My Body Spoke Up

posted in: Life, Life’s Lessons 80 comments

Last week, I believe I survived on adrenaline, chai, my children’s hugs and kisses, and occasional meals.

I wrote a bunch of stuff here, I wrote a bunch of stuff elsewhere, and my 2nd blog anniversary came to pass (I could do some links here but I’m lazy). I was on Twitter and Facebook talking about Peeps (what are they and why the fascination, I asked?), and in the middle of all that, I did a lot of solo parenting during the week.

So it was to no one’s surprise (well, aside from me), that on Saturday morning, I could barely get out of bed. No matter how little sleep I get, I can usually leap out of bed, straight into the shower. Not this day, no. I had a baby crawling all over me, playing with my phone (and probably calling a bunch of people at 6.30 a.m., I am sorry), and I could not get my sorry behind out of bed.

Two babies

Random picture of babies – aren’t they adorable?

Eventually, I managed to crawl out, get both children up, dressed and breakfasted, and promptly lay in a useless heap on the couch, still in my stinky pajamas where I stayed for a good while, keeping one eye open on the boys.

When 9 o’clock rolled around and I survived a shower, I told my husband that I was feeling sick, although I couldn’t explain where I hurt, why I felt like crap, I just felt fatigued and nauseous (no, I am not pregnant). For possibly the first time in my life, I listened to him when he ordered me to rest for the day.

I slept from 2.00 to 7.00 p.m., waking up intermittently to feed the baby, and diaper changes while my beloved made decisions for me throughout the day. Children carted off to their grandparents, dinner was pizza and bedtime for me was 10.00 p.m. (after ice cream because ice cream makes everything better).

On Sunday, I woke up at 7.00, feeling (slightly) human again.

Turns out, I was probably just sleep-deprived.


There is no moral to this story. Because last night, I went to bed at my usual hour, and this morning, I was up at 6.30 again. I have a full to-do list, lots of ideas for the blog and my writing, many books to read, and children to play with.

Until the next collapse-into-heap-moment, I’ll just chug along until my body speaks up again.

When was the last time you took an afternoon nap?

In a great twist of irony, I have a post on Everyday Family advocating 10 ways to save your sanity as a first-year mom – well, for any mom really. I need to take my own advice.

I also have a winner for the blog evaluation from Little Love Media thanks to my 2nd blog birthday – congratulations Christine of Love, Life, Surf, an email is on its way!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • April 1, 2013 tracy

    Good for you to listen to your body. Get some sleep, my friend. Love you. xo
    tracy recently wrote…LazyMy Profile

    • April 2, 2013 Alison

      Actually, I didn’t really, my husband forced me to take a nap. Love you too. xoxo

  • April 1, 2013 ilene

    I have a lot of weekend that I feel like I can’t get out of bed for the same reason! The good thing is that when your body spoke up, you listened!
    ilene recently wrote…PresenceMy Profile

    • April 2, 2013 Alison

      Well…. technically, my husband listened. He forced me to nap! πŸ™‚

  • April 1, 2013 Kim

    This sounds so much like what happens to me. When I get overtired, I just feel sick all over – there is no choice but to rest. Glad to hear that you got some rest and are feeling a bit better. πŸ™‚
    Kim recently wrote…You Must Remember ThisMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Good thing our bodies are smarter than our heads, sometimes πŸ™‚

  • April 1, 2013 Kir

    I think you deserved that NAP..HAPPY Blogversary sweet thing. Wow, what you have done with 2 years is incredible…and inspiring.

    I take naps a lot. If I feel tired, migraine, etc…I lay down. Esp on the weekends when I’m spent. I’m glad you got to sleep..and I know that it will help you to STAY up for far too long/late this week πŸ˜‰

    love you.
    Kir recently wrote…Fall From Grace (Trifextra)My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Good on you for taking naps, my friend!
      Love you too. xo

  • April 1, 2013 Jan Bierens

    Hi Alison,
    The body has a sure fire mechanism to tell your mind that you have to slow down for a bit. Like whoaa! Stop there, doggie.
    It’s just a sign to keep things easy for a few days, the build up enough energy to do whatever you want. It’s more productive that way. The body is a great thing, innit?

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      It definitely is!

