On being busy, tired and grumpy

On being busy tired and grumpy

I’m in danger of becoming shouty mum again, or at least, shoutier mum again. I’m not sure if those descriptions are actually real words, but they should be.

Last week was a busy one. The wee girl’s birthday party on Sunday, her actual birthday on Wednesday. A swim team event on Tuesday evening. That I ended up missing because I closed the boot of the car on my head. Hard. I’m an idiot. Wednesday evening there was a Cub Scout event.

By Thursday everyone was exhausted. The boys stumbled down stairs in the morning and I actually gasped when I saw them. Shadows under the eyes, sad faces, stooped shoulders.

It was too much. Never have I been so grateful for a long weekend.

On Thursday I wandered around the house, unable to settle to anything. I haven’t felt that tired for weeks. Not since I began my quest to simplify and calm my life.

The last couple of months have seen me take more care; of my time, my energy, my inner resources.

And, I am beginning to notice a difference.

A tough week, with a sick household a couple of weeks ago didn’t break me, and I was happy with my ability to let things go and accept everything that week threw at me.

I suspect it was the beginning of the assault on my energy reserves though.

I’ve always known that I need to sleep. I don’t function well on little sleep (who does?) and I get very grumpy, very quickly when I’m tired.

I know this, but I’ve always ignored it. Put it in the it’s life, get on with it pile.

BUT, having taken more care of myself over the last couple of months, I have noticed such a change in my ability to cope with stressful or frustrating situations.

I don’t shout at the kids in the morning (as much!). The school run has become a calmer, easier process. Homework less of a chore. Afternoons more fun. Bedtimes less frustrating!

Yup, not rocket science (again), but a wake up call to me nonetheless.

Self-awareness has never been an issue for me. In fact, I am far too introspective at times. But, acting on that self-awareness? Never been a strong point.

Last week I was over-tired: I was clumsy, I ate badly (sometimes forgetting to eat at all), I felt frustrated. I snapped a lot. And, I knew it.

I could feel myself spiraling, and I know I was thoroughly unreasonable at times.

I shouted at the kids far too much. Often for no reason.

That’s not fair. Unavoidable at times, I know. We all do it. But, if I’m aware enough to know that I’ve been unfair, then I should be aware enough to do something about it.

If my plan for this year is to succeed, then I need to learn from weeks like last week.

There was a lot of fun, but there was also a lot of shouting.

So, note to self: more sleep, fewer commitments, less grumpiness!

I need to do less to enjoy more.

Sharing this post with The Truth About.


34 thoughts on “On being busy, tired and grumpy”

  1. I think we all go through this from time to time. Times when its necessary to just step back and re-assess. If there is a parent that doesn’t spend most of their time busy, tired, and grumpy, I haven’t met them yet

    1. It seems like such an inevitable thing at times, but I am finding, as my kids get older, that it is possible to strike a better balance. At least some of the time! Being less tired makes such a difference to how I interact with the kids. Taking a step back to re-assess is such a good thing to do every so often x

  2. Oh I love this! Yes! I sometimes stumble/rush around trying to get things frantically done and yet all I am succeeding in doing is making myself and those closest to me miserable! That is really not a very good way to operate. The old adage Less Is More really is true :)

    1. Towards the end of last year I realized that something had to change. I was unhappy, and I was making everyone else unhappy. Making changes isn’t easy, and I am definitely a work in progress, but letting go of the craziness is making a difference to the whole family :)

  3. I’m like you, I talk a good talk but in reality sometimes it is just not possible to do calm or zen parenting all the time – when you are tired, unwell, stressed etc. for whatever reason. Always good to remind ourselves that we are not defined by falling into what feels like a rut though – we do have it in us to improve and keep working on being better parents. X

    1. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve realized, that it is possible to change the status quo. I’m not going to get it right all the time, but I really feel that I have to try to get better at it most of the time, which is really all we can do.

  4. Yes I like to think I can be better but in actual truth it never happens. Sounds like you had an incredibly busy week so no wonder you’re tired and grumpy. It happens to all of us. I become such s shouty mum when I’m tired. Even more than normal. Then I hate myself for it. It’s a vicious circle x

    1. It is hard, and we all do it. I am becoming more aware though, finally managing to count to ten – on occasions anyway!

    1. I’ve noticed such a difference since I let go of a few ‘activities’ and started taking a bit of time out. It really helps x

  5. Kellie Kearney

    Home truths and real parenting. Not everything is rainbows and cupcakes. You are normal,it’s been a busy week. Hopefully things settle for you soon xx

    1. Absolutely! What’s been interesting (which it shouldn’t have been!) is how making some really simple changes has made such a difference to my mind-set. Not that it stopped this horrible week being horrible :) But, at least I know that it won’t stay that way!

  6. Oh I can relate. Busy – check. Over tired – check. Grumpy – check check check! I’ve been trying to really push work at the moment and it means I’ve been on the computer at 12am and then up with E at 5am… so tired! H x

    1. Yes, sometimes it’s all too much. I’ve really made a conscious effort to slow things down and it’s working. On the whole, I’m actually getting more done!

  7. Oh yes. I can totally relate to this. My youngest (13 months) has just started sleeping through the night (well, she has for the last three nights – shhhh, don’t jinx it) and I’ve already noticed life seems a lot easier.

    1. It’s funny isn’t it, we all do it! Unavoidable at times, but slowing it all down makes such a difference.

  8. Are you preaching at me? Joking of course but this is me, to a ‘T’. I’m naturally a busy person but there’s a very fine line where I tip over the edge and becomes tired, stressed and….shouty! Oh dear. A lesson for us all here I think. Just remember not to beat yourself up but to learn from it. x

    1. It is an extremely fine line, isn’t it?! I’ve had to step way further back than I’m comfortable with to switch myself off and start again. Have to say, it is working… x

  9. Oh sleep, I need so much more than I am getting, but preferably in a long stretch which my youngest is keen to deny me. I am definitely finding that I need to take better care of myself so that I can be a better parent to the children and the more rested and calmer I am, the more fun we all have

    1. Exactly, we do need to take care of ourselves, we’re so much better able to cope when we’re rested too x

    1. Ha! Yup, not an easy one. I’m lucky that my kids are getting a bit older, so if I don’t get enough sleep at night now, it’s not down to them, it’s entirely my own fault. So, I’m working on getting better at switching off and getting the rest I need x

  10. Oh Sara, yes, i think i could do with doing less. All got a bit too much during our kitchen refit to be honest. Anyway, we can all be shouty mum/dad at times. Part of life. It’s when you don’t recognise it and take action that you’re doing things wrong. #truthabout

    1. We do it to ourselves all the time, don’t we?! And, yes, we’re all shouty at times, so what I’m working on is recognizing the signs and trying to head it off at the pass more. Being a bit more mindful of my own moods and actions x

  11. I bet every person who reads this can relate, including me! I haven’t shut the car boot on my head though ;)

    You wouldn’t be human if your didn’t have those days of being grumpy and shouting etc. I certainly do xx

    1. Oh, gosh, it hurt. Two weeks later and it still aches!! We all have bad days, it’s about learning from it, not beating ourselves up x

  12. Hi Sara, I think bad weeks are good for giving us a wake up call. Last week has made you think and set you back on track, and without that you wouldn’t realise just how well you are doing.

    Hope you’ve managed to get back in to a more relaxed mindset and gotten a little more sleep (if not you could always try hugging a tree, I find it works for me!).


    1. I think that too, although I’m not sure in the past I’d have been that mindful. I’m working hard on that, and it’s paying off. And, hugging a tree is always good :)

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