This is Why Moms are Exhausted, Always Exhausted

I came downstairs this morning and noticed right away we were out of glasses. I also smelled something really strange which kept me walking around the downstairs until I found the culprit. I did. My son had tuna fish the night before and left the bowl under the sofa.

My youngest has been going through a phase where he “forgets” to close the pantry and he’s constantly playing with his hair which tells me his anxiety has spiked again.

I feel like after I became a mom, I grew some type of sixth sense I never knew existed.

After I became a mom, I grew a sixth sense I never knew existed. (Twenty20 @heather_lee_wilson)

My mom used to know everything

I remember my own mother seemingly knowing everything and when I appeared perplexed she told me that she had eyes in the back of her head.

I now know what she was really saying: I pretty much have sensors that go off when something is going well, something bad is about to happen, and when there’s food rotting under the sofa, even if I’m not in the house to see it or smell it.

I can tell when something is off or when my kids are lying. I can walk around with my eyes closed and still be able to tell if my son’s wearing the same stained shirt he’s been wearing for three days.

This is all incredibly exhausting – the noticing, then the explaining, then the doing something about it because, if I don’t find the game jersey or the cause for the high water bill, who will?

Nobody, that’s who.

Moms just know things… like everything

It’s like a symptom of this mom-sorority we’ve all joined. We know things. We know things we want to know and we know things we don’t want to know. It’s as if the information finds its way to us and says, “I’m here, now take care of me or terrible things will happen.”

Even if we know terrible things won’t happen, we need to unload all of “our noticing” by taking action to rectify the problems. And as a result, we are pretty damn tired.

I wish I could turn it off some days. I’ve even had times where I’ve sworn I’d stick to my guns, do what I needed to get done for the day and not get distracted by a ponytail holder on the floor in the next room. I promised myself I would stop overanalyzing why my son is in a grumpy mood.

This isn’t a case of being an over-thinker (but I am that).

I’ve talked to my friends and sisters and we all explain it in the same way: We see things first and know no one else really gives a crap so, it’s on us.

The Thanksgiving dinner, the scheduling, the making sure your child gets their favorite kind of frozen pizza, making sure there are always extra masks in the car. It doesn’t end. The noticing never stops. You are a mother now and that means you are firing on all cylinders all the time, even in your sleep.

It doesn’t feel like a choice (I know it is, but you know what I’m saying here). It feels like as soon as we became a parent, our DNA changes. Often, all the seeing of things, even if we don’t do anything about them, makes us so tired we want to put blinders over our brain, our eyes, and our ears and truly tune out.

The mental load is heavy for moms

This mental load is heavy and something I’ve realized only fellow mothers understand.

It’s easy to tell someone else to sit back and relax and let someone else do the heavy lifting. And it’s quite another to take your own advice.

The workload of being a mom is an invisible beast. You are constantly, like 24/7, “on” both emotionally and physically.

And what makes it even more tiring is it’s just expected and most of the time goes completely unnoticed. We all like to be acknowledged for hard work and a job done well. Moms are no different.

Do we need constant accolades for busting our butts and keeping up with the laundry load of demands and concerns that never stop? Of course not. But a little goes a really long way in motivating us.

We are warriors, invisible ones but warriors just the same.

We carry all the expectations of others

We carry the expectations of others and the ones we put on ourselves. We have a rolodex and calendar in our brains at all times. We are petrified that we are going to forget something which is why sometimes the keys ends up in the trash. It’s impossible to keep it all straight and not have something go wrong.

Moms notice it all and get it done because that’s who we are and we know if we ignore it, there will be a volcanic eruption that we could have avoided.

And this is why we are so darn tired. All. The. Time.

You Might Also Want Want to Read:

Parenting Teens is the Loneliest I’ve Ever Felt as a Parent Katie Talks about why it feels so lonely when you are the parent of a teen.

About Katie BinghamSmith

Katie Bingham-Smith lives in Maine with her three kids. She is a Staff Writer at Scary Mommy, shoe addict and pays her kids to rub her feet. You can see more of her on Facebook and Instagram .

Read more posts by Katie

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates about parenting teens and young adults straight to your inbox.