Just Tired

I tend to be pretty upbeat on this blog most of the time.  Lest that lead you to think I never get discouraged with the ins and outs of motherhood–and life–please think again.


Lately, I can totally relate to this picture.  Not that I walk around with billowing hair and gown all day–for more accuracy, you’d need to replace the silky gown with grubby sweats, the flowing hair with a short, not-washed-in-two-days ‘do, scatter a few Legos and Hot Wheels on the floor and smear some grape jelly on the chair.  But it’s a good representation of how I’ve been feeling on the inside recently.

I’m tired.  Just tired.  Tired of laundry, tired of dishes, tired of permission slips and grocery shopping and diaper changing and bed making and….just tired.  I’m in a rut.  A big, fat, funky RUT.

I love my life.  I really, really do.  There’s nothing I would rather do than take care of this family that I adore.  But some moments, do you ever just feel the weight of the responsibilities facing you, and they seem to loom on and on and on into the future and you wonder, "will I still be driving carpool when I’m 80?"  And of course, you won’t, but doesn’t it sometimes just feel like it?  And then I say things like this, and I think of the mother sitting with her baby in a tent in Sudan and I wonder what on earth I ever think I could complain about.  I feel like an ungrateful wretch, and I feel guily about that, which discourages me more, and….you get the idea.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that God isn’t just present at the high points and the low points, He’s smack dab in the middle of the doldrums, too.  In the places, like this one, where life just kind of stretches out in a flat, when-will-this-ever change place that isn’t exactly painful, but just tedious.

The verse I come back to time and time again–my "banner" verse for this motherhood journey–is Psalm 73:26–

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I share that verse reluctantly, because I don’t want to sound like life is just read-a-psalm-and-everything-will-be-rosy-tomorrow easy.  Chances are I’ll wake up tomorrow with the same case of the blahs that I’ve had these last few weeks.  But you know what?  I’ll get up and make breakfast–again.  I’ll take the kids to school–again.  I’ll drop off the dry cleaning and run to the store and load the dishwasher and fold underwear–again.  And eventually, somehow, the cloud will lift and I’ll be back to the place of finding wonder in the things that have me pulling my hair out now.  I know this, because I’ve seen this rut many times before.  And I’ll see it again. 

That’s what that Psalm means to me.  When my heart is discontent and disinterested, He gently takes the reins for a while and steers me through the doldrums.  He puts my one foot in front of the other when I just want to curl up for a six-week nap.  And why am I telling you all this?  I’m not sure, really.  Maybe someone out there feels the same way too?  Let’s just plug along, friend.

47 thoughts on “Just Tired

  1. Stephanie says:

    You put how I feel most of the time so well. It reminds me of when people ask you whats new, and the most exciting thing in your life is the new scent of dryer sheets you are using. I feel like a lot of my days are “Groundhog Day”s–remember that movie with Andie McDowell and that one guy? Each day feels the same as the day before. The funny thing is that I love it. Not every moment love it, but in general love it. I wouldn’t change figuring out if I want to feed my kids Cheerios or Shredded Wheat in the morning or which loop to drop my little girl off in at school every morning for the most exciting life in Hollywood. There are many days that I have to tell myself that if I were to give up now, I would miss all of the wonderful to come. I love that Psalm; I think I will coin it as my mantra as well.
    I will plug along with you.

  2. Heather says:

    It feels so good to hear someone else say that, and you put it so perfectly. I’ve been feeling like that for a few weeks myself. If I could just get “caught up” on everything and do something different. I always feel so guilty feeling this way and never feel like I can actually voice it without making myself sound ungrateful. Thank you for writing this post. It helps to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way at times.

  3. Theresa says:

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto! Funny how all our worlds look organized and great in the blogging world but in reality we still have days or weeks when we’re not “in the zone”, as our pastor calls it. (He’s referring to God’s Zone). Isn’t it hard getting up everyday to know you have the same agenda as yesterday? I swear I think I’m the only SAHM that wears her pajamas all day and every other mom is freshly showered, make-up on, hair done, etc. It gets me even more depressed thinking about it. Anyways, happy days are ahead my friend!
    And, sorry for the long comment but you hit home sister with this post. Thanks for coming out and so we don’t feel alone.
    Love this thing called blogging…

  4. meredith says:

    Blah, me too. I so don’t want to go downstairs and unload and load the dishwasher, again, so I am procrastinating in front of the computer. It sounds so shallow, but something as little as that can get me in a funk.

