23rd April 2019

9 historical figures who might understand how tired you are

If only we could message them the despair emoji at 3am…

Henry VIII

Had loads of wives, chopped some of their heads off and what-not which sounds EXHAUSTING. Also ate a lot of meat and stodge, so was almost certainly quite dozy in the afternoons. Father of at least three, including Elizabeth I, who was probably quite a spirited baby.


My loins into my paunch like levers grind: My buttock like a crupper bears my weight; My feet unguided wander to and fro” is what this dude said about the four years he spent painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel but we relate so hard that he might as well have been waxing lyrical about doing 19 circuits of the same old park on three hours sleep. However, we haven’t managed to write a sonnet lately, so we think we just have the edge.  

Queen Victoria

SHE HAD NINE KIDS. But she and Albert were perhaps the earliest adopters of shared parental leave, since he did most of the child rearing while she got stuck into 63 long years of being a #girlboss. She was probably still quite tired though. Top fashion tip straight from the throne: wear a massive bejewelled crown and nobody will notice your eye bags. Yas queen! 

The Virgin Mary

Did you trek for MILES in the early stages of labour and then give birth in some itchy hay before immediately having to make small talk about whether the messiah was a “good baby” with some uninvited visitors wielding flashy but effectively useless presents? Sorry, her birth story is worse than yours. And if they were that wise, they’d have brought Hob Nobs, not frankincense.


Had to support Mary through all of the above as she birthed another… being’s… child AND DID NOT EVEN GET LAID. That’s got to be emotionally, if not physically, exhausting. 

Jesus Christ

Busy guy, must’ve been knackered.


Very much coming atcha, Cleopatra had something of a portfolio career, as a diplomat-linguist-naval commander-medical author, along with a complicated personal life and great hair, all of which sounds somewhat high maintenance. One of her kids was called Caesarion; probably seemed like a good idea at the time, like when your hormones had you considering naming yours after your amazing midwife, until you realised your glorious firstborn son couldn’t really pull off Denise.

Benjamin Franklin

Fathered both three children and some little place called America, Franklin was famously an insomniac and therefore, like an annoying mansplaining in law, came out with some rubbish like “There will be sleeping enough in the grave” and “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. YOU TRY DOING NIGHTFEEDS THEN DOUCHEBAG.

Margaret Thatcher

Notoriously got by on only four hours of kip a night. In one go? Lucky cow. Any new mum knows that’s no big deal – if we can do the actions to the Wheels on the Bus while changing a nappy and keeping one eye on Netflix, we could probably run a country too.

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