As I write today, I can hear sporadic outbursts from my two-year-old as he is fighting sleep. “Want to pay wif my cars but it nap time…. I sad and cyin! can’t pay wif ANYfing…” The poor little guy is so tired, he’s far from being reasonable. If you have children or have been around children, I’m sure you understand. When they get that tired, whatever emotional coping skills they’ve managed to develop so far go straight out the window. Recently (when tired of course), he has cried because the birds were singing to him (he normally loves hearing the birds sing, by the way), because mommy ate some cherry tomatoes he was not eating and did not want, because he didn’t want THAT diaper, he wanted a different diaper (which all look the same) … you get the idea, I’m sure.
Even though my heart breaks for him knowing that he feels that miserable, I know that the remedy is rest. He’s tired, and being tired makes it hard for us to cope with frustrations, regardless of age. This thought brings me up to the point I’d like to share today.
Are you tired?
As adults, we may get tired because we’ve not had enough sleep, or because we’ve physically been on-the-go for too long, but we also get emotionally and spiritually tired. Maybe you’re experiencing burnout because of a demanding job or feeling like you’re in a rut. Maybe you feel unappreciated and just worn down. Maybe you’re grieving and just feel weary. Regardless of what is causing it, we all get tired. If we’re not careful, it can affect our relationships.
5 Warning Signs that you and/or your spouse need a “nap”:
1. You find yourself getting more and more irritable with those around you.
2. You have trouble remembering the last time you laughed (especially with your spouse).
3. You’re becoming more and more absentminded (have you ever spent an extended period of time looking for your keys, only to find them safely tucked away…in the freezer?).
4. Your feelings are hurt more easily than normal.
5. You find yourself in more tense situations in your home than peaceful ones.
If you’re noticing some of the warning signs above (or others), maybe it’s time to find a way to schedule in some rest for you and your family. After all, if you are not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to take care of your responsibilities to your full ability.
What do you do when you need rest?
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com