I’m just really tired right now, okay?


Dear kids - I'm just really tired

I’m sorry, kids, for being cranky. I’m sorry for being frustrated and swearing under my breath (more than usual). I’m sorry for snapping at you for little things and yelling at you for big things. I’m sorry I haven’t got much to say that’s pleasant, and I’m sorry I’m not very fun lately.

I’m just really tired right now, okay?

There’s a lot of stressful stuff going on at home and work that takes my mind away from you. I’m constantly distracted and I know that means I’m not practising what I preach about being mindful, but sometimes life is just too much for one mum to handle. By the time I’ve packed all the things that need doing into my head, there’s just not a lot of brain space leftover for being present.

Being nice is hard right now

There’s not a lot of space leftover for being nice either. I know that’s a really terrible thing to say, but it’s just the way it is sometimes. I try not to be mean and angry and frustrated, but it slips out sometimes. When you’re tired, there’s just not a lot of energy leftover to keep the mean in.

When you’re tired, there’s just not a lot of energy leftover to keep the mean in.

I’m working on it, I promise. It’s just that I’ve been standard-tired for so long that this extra-tired is crushing me. You can only ever manage extra-tired if you start out fresh. Fourteen years of parenting have toughened me up, but they’ve also exhausted me. That’s a mum’s standard-tired. The extra-tired is all the stuff on top of that.

Mums are tired because we care so, so, so much. When you don’t care, you don’t worry, you don’t battle your kids about the little things and you don’t overthink the big things. Caring is relentless. Being a mum is hard work, let me tell you.

The daily battle is relentless

I know you think I ask too much of you, that I criticise too much, and we’re working on that. Just know that the daily battle is because it’s my job to prepare you for both the good and the bad bits of life. I want to help you polish everything you have inside and give you the tools to share yourself with the world.

I care about your potential, I care about your failings, I care about your future. I’m really just a huge load of caring attempting to be a mother. It breaks my heart that some days I’m the worst part of your day, and I know lately that’s been the case on too many days.

It breaks my heart that some days I’m the worst part of your day.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe I gave too much when you were little. I didn’t rest enough or take days off when, really, I could have, I should have. I always felt like it had to be me there, every step of the way, giving my all. But now you are older I realise the early years were just the warm up. I know I’ve entered the real race exhausted from the training and now I’m scrabbling around at half-speed, too tired to perform at my best.

I need your positivity right now

The thing is, kids, I need you to rally for me right now. I know I’m usually chief rallier, but lately I just haven’t got the necessary get up and go. So I need you to step up and be chief. Do you think you could do that? I need your positivity and hopefulness so much right now. I also need your attention on the things you know matter to me, but I suspect don’t matter to you so much. Save me from some of the stress by being neat, being careful and being kind to each other. Maybe you could save some of that kindness for me, too?

I also need your attention on the things you know matter to me, but I suspect don’t matter to you so much.

That’s the trouble with being tired like your mumma is tired: it’s almost impossible to think that anything is ever going to be any different. Tiredness sucks you into a vortex and makes you feel like you’re never going to escape.

Help me find my optimism

I know the frustration that tiredness brings up in me makes me so hard to get along with right now. I need you to know that I’m working on finding my optimism. It’s in there, I know it is. It’s the reason I’m writing this post and the reason I haven’t cried about any of this yet. I know finding it will be much easier if you help me look.

I know I’m going to be okay, so I know you’re going to be okay. In the meantime, just remember, right now it’s me, not you. So please forgive me, support me and love me through it. I’ll be back soon, I promise.

Ever been too tired to be the parent you want to be?

Image by Sydney Sims

Dear kids – I’m just really tired right now

Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than seven years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

We’re very social

More for you

6 ways I’ve changed how I’m parenting the teen years

6 ways I’ve changed how I’m parenting the teen years

Whenever I mention that I have three highschoolers I'm bound to hear, "OMG, you are braaaaave!". People used to say it in exactly the same way when I told them I had three kids under five. It seems that having your kids close together instantly makes you 'brave' and...

My new parenting mantra: focus on the process

My new parenting mantra: focus on the process

In an effort to get healthier and stop feeling old (yes, it has come to this), I've been reading a lot about health and wellbeing. I'm newly obsessed with websites like Outside, The Growth Equation and Trained.  Will this turn me into a late-onset athlete? Will...

Affiliate links

From time to time Mumlyfe uses affiliate links.  It means that Mumlyfe may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using the link.  You can find out more about how it works here.

You may also like


This is how I take a week off when I really need it

This is how I take a week off when I really need it

I remember writing an article years ago where I said that holidays when you're a mum are just the same sh*t, different location. Nothing has changed. In order to take a week off during an actual holiday, we'd need to go somewhere remote without the family. Somewhere...


  1. Avatar

    Typing this through tears of exhaustion – this is exactly how I’m feeling at the moment but don’t have the functioning brain cells to put into words.
    So, so very true and spot on. I’d never thought about the level of standard tiredness that I rock up to the starting line each day, before even dealing with all the extra stuff.
    Great article and thank you!

  2. Avatar

    I’m so sorry Bron. Being exhausted is a total nightmare. It does suck everything out of your – your positivity, your flexibility. I get it. I would suggest a night (or two) in a hotel. Alone or with Bart. Some – ahem- time away from the in laws and kids and can help. As can sleeeepppp.

    My mum doesn’t let me be angry or cranky. But I am learning that I am allowed to be at times. And so can you.

    • Avatar

      Thanks for the pep talk, Eliza. I definitely need some time away (and a time out!!!), so I am going to look into making that happen. x


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This