Why This Tired Mom Makes The Choice To Be Just That

I read an article today titled “Women in midlife aren’t sleeping enough, study says.”

Well, no kidding – I’m tired all the time. Who has time to sleep? Of course I was intrigued, so I clicked through – lots of talk about hormones causing the sleep problem. Huh?

Okay, I admit, the hormones are probably contributing to the lack of sleep, but trust me they aren’t the reason I’m tired. 

So, Why Am I Tired?

If it’s not the hormones, then what is it? Ask any working mom (or any mom in general) and they can tell you. It’s this thing called life.

As much as I hate to think I’m in “midlife,” according to this article, I am (as are most of my friends). And our version of midlife involves a bit of controlled(ish) chaos: working, parenting, carpooling, volunteering, side gigs, working out, social directing, taking care of our parents, the list goes on and on.

And on and on and on…

It’s truly never-ending. And sadly, many times, what gets sacrificed?

Yep, sleep!

Why? We know we need 7-9 hours a night, we know sleep makes our brains function better, but we also know sleep gets in the way of attending to the million other things that require our attention on a daily basis.

Did #3 get signed up for the musical audition? Who is driving carpool? Did the credit card get paid off? Did the thank you notes get written? Do we need dog food? Did PTO dues get paid? Did the drink tubs get returned? Did the delicates get hung? Did Uncle Larry’s birthday card get sent? How old is the gal #1 is dating? Where is that soccer game? How is #3 going to get there if I’m working? Did the electric bill on the Costa Rica house get paid? Did we pay the second installment of the pool? Is it in the path of a hurricane? Do we have enough coffee for the morning? When do I need to send that email for PTO? What do we need to bring to the wine tasting? Who is watching #3 during the wine tasting?

Arrrgggg – no wonder I can’t sleep!

And I didn’t even start in with the work stuff!

Is work-life balance even a thing?

A while back, the chick from Facebook (Randi Zuckerburg – sorry, I can never remember your name…I’m probably too tired)  tweeted about the “entrepreneur’s dilemma,” and it s’s uck with me.The gist of her tweet? Of the following five things: work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends….you have to pick three.

And therein lies the rub.

I don’t want to pick three…I want to pick them all.

But she’s right. When I look at my life, I consistently pick just three…and sleep is rarely one of them.

I wake up early to work out. I wake up early to work. I wake up early to juggle family crap. I stay up late to hang work. I stay up late to hang with my friends. I stay up late to be with my family.

Seriously? Who can justify sleeping when there are deadlines? When there is laundry to fold? When there is a kid in crisis? When your family needs you? When you need your friends? When you need your workout to stay sane? Or to fit into your pants.

I know, I know, I need to prioritize sleep…I’ll probably be a better Momma if I get some more sleep, but at the expense of what else? Frankly, it’s just easier to be tired.

It truly is a dilemma, not just for entrepreneurs but for working mommas everywhere.

Not only do we have to answer to ourselves, but we feel like we have to answer to the rest of the world. Hello Mom-shaming. If I don’t work out, God knows, my tight pants and muffin top will be noticed. If I choose to stay home, there’s plenty of people to share their opinions about that! If I don’t spend time with my family – that’s sure to get noticed too! If I choose to ditch my friends, well…that’s not even an option!

What’s left? Yep, sleep.

Really, I don’t see any other viable option. So, suck it up buttercup…I’m just going to give into the notion that I’m going to be tired for the rest of my (mid)life. It’s really the only option.

But if it makes you feel better…you can blame it on the hormones!

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