glance things look fine, but behind closed doors Mess lurks.

It’s driving me mad and I’m having brutal impulses to Purge. All. This. Stuff.

I’ve realized that I get this way when I’m tired or stressed. (Or extra “this way” when I’m tired and stressed.)

It’s suffocating and stiffling and whereisthespacetocreateandenjoy?

I want to simplify. Reduce. Get rid of fillers and noise and things that make me feel stuffy.

I want to open the curtains and let the breeze in.

I want to lift lids and move rugs.

And maybe it’s not really about things being clean or organized.

Maybe it’s just me wanting to gain some sort of sense of mastery over the chaos. Reign it in.

I never thought I had control issues. Until I had children. Children who have minds and clocks and opinions of their own.

They will not be controlled. They fit in no boxes. they respond to no formulas. (I’m glad for that. Mostly.)

But they make me realize that I have to let go. (MOre.) I have to create more margin. I have to find breathing space.

Life is too full to be full.

And maybe it’s not even a negative thing to want to reign in the chaos and restore some order. Maybe it’s the creative process starting all over again. God brought order out of chaos, right?

So when this sort, sift, clean, organize, purge, open-up-the-doors-and-let-the-good-green-earth-come-in thing starts to happen to me, it makes me stop and think:

Is it hte house that needs tending? Or is it my soul?

Perhaps we both need to open up the windows a bit wider?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How does your physical environment influence your mental/emotional/spiritual realm? (Or the reverse?)

 

Love,
A

p.s. Admittedly, this post is a bit scattered tonight. I suppose that’s just going to happen occasionally when writing in this format with no structure or editing. I suppose also that’s part of the God-getting-in-the-cracks process. And the humbling-me process. Sometimes it truly is hard to hit “publish”…

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Monopoly

Whenever I meet with young people who are seeking direction, I always tell them not to make big decisions while they are feeling emotional.

That principle has been in my mind a lot this week.

Not that I’m in the process of making any big decisions.

But the number of times I have thought “that’s it, I’m outta here” this week is too many to count.

I’m tired and frustrated and angry and, well, mostly tired. And truthfully? HTe sacrifice of living far away from family just feels too big. It feels too hard.

Rainy season here feels too rainy.

I’ve never liked living here. Not speaking of the base or hte people – our ministry center is amazing and my friends are wonderful (and it really is a privilege to be here – yes, I know this). The city itself is pretty average – not amazing, but not awful either. But around this time every year I begin to think what the heck are we doing here? Seriously.

Of all the places in the world we could be, why are we HERE?

I spend my days cleaning mold off of hte walls, trying to wash clothes adn toys and furniture enough so that it doesn’t grow and destroy everything, (and throwing out things that is has destroyed), and then I rotate everything under fans to dry and get things dry.

Leaving the house is a mammoth effort – getting two babies in the car in the pouring down rain – but they also get stir crazy if we don’t.

This last week has been especially challenging – Ryan away, Judah sick and NOT SLEEPING, Levi cooped up inside.

I’ve been tired nd grumpy and emotional and basically just ready to jump ship.

And then my beloved finally gets home but he, too, is sick. Now he’s hte one in bed and watching tv. (which he needs of course, so it’s totally fine.) But it doesn’t stop me fantasizing that I was the sick one so that I could just retreat to the cover of my bed for a few hours.

Oh yeah, and if you’ve ever lived without a “paycheck”, well then, dang, you know how draining that sometimes feels. (Getting a “paying” job suddenly looks incredibly attractive when those hurdles just. don’t. seem. to. budge.)

If someone handed me plane tickets tomorrow to America to move there na d never look back I would seriously consider taking them.

Only problem is that I know I’d later regret it.

As much as I don’t like it at all here I also know that this is where my family is called to be and serve right now. It might not be forever, but it is for now. So for now I just keep choosing to trust God and believe that this is somehow best.

God is good, so his plans are best. I believe that with all my heart.

But it’s days (weeks) like these that I seriously wish God would hand me a “get out of jail free” pass and let me collect $200 along the way.

If only life were as simple as monopoly.

And if only the sun would come out tomorrow.

STOP.

Q for you: When’s the last time you experienced “when it rains, it pours?”

Love,
A


Fierce

I had fierce moments of wanting to explode today. Or implode. One of the two.

Being a “single” mom is taking a toll on me and I’m pretty done.

It’s now been seven days on my own with two BABIES who need, need, NEED me all. the. time. and I have 26 hours left.

The boys have been pretty good, but I’m just tired, tired, tired. And that means that little things that shouldn’t be a big deal suddenly appear LARGE.

