As a parent, I have developed many pet-peeves in the last three-plus years. People cursing around my kids, unsolicited parenting advice, and most recently: people with no kids complaining to me about just how tired they are…
I get it, you lead a busy life, you have an active social life. That’s cool. I used to do the same thing as you. Random nights during the week, I would be out at the bars with friends. Or going out to dinner and staying out late. Staying up until 4 am just because I didn’t feel like going to sleep. I made my own sleep schedule and if I was tired, it was typically my own fault. Now? If I get no sleep, which I never do, it isn’t caused by my body not wanting to sleep, or me staying up for no reason. The reason is because I have kids that like to wake up randomly throughout the night, wake up early every morning, sleep in my bed, and a myriad other reasons.
I’m not saying that you don’t have valid reasons for being tired. Lots of people who don’t have kids, or small kids more specifically, have good reasons for being tired. They could be job-related. Perhaps you’ve worked double or triple-shifts for a week and haven’t slept more than a few hours, or you work in a child-care field, maybe you’re a police officer or a firefighter, or anything along those lines. In those cases, please feel free to tell me how tired you are. I don’t mind, one bit.
It’s the mindless folks who are so self-absorbed that they don’t realize what is pouring out of their mouths. It reminds me of an old Dana Carvey bit where he talks about being a new parent and is on the phone with a friend with no kids on a Saturday: “Oh my God! I slept till noon and I’m STILL TIRED! I think I’ll go to Starbucks and get a frappuccino!” Meanwhile, you haven’t slept for a week, you haven’t showered in days, and you have a big ol’ pimple right in the middle of your forehead.
I mean, seriously, folks, do I look like I have gotten any sleep in the past three-and-a-half years? Obviously not. It was worse during the newborn stages, of course, but it seems to be a never-ending cycle of not getting to sleep. I’m sitting here writing this after a night of being awoken four times in the middle of the night by a sick baby who would only sleep after a trip in the car–four trips in the car in the middle of the night.
Before you give me the “well, you made the choice to have kids” reason on why I have no room to complain, I know. I had kids on purpose. We made the decision–on purpose–to have kids. I signed up for it. If that’s your argument for why you can complain to me, or other parents, about how tired you are, the door is right there–feel free to see your way out.
Before you make the decision to complain about how tired you are, and it was your own choice out of free will to not sleep, take into account who your audience is, and then keep it to yourself. Or wait until my kids move out and I’ve gotten some sleep for a change. Then, we can talk.