  • April 1, 2013 Caitlin MidAtlantic

    I took an afternoon nap yesterday. It was glorious. I don’t usually take naps, but I earned one this weekend!
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently wrote…Losing My PiecesMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Good for you!

  • April 2, 2013 Leslie

    Sorry to hear you felt like crap…but glad to know you’re feeling better! It can be so easy to let all of life’s stresses overtake you. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to rest a little bit more often so it doesn’t happen again.

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I hope so! It’s mostly self-inflicted, so things can definitely improve. πŸ™‚

  • April 2, 2013 Tricia

    I so rarely nap but a few weeks ago I did just that under similar conditions to your nap (debilitating exhaustion, forced to do so by husband). It always feels so decadent.

    Glad you got some much needed rest. Keep listening to your body – and your husband – both will take care of you πŸ™‚
    Tricia recently wrote…These days. One moreMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      A 5 hour nap is definitely decadent!

  • April 2, 2013 Michelle

    Its been way too long since I got an afternoon nap! Good for you! Sometimes we really do need to listen to our bodies and give ourselves a rest!
    Michelle recently wrote…A Blog ChallengeMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Michelle, I challenge you to take a nap this week! πŸ™‚

  • April 2, 2013 Bev

    I FINALLY allowed myself to do be “unproductive” on a weekend day this past Sunday because I was feeling the same way. (And I even took a nap, which I rarely do!) I always feel the need to be doing something, especially since I own my own business and there’s always things to do for it. But you’re right, it’s important to listen to our bodies and relax when they tell us to!
    Bev recently wrote…Behind the Scenes: A Glimpse Into My Favorite RoomMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I know, my husband says I’m a ‘potterer’, that I don’t sit still and just do nothing. Hence the constant nagging for me to rest and nap. πŸ™‚

  • April 2, 2013 Jessica

    Would it be horrible if I admit that I take an afternoon nap on most days. Really. If I feel tired, I don’t resist it anymore. I used to eat instead of sleep, but then I was gaining weight all the time and just plain grouchy. Now, and even if I have a lot of “important” things to do, I sleep and it feels good.

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Well, you’re pregnant, and that’s totally acceptable!

  • April 2, 2013 Melissa

    Sometimes our bodies will let us know exactly what they need, it’s up to us to listen. I’m glad you were able to rest up, sounds like your husband is a good egg.

    Stopping by from SITS
    Melissa recently wrote…Slowing DownMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      That he is! Thanks for stopping by, Melissa.

  • April 2, 2013 Lady Jennie

    I am so happy to see you sleeping! You so need it!!

    And, how wonderful to have a husband home, that takes charge, grandparents to cart the kids off to, pizza and ice cream available … life is really, really good, isn’t it?
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Life in the Trenches – Chapter 13My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Yes, it really, really is. πŸ˜‰

  • April 2, 2013 Grace

    I keep telling myself that starting a nap routine would help me be more productive, but I have yet to make that happen. I’m glad you listened to your body and your husband supported you in getting the rest you deserve.
    And I must agree, ice cream Does make everything better. πŸ˜‰
    Following from The SITS Girls.
    Grace recently wrote…It’s My SITS Day!My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Start that nap routine now, Grace! πŸ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by.

  • April 2, 2013 Susi

    I used to nap a lot more than I ever do now. I used to love taking a 20 minute catnap on the recliner when the kids were smaller but now because I have to pick them up from school right around “naptime” I rarely get the chance to just recharge. I sometimes just go to bed a little early to catch up on some sleep…

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Going to bed early is an option.
      Not for me, though. Too much to do! πŸ˜‰

  • April 2, 2013 Kim

    What a sweetie pie your hubbie is! Glad you were able to recharge your engine.

    Hooray for naps! I think they are incredibly under-rated. I learned to take naps as an adult after our kids were teens and we had become innkeepers. When we finished our morning shiftβ€”around 5am-12pmβ€”we’d scoot next door to our apartment and grab an hour long nap. That carried us through the evening, so we could get up and be cheerful and productive innkeepers again. πŸ™‚

    Even though we are now empty nesters, we will take naps if we are tired. It’s heaven!
    Kim recently wrote…Honesty: What’s love got to do with it?My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, it’s definitely heaven!

