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How To Stay Young

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I don’t know when I became so tired. It seems not so long ago that I could stay up all hours of the night and lack of sleep did not effect me. I used to be able to work hard, play hard and get up the next day and start all over again. Then I became a parent. The excitement of starting a family definitely kept me energized. Then my baby was born and I realized what complete fatigue felt like. As wonderful as my new family was, that little person sucked every ounce of energy from my body like it was milk. I was physically and emotionally drained. With our one precious baby, my husband and I would see other parents with multiple children and laugh together at those crazy people. What were they thinking? It seemed so clear to us that one child was enough.

Before long, my body began to adapt and my days didn’t seem so exhausting. We fell under the spell of parenthood and had another baby, then another. It’s been twelve years and three kids since my single days. Some days I look in the mirror at the pale complexion, dark circles and tired eyes looking back at me and wonder when I got so old.

In conversations with my children, I say things like “Don’t make me stop this car” and “Because I asked you to!” Whenever we leave the house, I have a finally bathroom plea, “Just try?” When the words escape my mouth, I find myself cringing and wondering if my own parents are acting as long distance ventriloquists by sending their own words into my body. Those were the kind of phrases that caused me to roll my eyes when I was younger. But now they flow off my tongue with meaning.

With three young, active boys and a busy weekly schedule, I feel daily pressures building up inside of me. We seem to always be driving somewhere, leaving a place or getting ready to go somewhere else. The other day, with ten extra minutes to catch my breath, I took the time to really watch my son as he played. He was running through the grass without a care. He wasn’t running anywhere; he wasn’t even running in a straight line. He was just running.

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I love this Susan - thank you! What a great way you expressed.... my life!!

I also have three very young kids, have a really busy part-time freelancing career as well as a husband, home, social activities and a plethora of things going on. Some days I can barely breath. I absolutely love my life but like most - wish it would slow down a little at times.

And every time I learn about taking it slowly, breathing and relaxing - my kids are my teachers. Yesterday, my children and I all camped out and read together in our huge kingsize bed. We read all about volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers and more. Everyone was fascinated. After 50 pages we all got suddenly tired and all four of us feel asleep, all cuddled up with each other like four bears in a bed. We all woke up together an hour later and it was just lovely. Taking a stretch, gazing at the countryside outside our bedroom window. Relaxing, peaceful and my kids grinning at me like hyenas because we were all just chillin' out. Exactly how they like it.

Busy lives aside, we do this as often as we can. No structure, no official activities, no rules. Just parents and kids hanging out together, doing absolutely nothing.

March 12, 2010 - 2:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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