Once in a while this thing sneaks up on the unsuspecting Busy Mom. Nearly at the end of a job – it can pounce on the last hours of the day, turning a great day into a soul deep desire to just go to bed.
Culprit; Over tiredness
I’m not talking about the – “it’s been a long day and I’m really exhausted tried because I worked so “hard.”” I’m talking about the soul deep tried that comes from being completely drained, end of your love tank, nothing-left-to-give – overtired.
It comes when the summer is beautiful – the kids stay up a little later – and so do you. Everyone still wakes up at the same time. Nice and early. By the end of the week, if you’ve missed 1 hour of sleep from each night – you’ve actually pulled an all-nighter somewhere in your week. At the end of the week – How do you feel? Overtired?!
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It comes when you have a new baby in the house and night time sleep is a dream of the future. It comes when you’ve had to get up a few time with a sick child for a few nights in a row. It comes when you are a part-time or full-time working mom and it’s the end of the work week, unfortunately the start of the week-end and you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. It comes when you really need to be energetic for the busy social calendar this week. It comes when a work or volunteer project is pressing for a deadline….. Overtired.
It’s you reaching for the sugar to catch a sugar rush of energy throughout the day to get through. It’s you pounding back coffee-cup after coffee-cup to stay awake. It’s you lying on the living room floor with a sofa pillow tucked under your head as you “supervise” the kids playing around you from the back of your eye lids. It’s you making KD again for dinner tonight. It’s you occasionally leaning over the kitchen sink to have a little rest before you finish up supper dishes. It’s you volunteering your time, one too many events in a row, scrambling in the end.
When this overtiredness sets in, Busy Moms should come with a warning labels because there is plenty that could happen – Busy Moms are basically a ticking time bomb ready to go off at this point. But lets not talk about that today (another time) Let’s talk about the insanity that can happen being overtired. I call it the “Red Herring”
noun: red herring; plural noun: red herrings
1. a dried smoked herring, which is turned red by the smoke.
2. something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.”the book is fast-paced, exciting, and full of red herrings”
I caught myself “Red Herring it” last Monday. It was unbelievable and I didn’t catch myself doing it until near the end of the day. I had woken up with a migraine, because I had been burning my candle at both ends ——again. (Did I think I would succeed this time?! LOL….. never learning…) By the time I had medicated myself (Tylenol and Advil), gotten some rest here and there (thank you husband!)… it was the end of the day and because I had already missed so much already that day I was walking around being “very busy” trying to “Catch up” = My “Red Herring”.
How many times are we so busy – doing NOTHING! Aimlessly walking around thinking we are doing something – when all we are doing is avoiding the REAL PROBLEM = “Red Herring”.
Running after our kids and cleaning up behind them, or trying to organize the things in our house to make things easy and more efficient (which is a great goal ) but not when you are overtired and not getting anywhere! or staying up late to clean the dirty supper dishes, moving laundry around from one pile to the next. “Red Herring”
How many times do we do the easy little thing that are around us, rather than deal with the actually problem. (Red Herring) I stayed up LATE that Migraine Monday night too walk aimlessly around my house “not really” doing anything. Shame on me! I knew better than to be “Red Herringed” – for my ultimate goal that day SHOULD HAVE BEEN; going to bed on time to set my next day up for success. But NO – there I was wandering aimlessly around , filling up my time with NOTHING – to feel like I did SOMETHING!
It wasn’t just Migraine Monday though. How many times are we all “Red Herringed” – by taking MORE time to look at Facebook or checking our text messages – AGAIN , or filling out our calendar – MORE, or reading a book you really don’t want to, or watching a mind numbing movie. How many times are we “Red Herringed” – giving up our TIME to avoid the real issue – underlying it all. We skip our bedtimes. We forget to guard our family supper time. We can wander around our houses looking for things to fix to make ourselves feel better about the issue we are avoiding. Just “call it” – “Red Herring”
I don’t know about you, Busy Mom but I usually forget to pray about my “Red Herrings” until later when this pit is stuck deep in my gut. What have I been avoiding? And Why? Step #1 Cover my avoidances and issues in prayer.
Then I can – Rest in the knowledge that with Jesus, I don’t need to figure out my issues today. But I do need to give up their weight – bringing all my STUFF to the foot the cross.
I’m setting up my tomorrow for success, by leaving the weight of today behind. This step doesn’t excuse anything or erase anything, but it’s the place to START!
My issue for Migraine Monday was I NEEDED to get to bed on time. But my lack of self discipline was killing me because it’s not even there. So I’ve covered my issue in prayed – to the point where I’m saying “it’s only by God’s strength that I’m getting myself to bed on time.” It’s this thing that I have always struggled with What are you struggling with right now that needs to be cover in prayer? Step #1
Knowing your being “Red Herringed” and bringing it to Jesus is steps in the right direction. So before you start walking aimlessly around the house being busy doing nothing. Start here;
“Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalms 62:5-8
So if you didn’t catch that “God says ….. Be in Christ, rest yourselves.” Hold your hands OPEN with your avoidances, your issues, your accomplishments, your fear of faliure, your fear of success, your guilt. God loves you – ALL OF YOU! With his help you can get through the overtiredness that can weight on your Busy Mom soul.
My practical side of my personality would also suggest a Step #2 – After you’ve started in prayer – set 3 main goals for yourself to finish in one day and start with the hardest one first. If it’s making a hard phone call, don’t do the breakfast dishes till you make that hard phone call. If its researching a tough topic, spend your quiet afternoon researching that tough topic. Once you are finish facing your avoidance head on, you’ll be excited and flying high to tackle the next steep thing with His help. Then there will be no more “Red Herrings”
By: Sharon Schuler
Busy Mom Playlist; “Worn” by: Tenth Avenue North