  • April 3, 2013 Heather

    This is me most days, I won’t lie. Thankfully Colt takes naps religiously and I can sneak one in too. I swear I’d be a zombie half of the time if I didn’t. Good for you for taking a break. It really is amazing what a little sleep can do!
    Heather recently wrote…Oh. Em. Gee. En. Tree.My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Well, you’re heavily pregnant, so totally acceptable πŸ˜‰

  • April 3, 2013 Galit Breen

    I love this. We moms aren’t great at self care, are we? I’m glad you listened to your guys, and you. xo

    (*And I so miss you, too! #SoVeryMuch)
    Galit Breen recently wrote…An Interview With Glennon of Momestary!My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Self-care? What’s that? πŸ™‚
      (Miss you much!)

  • April 3, 2013 Andrea

    The thought of waking up at 6:00 frightens me. If I were sane I would do like you and get my day started much earlier. But I am not sane and I\’m a night owl so waking up that early is not an option. One of these days I will get myself and my daughter in bed a little earlier so that I can actually get things done before 10PM. Andrea visiting from SITS.

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I wake up early, and I’m a night owl too – do you see how I crashed? πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting!

  • April 3, 2013 This Busy Life

    I am feeling a little exhausted today. I can totatly relate to your post. I think I need to curl up on the couch for 20 minutes and have a little snooze right now. There’s still so much to do today.
    This Busy Life recently wrote…Tech Tuesday: App Review – Home LibraryMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I hope you snoozed!

  • April 3, 2013 Kayla

    Oh man, you’re preaching to the choir ma’am! As someone who has many ups and downs, I find myself fatigued a LOT daily even if I’ve slept the night before. I’ve on occasion slept for 15 to 17 hours before and STILL felt dead to the world o.O

    It’s SO important to listen to the subtle (or not so subtle) hints that your body gives you daily so you can keep in tip top shape!

    Glad you’re doing better πŸ™‚
    Kayla recently wrote…Seeking Sponsorship: Blogher 2013 PackagesMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you sleep when you do, Kayla!

  • April 3, 2013 Tracie

    Afternoon naps are beautiful things. Listening to your body is good too (but can be oh, so, hard). I’m glad you got some much needed rest my friend.
    Tracie recently wrote…We All Live In A Yellow SubmarineMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      It was so beautiful, I nearly missed dinner πŸ™‚

  • April 3, 2013 Sue

    Oh. hon.

    Yeah. You needed that. Good on your groom for ordering you to bed. And glad you’re feeling better.

    As for me…last time I napped? Ummmm….let’s just say that since my Cherubs are older, I don’t endure the same grueling schedule that you do. It’s an entirely different kind of grueling. I know that you get it. xo
    Sue recently wrote…I’m at Sverve!My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Self-inflicted type of grueling? πŸ™‚

  • April 3, 2013 Kristen

    Ugh! I know this sleep deprived sick feeling! I tend to push until I crash even though I try not to. It is just in my nature. We just got away for Spring Break and I made sure to find some couch time and plenty of time just staring at the roaring fireplace. It was just what my body needed after the past few months.
    Take care of yourself! No more crashing and burning!!
    Kristen recently wrote…Julia Child Taught Us More Than Just How To CookMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Glad you had couch time!

  • April 3, 2013 Christine

    So glad that you got some sleep. I’ve been feeling similarly lately and all I want to do is sleep! As soon as we got to my in-laws for Easter and the boys went to nap, so did I for 2 hours. ohmygosh it was glorious. And thank you! I”m so excited for my blog evaluation!
    Christine recently wrote…6 signs that Mommy needs a time-outMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Good for you! And yay! (I’m getting to the blog evaluation, promise!)

  • April 3, 2013 My Inner Chick

    our bodies always tell us when it’ s time to slow down.
    When we don’t listen, the body will scream at us πŸ™‚ Xxxx

    I hope you can take more naps, dear.

    My Inner Chick recently wrote…An Imitation Life on Carnival Cruise LinesMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      I definitely got screamed at! πŸ™‚

  • April 3, 2013 Jessica

    This sounds like how I spent Easter Sunday. In bed or on the couch. Sleeping. And when I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating.
    Jessica recently wrote…Essence of Now: Spring Break {Part 1}My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Sounds glorious!

