There was a time in our marriage when we weren’t utterly exhausted all the time.
But last night, we spent 45 minutes in bed together. Less than one hour.
We don’t really belong to ourselves in this season of our lives, is the thing, especially in those hours between sundown and sunup. Because we have kids, when the four-year-old has an accident, or the baby wails for mommy, or a child whimpers with a tummyache, we’re pulled from the warmth of our bed again and again. The couch doubles as a spare bed at least three nights per week, and it’s not because one of us has kicked the other out there.
Even during the day, our energy is divided down to almost nothing. There’s work, school, appointments, practices, home renovations, family get-togethers, LAUNDRY.
And it all makes us both SO INSANELY TIRED.
Shimmery, mirage-like memories of energy and 10 hours of unbroken sleep and a casual relationship with caffeine surface in my mind sometimes, so I know we’ve experienced life as well-rested human beings at one point.
But it’s certainly not reality now.
I think about those days, sometimes, when we were newlyweds and we could sleep for as long as we wanted on a Saturday morning. When we could stay up until 2 a.m. binge watching Grey’s Anatomy or laughing with friends in tiny, ill-furnished apartments. When we could take impromptu weekend trips or make it to church on time like it’s totally normal. We did what we wanted, when we wanted, and we never texted each other things like “SO TIRED” the next day.
You know what’s funny though? I wouldn’t go back.
Because we didn’t realize what we were missing back then—the beauty of the things that make us so perpetually worn to the bone today.
It sounds clichéd, I know. but it’s true.
Right now, we’re rocking babies in the still of the night.
Right now, we’re bandaging scraped knees after spills from two-wheeled bikes.
Right now, we’re mending hurting hearts navigating the hard parts of growing up.
Right now, we’re laughing and dancing and twirling in the living room on Friday nights.
Right now, we’re feathering a nest with love and kindness and security.
Right now, we’re nurturing child-like faith in a loving and present Lord.
Right now, we’re running on fumes, and yeah, we’re exhausted.
But it won’t always be like this.
This is a sweet spot in our life, a rich chapter of our marriage in spite of—maybe because of—the exhaustion it produces.
I visited a couple we know the other day who just had their first baby a few weeks ago. The new father shook his head when I asked how they were holding up, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why didn’t anyone tell us we’d be THIS tired?”
I stifled a you-have-no-idea-how-much-more-tired-you’ll-yet-become laugh, and looked down at the mewling infant in his mother’s arms a few feet away, then back into his red-rimmed eyes. “It won’t always be like this,” I smiled.
It will be even better.
So even though I have permanent dark circles under my eyes, you run 10 minutes late to work more often than you should, and we both consume more caffeine than is probably wise—I hope you know I am so very, deeply grateful for this physical weariness that’s evidence of such a full heart.
Every ounce of exhaustion is worth it and beautiful.
And who knows, maybe tonight’s the night we’ll get an hour—maybe two?!—in bed together. A girl can dream.
Your Exhausted Wife
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Dear Husband, I Am With You Even When It’s Hard
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