  5. peach says:

    Oh Shannon, I’ve so been there and still am, if I am gut-level honest. How have I added ya’ll to my blog roll and my blog life? From just blankly staring at the computer screen rather than be about the blah-ness (my word) of mopping floors, wiping noses and folding one more pair of holey-kneed jeans of the cutest boy in town.
    Blogging is such a release from the ordinary, and while I love it — I know I come here at times to escape that very same ordinary I must face daily . . . while the dustbunnies multiply in my absence.
    Thanks for being so vulnerable, Shannon. As always, another great topic.

  6. Susan says:

    Wow! I think your wrote this post for me (and of coure the other girls who feel you wrote it for them). I was just diagnosed with Epstein Bar. Which is like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have been feeling so tired and blah lately. It takes a lot of energy to even get up in the morning. But you know, you reminded me that God is there for me during this time too! And maybe instead of trying to control this myself, I need to let him take the reins. I may be tired and blah, but he’s right there to be there for me!
    Thanks so much girl!

  7. Mary says:

    That is why I took a day off from being me yesterday. Even though I had two doctor’s appointments, I took myself to lunch and a movie. I also ate pop corn (one of those things I shouldn’t eat because it drives this diabetics blood sugar right through the roof) because I hadn’t done anything for me lately. So if you can arrange it, I think that I would try to arrange to do something for yourself. It might lift your spirits. It did mine.

  8. Christa Mullins says:

    Add me to the list! I have especially had a struggle with feeling the way you and I are feeling since my 4th child was born, two years ago. I can so relate to the cycle of guilt — thinking that everyone else has it all together, and it is just me that is struggling so much. It is hard to be feeling this way when I know that I should be filled with joy because of all the Lord has done for me. It is good to know that I am not alone.

  9. Gabriela says:

    I love how you described how your picture would look with the hotwheel cars and legos. I get that way sometimes too. I think it just goes with the territory of being a mom, woman, human :). Hang in there!

  10. aggiejenn says:

    I’ve been thinking these exact same things lately and just had a little breakdown the other night. Motherhood is hard. No one ever said it would be easy, but IT IS HARD!!! I love that verse you shared. Thanks for spilling your heart for others.

  11. janiners says:

    I have to admit that I have lived months at a time in the blahs and doldrums. Going through those times, I was always reminded that God is still in those times with me, too. How could we get up everyday, feeling blah and still manage to take care of what needs to be done if He wasn’t with us? I think these times our faith can really grow stronger because we can learn that God REALLY is with us in everything (not just the worst and the best) and wants to perfect us in every aspect of our lives – even in the seemingly mundane, blahsy, doldrummy times. Hang in there, girl and keep finding Him in these times. It’s exactly what He wants us to do. Thanks for the words of encouragement from the Psalms, too. What a precious thought!
    Gotta love the picture, too! πŸ™‚ You mean you don’t spend your days in a billowing gown taking care of all the household chores and feeling and looking oh-so-feminine all the time?

  12. Carol says:

    You are so right, Shannon. God is in the highs, the lows and the in-betweens. He can use all these places to guide and teach us.
    I think we’ve all been there/done that. Thank you for putting into words I can relate to.

  13. momrn2 says:

    WOW! I’ve so been there for the last few months myself. I’m plugging right along with you my friend. Thanks for this!! I SO needed it!!

  14. Jules @ Everyday Mommy says:

    Oh, never feel reluctant to share a verse of Scripture. It is the most powerful thing you can share. It is living and enduring.
    1 Peter 1:23 …for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God.

  15. melnel says:

    I once heard a very wise many say in a devotional speech:
    Do not mistake local cloud cover for perpetual darkness.
    This helps me not feel guilty about how I feel when I see the troubles of others, usually much more severe than my own. They may have their local storms, but I have cloud cover too. And still, God keeps the world from perpetual darkness.

