Last month, my husband and I got into a conversation about why parenting is so exhausting. Ok, so there’s some obvious reasons. This isn’t exactly rocket science. If you’re anything like me, by the end of the day you have no juice left and it’s all you can do to sit in front of the couch and binge watch Netflix.
But my husband went on to describe something he read online about why it’s so exhausting to drive a vehicle on long road trips. It’s constant decision making: you’re always negotiating the space between you and other drives, checking signs, judging the speed limit… And those are just a few. By the end of a car trip, you get out of your vehicle and you’re likely tired without even realizing why.
“It’s just like parenting,” he explained. Recently we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and we didn’t have our children with us for 24-hours. It was easy to joke about what couples do without kids: they must have so much time on their hands! Sure that’s probably a broad generalization. But it made me think. I guess because I’ve had kids for the last 9 years, it’s hard to remember what it was like to just make decisions for myself. But now that I think about it, I’ve been making decisions for two small people every moment of every day.
“Don’t jump on that chair!”
“Did you brush your teeth? Go brush your teeth.”
“It’s time for bed.”
“I don’t know. Go ask your father.”
“Did you do your chores?”
“Why haven’t you still brushed your teeth?”
“You can’t wear rain boots with shorts and a bathing suit, kiddo.”
“Where is your book bag?”
“GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!”
Jennifer Meer writes a great article on “Decision Fatigue”, if you’re interested in the subject. I don’t know if it’ll help all you tired parents at all, but at least you’ll know you’re not alone!