The Shame of Being Tired As a Non-Mom

I usually enjoy a full schedule. Starting near the beginning of 2016, though, I felt too tired to keep up – and I was embarrassed about it. There’s a running joke that non-moms don’t understand what it’s like to be tired. Mothering is famously the hardest, most unrelenting job on the planet, so their claim to tiredness is understandable.

But as a non-mom, my exhaustion brought with it shame and embarrassment. I didn’t have kids yet. I didn’t have the right to be tired.

Dishes piled up, laundry piled up, lists of people wanting to get together piled up. I could probably rally for a special event, but otherwise, very little outside of what had to get done got done.

The Shame of Tiredness

My world shrank with my energy, and I became increasingly embarrassed about my diminishing capacity. I dreaded Mondays, because that meant grocery shopping, and grocery shopping was exhausting. Sometimes I would skip it. I regularly cancelled plans I because I wasn’t up to interacting with people or else didn’t think I would be sufficiently alert to drive home.

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