The Parenting Mantra: I Am Tired

“I am tired.” That was on constant repeat in my mind for the first year of my life as a mom:

Sitting on the couch for feedings…every 3 hours for at least a half hour… “I am tired.”

Showering…you know, every three days or so… “I am tired.”

Putting on makeup…my 5-minute rush job of concealer, powder, blush, mascara… “I am tired.”

Driving… “Why are there so many bad drivers in this town?!” I would fume. Maybe you’re one of the bad drivers, quipped my snarky side. “Whatever, I am tired.”

Staring off into space…which was how I filled my precious spare time… “I am tired.”

Going to bed…every single night… “I am tired.”

It became my mantra. I was unintentionally setting an intention. Day in and day out, no fewer than 20 times a day. “I am tired. I am tired. I am SO tired.”

I shared my “I am tired” with a friend (and “silly-sassy-spiritual-sexpot” life coach Jenny G. Perry) who suggested I substitute “I am relaxed” in its place. “Okay, I can do this,” I decided. “It will take some time, effort, and some conscious thought, and I can do this.” Do you even remember what a conscious thought is?” asked my snarky voice. “Shut up,” I answered back, “I’m trying this.”

Month 1: “I am tired – no – relaxed. I am tired relaxed. I am tired – no – relaxed. I am tired relaxed. I am tired – NO – relaxed.”

Month 2: “I am relaxed.” Does being relaxed require half a tube of under-eye concealer to hide – or rather lighten – the dark circles under your eyes? “I am tired. No! Relaxed. Okay, I am relaxed.”

Month 3: “I am relaxed.” Being relaxed…as in being at a spa? You don’t look like you’re at the spa. You look like the kitchen washcloth – wrung out and hung to dry with last night’s food still stuck to you. “Whatever, I’m going with it. I am relaxed.”

Month 4, while going to bed: “Maybe relaxed isn’t my word – it doesn’t feel right. I really am tired.” Well then you’ve come to the right place. “I love my bed, I love my pillow, I love my sheets. I have temperature controlled climate. I have four walls and a sturdy roof over my head. It’s all good, even when I’m tired.”

Month 5: “F*** it. I’m not relaxed, I’m tired.” Ooooo, there’s a fun game. What other f words can you come up with to describe yourself? “I am…fun, funny, free, fabulous, fiery, fierce, fantastic, feisty, friendly, fully me.”

Month 6: “I am (fill in the blank).” This is my latest game. The “I am” starts up in my head, and no word comes after it, just a pause, and then I fill in the blank. It’s a fun and easy way to speak a little life into my day.

Month 7, on a random morning: I’ve been up since 4:45 am. Nothing woke me up, unless the universe was pulling on my big toe telling me it was time to be awake. I got up, made a cup of coffee, and grabbed the laptop. So here I am, sitting outside, writing this post while the sun rises. It’s early, and I’m not even tired. I am…enjoying the view.

Sunrise

I am relaxed.

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