Working moms. Stay at home moms. Work at home moms. There is one thing they all have in common. They are all tired! All the time. Motherhood is exhausting before you even add in the rest of life. Motherhood never has any true downtime. Even when they are in your bed, you never know if one of your kids is going to have a nightmare, spike a fever, or, every mom’s worth nightmare: start throwing up. When they go to Grandma’s for the weekend/week? Still not fully off duty as you are wondering how they are doing, talking to them on the phone, etc. A mom’s brain never shuts off and a mom’s work is never done.
Yes, moms are always tired. Moms need a nap (almost as much as they need coffee). But they almost never take one. Why is that? Keep reading and I’ll tell you!
There’s so much to do
It’s true. On any given day there’s laundry, dishes, meal prep, vacuuming, bathroom scrubbing, etc. to get done. Depending on the ages of her kids and what activities they are in, there may not be a lot of time to get everything done or her kids may not be old enough to really help. There’s just not the time to nap when the pile of dirty dishes is rivaled only by the mountain of laundry.
Even if her kids are old enough to help, there are still things to do that are easier to do without helpers. Or that they want to do. I know that I miss baking alone. I used to love to bake. Then I started baking to save money instead of fun. Then I had kids and included them in the baking (which is important). But sometimes I want to do that chore alone.
They want to do something fun
Sure, she is probably pretty tired. But so often that time she would be able to nap is spent watching Netflix or reading a book or doing a hobby instead of napping. Moms have a severe lack of personal time. That’s just part of being a mom. Most of their time is caring for home and family. Every mom knows that’s part of the gig so it’s not like don’t want it.
But they do still want to be a person with downtime and interests. They have to make use of what time they have, which is often time that they could be catching up on sleep. This is also why they often stay up a little later than they should. It’s the only time they have to do something that they want to do, not something they have to do.
It’s not just sleep tired
Motherhood is exhausting but it isn’t just a “need to sleep” type of exhaustion. It’s this weary, mental, emotional exhaustion. It might sometimes look and feel like physical exhaustion. Some of it is! But it’s more complicated than that. She is always on duty. Even when asleep at night, she’s always listening for a crying or sick child. Her brain is always thinking about an appointment that needs to be made or wondering if their child is eating enough good food or any number of other things. You may have heard about the mental load of motherhood. It’s very true. Moms have a huge mental load.
With all that, a nap isn’t always going to help. It might feel like tired but sometimes doing something relaxing instead. De-stressing can be more important than sleep at times.
There are lots of reasons why moms need a nap but rarely actually take one. Most those reasons can fit under these three categories. I know I have fit into each of them at one point. Next time you hear a mom say that she’s so tired, think about these things before suggesting a nap. Especially if that mom happens to be your wife. 😉