Why mums of school-aged children are so tired

School runs, packed lunches, day trips, and after school clubs. They're all part of my day as a mum to school-aged children. Add to that all the stay-at-home mum jobs I have to do and by the end of the day I'm pretty tired.

Come 9pm most days I'm exhausted, the day has taken its toll and I'm ready for sleep. I'm a mum of school-aged boys and always wonder why I'm so tired, it's not like I'm chasing after toddlers all day or changing 20 nappies per hour.

But then I realised there's an answer in my routine...

You may be tired but you've still go to wake up, and get up

Waking at 6:30am I go into the bathroom and go through my morning routine. By 6:45am I'm heading downstairs, closely followed by my youngest, LP.

Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy. 

Tina Fey

First things first, breakfast. I make breakfast for LP, usually cereal, and while I'm doing that BP and the Hubby rise too. So it's their breakfast time and I put bread in the toaster. While the bread is toasting I'll make drinks for everyone (not myself) and take them through to the lounge where the boys are waiting.

Back to the kitchen to sort out the toast and hand to the hungry people. Now I get a 10 minute (or so) break to have breakfast myself, but I always forget to do myself a drink and just get on with eating my breakfast.

By the time I've finished my breakfast the boys are sitting around so I have to tell them to go through their morning routines; brush teeth, wash face, brush hair etc. Of course it's not just once I have to tell them, it takes many times to get them to actually move.

Once they've done that they have to get school uniform on and make sure they have everything ready for a day at school, this usually results in homework being printed or panic about unfinished homework, rushing to find school shoes/PE kit, or just grumpiness because it's a school day.

While the boys get ready for school (or fight over who needs to be in the bathroom) I get to tidying the kitchen. The dishwasher goes on, the washing machine is filled and turned on. I keep my ironing board in the kitchen (it's a big kitchen) and do 10-20 minutes of ironing to tackle the mountain of ironing I always seem to have. After that I take the clean, ironed clothes and put them away or lay them on the kids' beds so they can be put away.

After all this it is usually school run time and I rush out the door to take LP to school. By now I'm already tired, but I keep going.

Why Mums Of School Aged Children Are So Tired | Walking LP to school.

Morning school run over


Well, no, un-phew. On a Monday I head straight to the supermarket from the school run to do the weekly shop. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1½ hours depending on what I have to buy.

After the school run (or shopping) I get home and have my first drink of the day (coffee, always coffee). Sometimes I'll sit for a minute or two just so I can chill after the hectic morning, sometimes not.

By now it's usually 9:05am and I head into my office for a day of work. I spend the morning planning my work for the day, begin writing posts, respond to emails, and get my head in "work" mode. In the few hours I have before lunch time I can get lots done, or I can get little done, depending on what kind of morning I've had.

Lunchtime is easy when you have school-aged children

At around 11:45am I begin lunch, I make a hot lunch for both the Hubby (he works at home) and I and while the lunch is cooking (if I'm lucky) I'll tidy the kitchen a little more. I'll empty the dishwasher and refill if necessary, I'll put the washing machine back on and turn the dryer on if I need to.

Once lunch is ready I take about an hour off to watch the news with the Hubby and talk about the day's news or just rant at the TV.

Back to the office

Taking 1½ hours for lunch on most days I return to my office in the afternoon and get straight on with the tasks I'd planned during the morning. I watch the clock all afternoon because I know the timer is on and I only have a few short hours before the afternoon school run.

Why Mums Of School Aged Children Are So Tired | My office, mac and desk.

School run again

At 3:15pm I leave my office and head to school, again, to pick up LP. It can take him 5 minutes or 15 minutes to get out of school. Luckily I live 5 minutes drive from school.

Getting tired but back home with the children

We walk through the door and the boys (BP is usually home after catching the bus from school) get changed out of their uniforms while I get to cleaning the kitchen. I wipe down the kitchen sides, clean the cooker top, put dishes away and wash dirty pans if I haven't already.

The boys have to be nagged to do homework or chores, either one takes lots of nagging and monitoring to make sure they get done. If I think I can get away with being disappearing for a minute I put the washing machine on again.

Once all the chores are done, the bedrooms are tidy, and homework is finished the boys entertain themselves and I sit down with a drink.