  • April 3, 2013 Amy

    I just did the same thing the other night. Just laid down and went to sleep. Fully clothed, lights on, dishes on the counter… And it made my day yesterday so very much better. I never go to bed before 12 or so because after the boy goes to bed that’s “my” time and I have a ton of energy. So, I’m with you, it just catches up to you one day. Glad you took the time.
    Amy recently wrote…Saying no to sugar. Sort of.My Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, totally caught up with me and kicked my ass. Good on you for going to bed when you had to!

  • April 3, 2013 Vikki

    I feel somewhat responsible! Glad you have recovered πŸ™‚
    Vikki recently wrote…Peep Week 2013 – The EndMy Profile

    • April 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh, you kinda are! πŸ™‚ #Peeps

  • April 4, 2013 Kimberly

    No seriously.
    I can’t. I wish I could.
    Kimberly recently wrote…What Do You Do With Your Free Time?My Profile

    • April 5, 2013 Alison

      I wish you could too. xo

  • April 4, 2013 KalleyC

    So glad you listened to your body. I think we all go through those momemts. Take it easy.
    KalleyC recently wrote…Lately…My Profile

    • April 5, 2013 Alison

      I am! Well, most of the time πŸ™‚

  • April 4, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    My body is constantly yelling at me. I just keep going. But I don’t have anyone to take my kids. Well my son goes to his dad’s but I always have my daughter. She lets me sleep late though.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Spring PlayMy Profile

    • April 5, 2013 Alison

      Good on her for letting you sleep late πŸ™‚

      • April 5, 2013 Amanda Jillian

        Yup every other week I get to sleep till 9 or 10 instead of 7 when AJ decides we should all be up.
        Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Spring PlayMy Profile

  • April 5, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Oh, Alison…glad you got some much needed rest. And good job for listening to your husband and your body πŸ™‚
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Running and Sunshine…My Profile

    • April 5, 2013 Alison

      I was forced to πŸ˜‰

  • April 5, 2013 Leigh Ann

    I’m glad you got that opportunity. Sleep deprivation is awful, and I can really tell when it’s hitting me too hard. I feel so forlorn, like life will never get better. Hooray for your awesome husband!
    Leigh Ann recently wrote…Three out of five (and a disclaimer)My Profile

    • April 5, 2013 Alison

      Forlorn – yes, that’s how I felt!! Also, like I was going to die. πŸ™‚

  • April 6, 2013 Tonya

    Our bodies can only do so much… I’m glad you finally listened to yours.
    Tonya recently wrote…Dear PinterestMy Profile

    • April 6, 2013 Alison

      Well, technically, my husband made me. πŸ™‚

  • April 6, 2013 kaen

    that is one thing I miss about staying at home, I miss the occasional naps I need to recharge. When your body speaks you need to listen, you need to be ready to go for your kids. Glad you listened babe.
    kaen recently wrote…April Secret Subject SwapMy Profile

    • April 6, 2013 Alison

      Glad my husband made me listen πŸ™‚

  • April 6, 2013 Mothering From Scratch

    {Melinda} You are a better woman than I! I crash-and-burn quickly when I don’t get enough sleep. πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your 2nd anniversary! You have done a great job of building your blog and business — no wonder you’re tired!
    Mothering From Scratch recently wrote…how to maximize our window of mommy influenceMy Profile

    • April 7, 2013 Alison

      Hah! I know, working too hard on the blog πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • April 7, 2013 Kim

    My body often lets me know in no uncertain terms it needs to slow down, get off the computer, shut off the phone and just rest. That means I am tired, cranky, ready to b**ch slap anyone who crosses my path the wrong way, in pain just about everywhere on my body, and craving junk food. I’ll occasionally lay down on the couch and try to nap but I’ll usually only sleep 20 minutes then wake up. My body is kind of evil that way. *sigh*
    Kim recently wrote…Bellagio Conservatory Celebrates SpringMy Profile

    • April 7, 2013 Alison

      Hey, 20 minutes is better than nothing!

  • April 7, 2013 Lorna

    I never nap. Now, put me on the couch with a movie I actually want to watch, and all bets are off. πŸ˜‰
    Lorna recently wrote…My Island Diaries: Armadale, SkyeMy Profile

    • April 7, 2013 Alison

      Hah! That’s the way life works, right?

  • April 8, 2013 Maureen

    You are one busy machine mama, Alison!
    Sleeping really is become something more precious once we became mothers, isn’t?
    Good to know you are listening to your body, my friend πŸ™‚

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