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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Are You an Extremely Tired Parent?

by Jocelyn Jane Cox

Welcome to the Chronicles of Parenting by local author, freelance writer, blogger and parent-of-toddler Jocelyn Jane Cox. Read on for advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need, tailored to those who live in the Great State of Parenthood.

Tired ParentsYes, we’re all tired. But do you suspect you might be a little more tired than other parents?

ETPS  (Extremely Tired Parenting Syndrome) symptoms can develop after repeated exposure to…your own kids. Experts who have studied the phenomenon say it’s a chronic condition that can last for several decades. Though it is widely assumed that it can be cured by simply getting a good night’s sleep, this does not seem to alleviate the severe drowsiness and fatigue associated with raising children.

How do you know if you have ETPS? Here are the telltale symptoms:

  1. Dozing off at unlikely times, for example, while your toddler is banging a toy drum right next to your head. (Note, for your own safety, never lie down while in the play area.)
  1. Yawning more than 44 times in a row with a facial violence liable to result in jaw strain or even sprain.
  1. When your child is in that parroting stage of learning how to speak, his or her first full sentence is, “I’m really tired.”
  1. At night, you have to turn the baby monitor up to maximum volume in order to make sure that your child’s cries will pierce through the thick sludge that is your slumber.
  1. Every barista in a 20-mile radius knows your caffeinated drink of choice, your first name, and your child’s first name.
  1. You hire a babysitter for a long overdue date night then cancel your dinner reservation at the last minute in order to hide in your bedroom to take naps.
  1. Your eyes become frightening. The bags under them have become so large they no longer qualify as carry-on luggage and some people have asked if you’ve started wearing red eyeliner. In other words, Halloween is really the only time you should take off your sunglasses.

If you suffer from ETPS (self-diagnosed, of course) just know that you are not alone. Plenty of us share this affliction. In fact, impromptu support groups can be found all day, every day at any coffee shop in the country. If caffeine no longer seems to help and you are still yawning with abandon, just take heart in that horrible adage that “you can sleep when you’re dead.”

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave Zornow

Jocelyn Jane Cox is a  freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.


The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by The Palisades Center, your one-stop-shop for fun. Come to the Palisades Center for Munchkin Mondays, childrens’ concerts throughout the summer in the East Court. See the complete schedule of summer events at

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