This Is Exhaustion I’ve Never Felt Before


Exhaustion is nothing new to us moms. We’ve made it through sleepless newborn nights exhaustion, toddler sleep regression exhaustion, and up all night worrying exhaustion. We’ve felt the exhaustion that comes with going back to work shortly after giving birth, and then exhaustion from trying to balance work and kids and marriage and managing a household and trying to remember all the appointments and activities and deadlines…and on and on and on.

We’ve felt the exhaustion of learning the different life stages of our kids alongside them, even though inside we may feel completely clueless and unsure of whether or not we were doing it right.

We knew that being tired was just part of the job description for a while.

But this…this exhaustion…this 2020 exhaustion…

It’s exhaustion I’ve never felt before.

It’s waking up from sleep unsure of where the day ended and my frenzied dreams began.

It’s feeling paralyzed by every single decision.

It’s sitting with my kids on the couch and trying to restrain tears, unsure of what exactly is causing them, but trying to keep a brave face.

It’s the exhaustion of the phone scroll and seeing the increasing divide in our communities and in our world.

It’s being so tired I’m unable to keep my eyes open in the afternoon but too wired to fall asleep at night.

It’s the exhaustion of having no answers, of questioning everything, of wondering if things will ever go “back to normal.”

It is the exhaustion of having to shift gears so quickly and constantly that I wonder if anything even makes sense anymore.

It’s the exhaustion of being constantly in fight or flight mode.

It’s the exhaustion of feeling helpless. And hopeless. Of wanting to do more and at the same time, wondering if I can even get dinner on the table tonight.

It’s the exhaustion of trying to balance the needs of two different kids, needing different things at the same time, and not being able to complete a single thought without interruption.

It’s exhaustion from the mom guilt. Oh, so much mom guilt.

It’s a physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion so deep I wonder what will be left of me.

It’s the exhaustion of telling myself this too shall pass, but also having no idea when. And what it will look like on the other side of this.

It’s an exhaustion of the loneliness.

It’s the exhaustion of trying to find bits of normalcy in a very abnormal world.

There’s no award for who is the most tired or busy or happy or productive. We’re all making our way through the best way we know how. We’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing that needs to be done. Because we’re moms. Tired, exhausted, moms.