Tuesday 8 October 2013

Ten thoughts on tiredness

Probably all mothers get tired. Add home education and at least some tiredness, some of the time is a dead cert. In addition, many people have other additive reasons for being tired:
  • pregnancy
  • babies and young children
  • poor health
  • children with poor health
  • caring for older or unwell relatives or friends
  • being a single parent
  • having to work a paid job or run a business 
  • others that have escaped my tired brain.

These are a few thoughts about how to manage; perhaps, partly to remind myself.

  • The Lord Jesus was tired. He fell asleep in the boat and wasn't woken by a storm. It isn't wrong to be weary when performing our God given tasks.

  • Other people are busy too. When we are really tired it can be easy to think "I'm the only one." It just isn't true. It can be strangely comforting to think about and pray for other people who are busy. I've found it helpful to remember how hard our grandmothers had to work and how few of our modern conveniences they had.

  • It is possible to manage after a night of very little sleep. I learnt this lesson as a junior doctor, in the days before hours were regulated. There isn't much that is positive about a shift that starts at 9am on Friday and finishes after 5pm on Monday. I don't think that I ever had no sleep in that time but often had very, very little, and that with the every present bleep  but I did learn that it is possible to carry on. Of course it is easier to make mistakes so be very, very careful about safety and especially, avoid driving when tired. 

  • Occasionally, it is worth deciding to miss some sleep for a greater good. Going to a Bible Study or being hospitable may mean a couple of hours less sleep. It may be easier to make the choice of sleep with a messy house or cleaning and less sleep before the event than making the decision on coming home or when the guests have left.

  • Everyone responds to being tired in different ways. I find as tiredness progresses to overtiredness that I start to think that
Nobody loves me
Everybody hates me
I might as well eat worms.

 or something similar. When this thinking pattern starts, I need to stop. We do our children a service if we help them to recognise the signs of being overtired.

  • Routine helps. On days after being up with a crying baby or taking someone sick to the hospital, having a routine really helps. These aren't the days for exciting activities but it is easier to keep to the usual pattern of meals and home education, if at all possible. 

  • Meals- no one is going to come to any harm from the occasional easy meal or takeaway. If the budget doesn't like takeaways then keep something easy in the house. Our easy staples are curry sauce, tinned chickpeas and rice or pasta and a quick tomato sauce. 

  • If a plan sounds too busy on paper, it is likely to be worse in reality! Simplify!

  • Pray. Often I've thought that the load is too great, have prayed and things have eased or become manageable in unexpected ways.

  • Remember God's grace is sufficient.  "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect is weakness" (2 Corinthians12v9).


  1. Hi Sarah, hopping over from my blog! You bring up really good points here. I especially like this one,
    "If a plan sounds too busy on paper, it is likely to be worse in reality!" That is so true! I always seem to learn that the hard way. :)

  2. You know, as always it so often comes down to attitude. I have a serious sleep disorder which means at best I sleep a couple of hours a night, but I often go weeks with no sleep at all. I've had it all my life but it has only been as I've got older I've realised that I can moan all day (I do still moan about tiredness, but not ALL day!) or I can get on with it. Two sides of the same coin. I really try my best to look at the benefits of more time rather than focussing on the immense tiredness I feel on an almost daily basis.
    This is a great article and as always you point the way to the real way to deal with tiredness and that is to give it to God.
    Thank you so much for the nomination. I'm not entirely sure it's very deserved but it is incredibly appreciated and put a great big smile on my face yesterday!

    1. Claire, I'm sure you are right. Not sure that I would be at all cheerful about a couple of hours sleep.
      Hope the nomination does well. You deserve it!