Tired and Cranky and Lacking Enthusiasm

I was awake nice and early this morning. Too early. I lay awake at 4 am thinking… How will I be able to run if I don’t get more sleep? How will I get through the day? But of course, sleep never happens when we most want it. So I got up this morning, a Monday morning, and I didn’t experience that wonderful Monday morning feeling I was telling you about a couple of weeks ago.

Maybe you came to my blog looking for an inspiring story. And here I am telling a tired morning story. Sometimes bloggers’ lives can seem perfect. Unschooling is always a joy. We’ve got it all worked out. But not today… Today is not a perfect day. Today I am tired and all my enthusiasm has seeped away. I didn’t jump out of bed this morning eager to learn and share with my girls.

By 6.15 am I was finally ready to go back to sleep, but it was too late. Andy urged me out of bed.
“You’d better get up if you’re going for a run.”

“It’s raining,” I assured my husband. “I can hear it pouring down. Just take a look out the window. We can’t run in this weather.”

“It’s not raining,” smiled Andy. “Get up!” He’s usually a very kind husband.

So the girls and I headed down to the park for our usual run even though I hadn’t had the usual amount of sleep. Actually the run wasn’t too bad. I didn’t break any records and went so slowly I was in danger of stopping, but I ran.

Imogen and Gemma-Rose wanted to run two more laps than the rest of us, so we left them at the bush tracks and went home in search of breakfast and showers. A long time later, the girls hadn’t returned and I had to send Sophie back to the park to see if they were okay.

“What were you doing?” I asked when they finally appeared.

“We ran some extra laps. We ran 15 laps. That’s 9 K.”

Now I should have said something encouraging such as “Wow! That’s a long way. You must feel good.” Instead I said, “You told me you were only going to run two more laps. You should have been home a long time ago. What about the morning jobs?”

I listened to myself. I recognised the signs. I was tired, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was both tired and cranky.

The girls hurried to catch up with their jobs, but a short while later, someone dropped an empty glass jam jar on the floor. The girls were silent. They looked at me warily. The tension was increasing. We cleaned up the mess but five minutes later, another jam jar hit the tiles. Someone ran for the broom again. It was at that point I breathed deeply, and decided I needed to take action, otherwise today was going to be a total disaster.

So what did I do? I threw aside all those wonderful ideas I was going to share with the girls, and made the decision to do nothing more taxing than reading aloud. I find reading aloud good when I am tried. I can disappear into another world and forget all about myself.

So I read and then the girls wanted to read to me. They love sitting in the reader’s chair. Then I encouraged them to do something that didn’t need my help. I’m so glad they’re unschoolers and used to taking the lead. They practised the piano and then explored some online websites, played some games… And what did I do? I answered some emails. Oh yes, I did something else… I will admit it. I also visited FaceBook a few times.

I think about how I wasted time online this morning, time I could have spent with the girls. And I am not sorry in the least. I know that Facebook saved my children from having to endure an out-of-sorts mother. All those friends out there … I enjoyed reading their posts. I forgot about being tired. Facebook has its time and place.

According to my records book, it hasn’t been the greatest of days. Oh yes, the girls found plenty to do but it wasn’t an exciting learning day. I could get anxious about this, except I know that what we did on October 22nd 2012 isn’t really that important in the grand scheme of things. This day is only one day out of many. It will probably fade from our memories, and certainly no one else will ever know it wasn’t a perfect day.

“Go and rest, Mum,” my children urged, after we’d finished lunch. So that’s what I‘m doing. In days gone by, I might have struggled on making not only myself suffer, but everyone around me.  But today, I’m not going to fight this tiredness. I have limits and I recognise that.

You know, I think I’m going to survive this day.

I didn’t get that wonderful Monday morning feeling today. I didn’t awake full of anticipation, eager to begin the week. But that’s okay. There’s always tomorrow… another day. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about life? We can start afresh each day.

I think about tomorrow. A little feeling of anticipation and eagerness is starting to return. If I sleep tonight…  I might have enough energy to try out those maths puzzles with Sophie, find a poem in that new library book to strew in front of the girls, help the girls find some McCubbin paintings to add to their jigsaw collection, find the paints they need to finish their salt dough models… We might even take a trip to town. Yes, tomorrow could be good. It could be spectacular. I smile. I’m feeling better already.

PS Do you think that dog looks tired and fed up, with no enthusiasm for the day?

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  1. Reply

    I have those days too. I also have those days when everybody else in the house is also out of sorts and everyone is pushing each others buttons. That's when I declare a "redeem the day" where we all pile into the car, eat at our favorite deli and then head to the bookstore. Strawberry smoothies from Starbucks are also usually in order. There's just days when it's actually better to let the pot soak instead of trying to scrub out burnt oatmeal, you know? Thankfully they don't happen all that often.

    1. Reply


      Probably everyone has tried days even if they don't admit to them. Out of sorts? Oh yes! Days when all the kids bicker and provoke each other. It's awful when tired days coincide with these sort of days. Sometimes I think if I don't handle a tired day properly the day degenerates into one where everyone is out of sorts.

      "redeem the day"… I've also saved a few days by heading into town for milkshakes. It changes the whole flavour of the day.

      "There's just days when it's actually better to let the pot soak instead of trying to scrub out burnt oatmeal, you know?" I do know. And I love how you've phrased that! I shall remember those words.

      God bless!

    • Kari
    • October 23, 2012

    I can relate only too well!!!! I used to beat myself up about those days But I have finally learned to take them in stride (most of the time anyway).

    I usually encourage the children to do more independent work those days like you, or sometimes take them to the library for new books to read or documentary dvd's to watch. Luckily, there are lots of great ways to learn that don't require a cheerful, well rested mom! And, if nothing else, our children learn to be more compassionate and understanding of the moods of others, right?

    1. Reply


      "our children learn to be more compassionate and understanding of the moods of others" That is so right! It is good for our children to recognise that they must come second sometimes. Other people have needs too. My girls were actually very concerned about me. They wanted to help, urging me to rest while they did everything that needed doing.

      We can get so independent and used to relying on our own strengths. It's good to allow others to help us, to be aware we need their help. I always think that if I accept help from others, then it gives others permission to accept help in their own turn.

      So I'm not feeling guilty about my bad day! I'm glad it's over though, and I've moved on. This morning was wonderful. We were up early and running while it was cool and quiet. And I ran properly and my injured leg held up. Then I faced the rest of the day with enthusiasm… Yes, good days return, even though on a bad day it seems like they never will.

      Thank you for your comment, Kari. I love sharing with you.

      God bless!

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