“not tided”

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Two-year-old Mary Kate beats us to the punch: “Not. Tided.” she announces with punctuated finality.

“Tided” of course is “tired”.  And she’s most definitely not “tided”, since rubbing the eyes, fussing, whining, and nearly falling asleep at the table are all not signs of being “tided.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m tided, er, tired.  But I’m beginning to think that maybe Mary has the right idea.

Another mom of littles, Rachel Jankovic, writes in her book Loving the Little Years about watching your language.  And not just the words you use around your children (aka “linguistic sponges”), but the words you use about yourself, to yourself and others.

The first time I read that chapter, I knew that though for Rachel the word was “overwhelmed”, for me the words were two: “tired” and “exhausted.”  I needed to literally strike them from my vocabulary, as she had pledged to do with the word “overwhelmed.”

Exhausted is the new normal.  I’m not in a season of my life during which I can escape being tired, so it’s better just not to dwell on it.

(Really, the last time I was “not tided” was sometime before I started staying up late at night writing letters to this really cute guy…)

At the same time, though, I want to be honest with my friends.  I don’t want to put on a mask that hides the toothpicks holding up my eyelids.  I don’t want to fake energy with caffeine.  I don’t want to pretend that I somehow have it all together and that my children all sleep twelve hours at night allowing me ample time for eight hours of beauty rest.

Can I tell my friends the truth about how I’m feeling without drowning in self-pity?  Can I be honest about how my day is going without reverting to excuses?  Can I admit to being tired without my language shaping how I act?

Or can I move beyond one-word answers like “fine” and “tired”?  Can I learn to answer the question of “How are you?” with the more important reality of what God is doing in my heart?

{linking up with “Life: Unmasked”}

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  1. Oh my gracious me… how did I miss all these posts?! Can I tell you how much I love this post, dear? Honestly, my children were all ghastly sleepers. When I did foster care, I used to tell the social worker: give me any kid and within two weeks, I can turn them into a great eater and a terrible sleeper. And sadly, it was all too true, lol. For years and years I was up multiple times every night and I spent my days moving through a fog of exhaustion. I know that, I remember it clearly, I can still summon up that grainy-eyed-light-headed sensation that was all too familiar and frequent in those days. But you know what? even though I don’t sugar coat the difficulty of that kind of life, even in my memories, my predominant feeling/memory from those days is one of unadulterated joy and gratitude. It was there under the surface (under the exhaustion;-}) And now, years later, I don’t regret one “boring” day spent at home or one “difficult” night spent tending to my little ones. In fact I’d give almost anything to have another one of those nights again…. as long as I could sleep in the next morning…hehehe.:)

  2. *hugs* Ahhh….the sleeplessness of the little years….I figure I won’t be well rested for probably another 30 years lol I One of the things I remind myself is that God always gives us what we need, even through the exhaustion.

    I just posted on this same Gypsy Mama post too.