Dinner time

I can spend between 30 minutes to 2 hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking a family meal that we can all enjoy. Sometimes this works, others it doesn't (the boys will say they don't like whatever I've cooked). 

We all sit at our dining table to eat together most days, it's the first chance we all have to talk about the day we've had.

There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap. 

Carrie Fisher

Tired - but chill time now

By 9pm both boys are in bed and the games are off, it's finally time to relax. An episode of our current favourite show and I'm ready for sleep but I refuse to go to bed until at least 10:30pm. It is so nice to sit with the Hubby and relax for an hour or so after the kids are in bed, it's our quiet time.

When it actually comes to sleep time I am so tired I usually fall asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

This is just a typical day, add in child illnesses, a bout of the flu, or a household problem like a broken shower and everything changes. 

Why Mums Of School Aged Children Are So Tired | Chill out time for mum.

Even if your children are at school all day and you're at home with "nothing to do" you're entitled to be tired. You work hard, every day, and try to make your home a wonderful place for your children and husband/partner to relax.

Be sure to take a little time for yourself every day, even if it's just a few minutes. You need to relax at least some of the time!

Why Mums Of School-Aged Children Are So Tired | School runs, packed lunches, day trips, and after school clubs. As well as stay-at-home mum duties!

How do you spend your days?

If you liked this post you'll like Why it's awesome being a mum to tweens/teens.


  1. Yes to this!
    When you write it all down it seems like we do loads even if we're not running about after toddlers or babies....Even when I sit down and do nothing I am still thinking about what needs to be done. It's never ending. lol

    1. Totally! From putting the washing on to scheduling what goes in next we're either doing, or planning! :)

  2. Yes! I often wonder why I'm tired, then I look at all the stuff I do and it becomes obvious!

  3. Totally this, and I work full time. The OH tells me I only work part time because I don't work for myself like he does 7 days a week (he's a farmer). Yes he has to go out at night to check cattle, harvest he can work up to 18 hours a day, and he gets up at 5am. But he also has tea breaks of around 30 mins in the morning and afternoon, up to an hour lunch break, and apart from occasionally picking up N from after school club if he's finished work before 5pm, he does nothing else once he's finished work. I do all the washing, loading/unloading dishwasher, folding clothes (I don't do ironing unless there's a wedding to go to), I do all the food shopping, cooking, running around after N. Even when he looks after N (during some school holidays), he doesn't actually look after him, he takes him to work with him (or N spends the day with his uncle working instead). Then of course I spend most evenings blogging.

    So yes, most mums are probably tired.

    1. Oh boy! I cannot imagine working full time too! I think I'd be asleep by 7pm.
      Hope you get some time for yourself occasionally! xx

  4. I find it's being in the UK that makes me tired, both in South Africa and here in Dubai, the daylight hours are shorter, there's little TV choice, so we tend to go to bed within an hour or two of sunset and always in bed by 9pm on a week, even when the kids still lived with us. I'm in the UK next week, people eat much later, have their routines with TV etc and go to be much later around 10.30-midnight. Also when you have kids it's not just about having 'me time' it's about having time during the day when you can switch your brain off without clock watching and worrying about getting stuff done in a short space of time...#PoCoLo

    1. I never thought of it like that but I suppose you're right. When there's not other things to do I guess it would be easier to be more rested. :)

  5. I actually thought you were going along the lines of dehydration here Morgan. Because all those flippin chores aside, don't forget that we should drink water! (and although not for me, maybe balance it out with a tipple in the evening...!). Thanks for hosting #pocolo

    1. You're totally right Carol! I often forget to have a drink and then wonder why I am so thirsty! xx

  6. We're not there yet. Peachy is only 15 months old. But I'm already pretty tired. #PoCoLo

    1. Oh boy yes, looking after a toddler is an encompassing thing. Just when you think you'll get relief because she is starting school (a long way off yet) everything else will take over!

  7. I totally get this! I have three kids aged 15, 13 and 11, at three different schools. We have extra-curricular activities every day after school and my eldest isn't in bed until midnight. I'm also a bit of an insomniac and usually awake at 5.

    1. Goodness! My eldest, 12, goes to bed at 9 at the moment and the Hubby thinks we should let him go to bed later. I'm not sure it's a good idea. It really is exhausting taking them places and keeping up with their social calendars all the time isn't it?
      Thanks for stopping by. xx


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