How Tired Are You?

I’m tired, are you tired? If you lived in our house, this would be a very popular daily conversation, or rather competition. My husband and I start our day with this refrain and usually end it this way as well. Like many parents, we seem to be on a constant conveyor belt of ‘doing’ – doing work/doing household chores/doing kidstuff/doing more domestic stuff – that leaves us always exhausted. Mix this in with interrupted sleep patterns for five years and it’s no wonder we’re part of the ‘tired-all-the-time-lets-complain-about-it’ generation. I don’t know about you but lately I have been totally fed up of feeling this way partly I think because my tiredness comes, not from the exhilaration of an exciting life, but from domestic drudgery. So it was interesting to interview a counsellor at the weekend for a piece I am writing on parenthood. She is the mother of four kids, works, juggles her childcare and yet says she is not tired all the time. Her secret is not a posse of ‘help’ but the fact she is (1) more laid back about her home life than me and (2) more determined to not only have some me-time but use it for more than sofa surfing. As I talked to her I realised I am so keen to keep on top of the laundry/chores/shopping/and not let it topple onto me, that I spend a lot of my day and evening racing around ensuring it’s all out of the way before I have a sit down. Needless to say by then, sitting down is all I can do. As the counsellor said, ‘Would the world end if you left it for a few days? Would it be so awful if your house was a bit untidy?’ My first thought was to say actually yes, but in reality it wouldn’t bother my kids or my husband and it would mean I would have a lot more time to do something I love like a gym class, or read a book or watch a film. Of course, I would probably still end up tired but it would be a tiredness worth having. So what are your thoughts on being tired? Aside from sleep and a week at a spa, let me know what might help you to feel less tired and fed up?