  16. Sherri W says:

    I have been there many times! A wise older lady told me once, when I felt this way, “Just do the next thing.” I think she was getting at the fact that we do our regularly-scheduled-programming, AGAIN, to keep from focusing so much on ourselves!

  17. Lindsey says:

    Yep. Been there, done that, washed the tee-shirt πŸ™‚
    Here’s to counting our blessings.
    By the way I do look like that picture, billowy hair, dress and all. HA!

  18. Susannes says:

    Shannon: Thanks for being open enough to share this post! We’ve all been there, are there, or will be there! We are human and moms. And a lot of being a mom is absolutely routine. But I love what melnel said about cloud cover not being perpetual darkness. And Mary got my idea up first. When was the last time you just treated yourself? When I was a younger mom a few of us had a group where we would rotate taking kids so that another could have a day off just to do something for themselves whether a movie & popcorn like Mary suggested, shopping just for you, lunch with friends or a looooooong uninterupted soak in the tub and uninterupted time in fellowship with the Lord. If you do choose something at home though, there is the rule you are NOT allowed to do anything chore related! No cheating!
    I’ll be praying for you that the Lord refreshes & renews you in the coming days!!!

  19. edj says:

    Yeah, I can relate. But this is what all those verses about perseverance and running the race with patience are about! Just doing it all again and again, and then doing it again the next day. Hang in there, keep doing what you’re doing. It takes wisdom to realize, as you do, that this is temporary.
    That verse is excellent, and a good reminder for me where I’m at too…not in the doldrums, dealing with some real discouragement, and needing to remember where my real strength lies. Thanks.

  20. Sandra says:

    Your post sounded like me. I have felt that way many times, it’s not that I don’t love my life and my family, but I think that we as mothers have our bad days.
    I mentioned your post in my blog this morning, I think moms everywhere can relate to your feelings πŸ™‚
    Wish I could look like that picture you posted LOL
    Usually I look frazzled, almost psychotic by the afternoon, what can I say, it’s all in the joys of motherhood πŸ™‚
    Huge hugs to you,

  21. abc momma says:

    Thank you, Shannon. You make me weep.
    You know, it’s true that when women are together for a while (such as roommates) they tend to get on the same cycle, menstrually speaking. Do you think that’s happened to us women living in blogdom? Not to play down these feelings, but I know that I don’t feel like this all the time, it just comes and goes about once a month. But when the feelings come yet again, it is so familiar to me that it seems it never left.

  22. tnmama says:

    Shannon, I’m with you today. Blah…blah…blah…blah…blah…
    It is so good to be reminded that I’ve been here before and I’ve gotten out of the pit before, and I WILL again! Thank You!

  23. Morning Glory says:

    I haven’t spoken to you in a long time, but I’ve been here reading nearly every day. You continue to say such helpful things. This is such a hard time of life for young mothers. It seems like at this stage of raising kids, keeping house, cooking, finding hubby’s many lost items that he never remembers where he put them, and on and on, that you just lose yourself somehow. It’s difficult trying to figure out where “you” went. I remember it well, and I know it will get better. Blessings and prayers for you today, Shannon.

  24. Allie says:

    O MY GOODNESS!! That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. Yes, I know, I need to go to God with this and read His words but I haven’t found the strength. I feel so tired…
    Thanks for your words, it is an encouragement to me knowing that there are others who feel the same as me. πŸ™‚
    -mother of two

  25. s'mee says:

    Wonderful post. I so remember feeling like I would never get out of the car, the house or talk intelligently again to anyone with more than one digit of age. There were times when I had all five kids in soccer and each on their independent team and practising at 5 different parks all as far apart as you could get. I would just drive and drop off, race to the next field and do this until it was time to pick them up -one at a time; three times a week. One day another mom, the team mom, glared at me and told me, “Just once, I wish you ‘drop off moms’ knew what it was like to have to deal with a lot of kids!” and walked off in a huff. I wanted to cry so hard. Hubby was traveling around the states to find food to put on a table and I was running after the offspring…AUGH!
    It is hard. It does get better. It is all worth it. And beleive it or not, they do come back and literally say “thanks mom.”

