The Playroom: Reasons why I'm tired

Author: Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Maraya Steadman

I am tired all the time. A friend of mine is also tired all the time. It turns out we are tired because we are stressed out, we are sleeping on the wrong pillow, we drink too much coffee, we don’t take the right supplements or drink enough water or eat enough protein, our bras are restricting our lymph nodes ability to drain the stuff that is supposed to be circulating under our underwires and our chi is wonky. We also don’t get enough sleep because we have children.

My children have lots of ways of keeping me up, waking me up and otherwise affecting my much needed sleep requirements. They get sick and start barfing, or they pee in their bed and get cold and wet and start crying, or they have a bad dream, or they want some water, or a snuggle, or they are “sweating hot” in these jammies, or they can’t find Bear-bear because the dog ate Bear-bear yesterday or sometimes it’s 4:30 in the morning and they just want to get up and go play with the Wii and they need me to turn on the television. They also like climbing into my bed, and that wakes me up every time.

I don’t really like sleeping with my kids. I know I’m supposed to because they are cute and they love me and on some level it’s super sweet that they want a snuggle after they have a bad dream. But I don’t. I don’t like getting kicked in the face or rolling over into slobber pools because I’ve got a kid who still sucks their fingers and I don’t like forty pounds of pre-schooler lying on top of me, especially not in one of those slippy princess nightgowns.

Sometimes when my kids get into my bed, I go sleep somewhere else. I wake up on the couch, in the basement on the guest bed, in my daughter’s room, once on the giant-sized dog bed on the floor of the bathroom, and this morning I woke up in the top bunk of my son’s bed.

I was in the top bunk while two kids and the dog were asleep in my bed. Last night the dog jumped in the ten-year old’s bed and pushed her out, so she got into bed with her little sister who woke up screaming at 2:00 in the morning because her sister was on top of her. I got the dog out of my ten-year old’s bed and put her back in it. Then the dog jumped in the five-year old’s bed who decided to get in my bed so she could sleep on top of me. I decided to sleep in my son’s room, who at some point during the night crawled into my bed looking for me. I have no idea when the dog decided to get out of my daughter’s bed and into my bed since by that point I was asleep on the top bunk, which is a wicked place to end up at 5:00 in the morning when you have to pee.

Meanwhile, my husband was in a hotel room in Santa Monica, where he woke up to an ocean view, a run on the beach and a continental breakfast before attending (what I was told) were very stressful meetings all day.

When he comes back I’m thinking of buying a new pillow, telling him to sleep in the bunk bed and I’ll lock everyone out of my bedroom. In the morning we’ll see where everyone ends up and then I’ll ask him about his chi.

Maraya Steadman, who lives in a Chicago suburb, is a stay-at-home mother of three children. Her website is Email her at