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A New Kind of Tired

Fifteen years ago, I was tired.

I was a new college student learning that my mother was no longer around to help navigate my sleeping schedule. I was the one responsible for going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up in time for eight o’clock classes. But let’s be real. What eighteen year old turns down a midnight run to Walmart followed by a quick movie marathon? If I go to bed by five, that is at least two and a half hours of sleep. Plenty, right?

Nine years ago, I was tired.

I was a new coach’s wife figuring out that football season is so much more than those Friday night lights. It was practice every day, driving all over the state, weightlifting in the summer, and praying to play into December. It is running a household solo, making time to deliver the forgotten pair of tennis shoes, and seeing your spouse a handful of times in a week.

Six years ago, I was tired.

I was a full-time graduate student with an internship and a job. Twenty page papers were written in the middle of the night. Chapters in my textbooks were reviewed in the early morning hours. Both of these occurred with absurd amounts of coffee. Being a simultaneous student, wife, intern, and employee was intense. It was a juggling act with entirely too many balls.

Now, I am tired. I am a mom.

But this tired is different.

Do I want more sleep? Yes. Of course, I do. What mom would turn down a few extra hours (heck…minutes) of uninterrupted sleep?

But it is more than sleep…

My brain is tired.

I was an overthinker before I was a mom. So let’s be honest, mom life just kicked it into high gear. What time did she last eat? When will she eat again? Are we going to need a hat today? Did I pack an extra set of clothes? Is the sunscreen in the bag? When is the next doctor’s appointment? Have I eaten lunch? Did I even eat breakfast?

I spend hours thinking over things that are trivial. If I have the baby, some diapers, and a bottle, everything will be fine. But my brain tends to doubt that.

My arms are tired.

I am mastering the art of one-handed eating, one-handed cooking, and one-handed putting on makeup. There are days that muscles I was not aware existed start to ache or fall asleep. Right now, the little one needs to be carried everywhere and wants to be held all the time. And that’s okay.

Because I know my time is limited with this stage and my arms will ache again. They will ache for those early morning snuggles. They will ache for all the one-handed experiences. They will ache to hold my little one just one more time.

My heart is tired.

A piece of my heart is out in the world without me. Experiencing new things. Interacting with new people. Seeing new sights. And I am not there to share in that. I am not there to protect my heart from all that could go wrong.

I am no longer in control of that portion of my heart. It belongs to my little one. It has been hers from the moment I laid eyes on her. Right now, she has been pretty easy on it. However, I know that there will be times the heart gets a little damage. Is it scary? Yes. Is it part of being a mom? Also, yes. Is it worth it? Without a doubt.

So, yes, I am tired.

This is a kind of tired that I have never experienced in my life.

But it is a kind of tired that I never want to go away.

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