Overwhelmed and Sleep Deprived

The scene at our place, 11 a.m. Saturday

We have had a rough go at it this month. Drake was diagnosed with RSV, I got a cold, Lili got a cold, I got a sinus infection, Drake’s cough came back, Hubby got the flu… It just hasn’t been a healthy month in our home! As you know, sicky babies mean little sleep and ALOT of whining! Coffee has been my friend. Last weekend was no exception. Drake went down for bed at 7 on Friday, like normal. I was ready for bed around 10, like normal. Everything seemed to be fine and dandy and I was excited to get some solid sleep in my comfy, warm bed. Then, 1 a.m. hit. The babe started coughing and crying. My little guy doesn’t really cry when he wakes up in the night. He sort of just grunts and whines a bit. So, when I heard the crying, I knew he needed me. I rushed down the hallway and scooped him up out of his crib. With tears in his eyes, he was hacking all over and crying and gripping me. We sat down in the rocking chair in his room so I could feed and rock him back to sleep. Little did I know that I would be spending most of the night cuddling my fidgeting baby and rocking with him. By 7 a.m., the house was awake and hungry, and I was dreading the day on only 4 hours of sleep. Where’s my coffee mug??

I am sure you can relate. We’ve all had our battles with sickness or insomnia. A mama on little sleep can be a terrible thing. Ask my husband, he can vouch that Saturday was a crab-fest! *GUILTY* You know how when you are sick with a fever and aches that anytime someone touches you, it hurts. It hurts more than it should. You are just tender all over. This was my Saturday. I was trying to make due with so little sleep that anytime anyone would say something that could be construed in a hurtful way, it felt like a dagger to the heart! When we are overly tired or overwhelmed, any little thing hurts. Any tiny poke is lethal to our self esteem. We have a saying in our house: “Don’t poke the bear.” We use it whenever someone is grouchy. Don’t say anything to them that might be taken in a hurtful way. Don’t follow them around. Don’t “poke” them. I have a feeling this saying was used alot on Saturday. I was a bear.

I don’t like being grouchy, sleep deprived and unapproachable by my own

Drake in a daze after a rough night!

kids. I am not proud of who I was Saturday. By dinner time, I had to take a moment and go up to my room to sit and just cry- and those 15-20 minutes were just what I needed to collect myself. I had no reason to be crying, other than I was exhausted! I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the things that I am normally capable of each day. At that time, a friend texted me and told me about a family that lost their baby to RSV recently. I was immediately thankful for my circumstances.

There wasn’t much I could do about the sleeplessness at this point, except to choose joy. I accepted that this was a rough day, said a prayer, thanked God for my family, and tried my hardest to choose joy for the rest of the day. (Annnnd, I went to bed at 8:30. Shamelessly.)

If we are not mentally and emotionally healthy and well rested, we can not take the things life throws at us very well. We can not handle any negativity, any discouragement, any change in plans. We need to take care of ourselves, because “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”! Taking time for yourself to relax and reflect makes it a whole lot easier to choose joy on the days when you are struggling to keep it together. If that means taking a bath with the door locked, escaping to your room with a good book for a bit, going for a walk by yourself or scheduling one morning a week that you meet with a girlfriend; then do it! Keeping ourselves happy and healthy and being able to choose joy in the tough times not only sets a great example for our kids, but also keeps the whole family happy and healthy!

How do you keep yourself happy and healthy to make it easier to choose joy?


  1. Oh Rachel this post is JUST what I need this morning. We have had 2 kiddos with ear infections and a Momma with a yucky virus at our house this week so I can so relate. I’m also just like you-if I’m tired LEAVE ME ALONE 🙂

  2. Great post, Rachel. I don’t handle myself very well when I’m sick or tired, either. My best line of defense against “becoming a bear” or feeling overwhelmed is to SLEEP! I am not ashamed to take a nap or to go to bed early if that’s what I need to stay physically and mentally rested.


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