  26. Islandsparrow says:

    I’ve been there and I know that I probably will be there again at times – I have found that God’s word, the encouragement of other moms, nature, even if it is just stepping out onto the porch to get a breath of fresh air, all help.
    Thanks for sharing that post so honestly – you are a blessing.

  27. Cindy T says:

    Oh yeah, I have days sometimes weeks like that. Life as a mom is one of the most demanding jobs in the world, but it is by far the most rewarding too. I know that one of these days I will look back in wonder at the adults standing before me and I won’t even recall those days when I was all spent.
    P.S. I added you as one of my favorite blogs…..here is my site..

  28. Lei says:

    I CAN relate to that feeling. I always try to stay positive, but am not in denial about the difficulties I face. You accept the good with the bad, taste the bitter to enjoy the sweet. πŸ™‚

  29. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart – I really needed to read this today. It’s amazing how God sends us a message to let us know He’s there even when we think he isn’t listening.

  30. Rachelle says:

    I think we all feel this way at one time or another. Sometimes it is just blah. Thank you for sharing this with us and giving us another glance into your human-ness. I think it is sometimes easy on blogs to gloss over problems, but I think it helps somebody seem more real when they share their struggles. Thank you for doing so.

  31. Anne Glamore says:

    If it lightens your load any, I think you could skip folding the underwear and just wad it up in the drawer. Of course, I have VERY LOW laundry standards!
    Thanks for the verse- it was a good one for me today.

  32. Shalee says:

    Too often am I there with you, Shannon. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat….
    But this I do know (for the Bible told me so) “Be still and know that I am God.”
    Remember that it is GOOD to stop and rest, to catch a few “down” moments during the day, if possible. That load of laundry can sit a few minutes while you read a book, those dishes won’t revolt on you if you take the baby for a walk. The house will not fall to pieces like Humpty Dumpty if you sit and stare out the window for a while. God didn’t make you a work horse. He made you a woman with all sorts of feelings that need to be attended to now and then.
    If OK is anything like KS these past few days, it has been cloudy, gloomy and anything but sunny. I know that I have a harder time being up with out some sunshine to shine on my face too.
    Hang in there Shannon. This too shall pass, and then look out world!

  33. emily says:

    i’m not a mom; in many ways i’m sure i can’t relate. but there are moments when i feel this way, too. i’m sure our husbands at work get this feeling, as well. we’re here for you, and i know you’ll pull through it in time. maybe shaking things up, lunch with a friend or something?, would be helpful? just an idea. πŸ™‚

  34. Heth says:

    I’m with Anne Glamore. As I read that I though: “You fold your underwear?” That could be part of the problem.
    Thanks for writing this and being so real.

  35. Juliabohemian says:

    I have to remind myself that God meets us where we are. Sometimes that is a pretty dull place. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for having moments of dissatisfaction, just because there are people whose lives are worse than yours. Everything is relative and your feelings are very real.

  36. Tina says:

    I had to laugh because I posted on my blog Thursday night about a passage from the book of Psalms (#78) that I had ran across during my Bible study this week. No, it didn’t fix my problem, but it certainly gave me focus and reminded me that God is there and reminded me what He expects from me.
    I enjoy reading your blog so much and I’m glad you feel like you can share the down times as well as the up times. You’re encouraging other people either way! Thanks and God bless you!

  37. HolyMama! says:

    oh my gosh, YES. i know just what you mean, including the guilty ‘but i have so much and am so blessed’ side of it and that makes it worse and GAH! But yes. I think it’s normal to look at a pair of underwear and think, ‘hmm. i’ve folded this pair a hundred times at least. did anyone ever even CARE?’ and of course, the answer to that would be no. no one cares if their underwear is folded around here, but i do it. again. like you said. and again.

  38. Faith says:

    I think mother’s guilt is just HUGE!! We can be blessed AND be blah too. Sometimes. We always get it back together – just in the nick of time! ;D

  39. Karla says:

    Oh, amen to that! I can’t elaborate on this anymore. You’ve said it perfectly & alot of the comments here have too.
    I loved the Scripture reference.
    BTW, I’ve visited your blog a couple of times within the past few days. I’ve now subscribed. It’s a great blog! =)
    I’m catching up on all of your recent posts through my newsgator.

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