I’ve never been a violent person, or even a yeller. But today at one point I threw a pair of pajamas on the floor out of frustration. (Levi didn’t see me, I’m glad.) I know it sounds silly—pajama throwing—but internally it was ugly and violent, even if it was just a zippered piece of cotton.

There were also several times where I just wanted to yell at Levi – bark orders, tell him he’s naughty, yell at him to go away. You name it, it probably crossed my mind.

In those moments I try to whisper, as a deliberate way to calm myself down.

And if I wasn’t so opposed to “cry it out” (for the child’s sake), I would have probably left Judah to CIO for mine a time or two.

I can’t remember ever feeling angry before I had kids as much as I do now. They really do bring the best and worst out in you.

And of course I love them fiercely. Much more fiercely than any momentary anger o frustration.

When it all gets boiled down, I know I’m just tired. Tired, and stressed,

And before I know it Ryan will be home and life will be back to normal. (And I’ll just be “normally” tired – haha.) Maybe I will be able to actually get somewhere on our taxes or complete some of my other urgent to-dos that have been piling up.

And hopefully I’ll be able to have a nap, uninterrupted.

26 hours left. For now I’m just remembering to breathe and praying PRAYING for children to sleep so I can too.

STOP.

 

Q for you: My trigger button for anger and frustration is tiredness. What’s yours?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check) on motherhood and parenting on The Mommyhood Memos.


Selfishness, make haste!

While skyping with Ryan tonight he told Levi “two more sleeps” until he comes home. I corrected him saying it was actually three sleeps since Levi will be in bed hours before Ryan flies in at 10:40pm on Sunday night.

Ryan then suggested that he might just wake Levi up to say hello when he gets in.

Immediately I chided, “oh no you won’t! I haven’t slept in two weeks!” (Camping being the week before. And truthfully, I haven’t really slept in six weeks. Or six months. But whatever, not the point.)

It didn’t occur to me until after I hung up that my response was incredibly selfish.

We’re now finishing day six of being on our own and I’m swinging between feeling like supermom and feeling very “alone” and a little sorry for myself. (My response was driven from that second extreme, obviously.)

In many ways it’s not been an easy week at all. (No need for me to launch into details here. You can imagine.)

But in many ways it’s been fun. For the most part, I’ve made the most of it and put in a little effort to do some special things with the boys as I’ve drastically toned down my to-do lists.

Of course, it’s also been tiring. (Very.)

And sleep (the lack and longing of it) often occupies my mind these days.

So that’s why I immediately thoguht of myself when Ryan suggested waking Levi up for a late-night ‘hello’ upon his arrival.

Justified? Maybe.

Selfish? Yeah. Completely.

Ryan’s also been separated from us for six days and misses us like crazy.

I’ll be up anyway (picking him up from the airport) so what’s it to me if he wakes up Levi? Seriously Adriel, sometimes you’re just selfish for no other reason than you’re vision is short-sighted. Like navel-gazing short-sided.

Even if Ryan doesn’t “want” to wake Levi when he gets home on Sunday night… I will make sure it happens. For his sake mostly, and for Levi’s. (Levi is easy to get resettled these days anyway.) But also for mine.

Selfishness, make haste. You are SO unattractive.

STOP.

Q for you: When is the last time you said something without thinking it through and then later realized you were being completely selfish?

Love,
A

p.s. Went over time today. Again.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check) on motherhood and parenting on The Mommyhood Memos.


Running on fumes

Today was one of those days…

You know the kind? The kind where you are so glad it’s over (and so glad days aren’t able to be repeated) and yet you also kinda want to repeat it so that you can get a do-over?

I feel like today was a lot of time squandered, not lived well, because I was too overwhelmed with my own tiredness.

I don’t want to turn this into a whine fest so I’ll just say the littles have been high needs lately, both for different reasons. (Highly legitimate reasons.)

But because of that I’ve been so tired that my awake time is spent wishing I was asleep and my asleep time is spent not really sleeping well becuase I’m stressing about how tired I am and how to meet everyone’s needs while being tired.

Aparently the word of the day is tired. How many tiems have I used that in one post now?

I won’t drag this on becuase my phone just died and so my five minute timer died too.

Ironic.

I’ve got to pack it in before I crash sitting up. I’m running on fumes and even teh fumes are about to expire.

In the great big scope of life it’s no big deal. These days happen.

Babies grow. Things change. Life rolls on.

Tired or not, it’s my choice to make the most of it.

All we can control in life is our own choices and responses.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is a little better. Er, less tiring. Or something.

Waaaaah.

Silly post.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you slept through the night and slept in until 10am? No, wait, don’t tell me.

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.