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Permanantly exhausted parent..is this normal!?

(11 Posts)
Megamum42 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:21:50

I look after my 2 kids (1 1/2 and 3 1/2) and work part-time. We don't have family that live nearby to help out. I love my children and love looking after them. I also like my job. However, I'm permanently exhausted! I sometimes don't sleep well, but even when I do I wake up feeling exhausted. I feel under pressure all the time. I have a bad memory, can't concentrate, and make mistakes at work (for which I've got in trouble about). I am coping, but if there is any extra pressure e.g. if husband is away, or if it snows (I am not a confident driver) making it stressful to get out or to work, of if one child is in a difficult phase, its too much. Something has to give and its usually work as there is no childcare..so I've had to phone in sick before, which I feel terrible about, but when I'm so exhausted I feel dizzy, nauseous, have headaches that wont go away, heart palpitations and am easily out of breath. I feel its safer to not go to work as I make mistakes and driving is dangerous. I stop at green traffic lights and stuff. There are times when I do have some energy and I feel so happy and do something requiring more energy like taking the kids to a museum in the next town or going for an evening swim. It is very refreshing but more knackers me out again! I'm not unhappy as I understand children are hard work. But I'm just wondering if this level of tiredness is normal. ? and when will it end?

Misty9 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:27:04

Poor you - I've only got one, am sahm, and am still knackered all the time! Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Do you ever get any down time?

Might be worth a trip to the gp just for the usual blood tests etc. you could be anaemic - were you after dc2's birth? Vitamin b complex is supposed to help with tiredness. I've started taking it, but don't remember regularly enough to detect any change yet!

As for feeling like you're not safe to drive, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that's not good sad are there any alternatives when you feel like that? (In terms of transport).
To me, all the physical symptoms sound like your body is telling you you need to slow down...but I'm a psychologist, not a medical doctor so if you're worried, please get checked out.

HTH

Iggly Sun 31-Mar-13 21:16:24

How are the kids at night?

Are you eating properly? Going to bed early? You might feel cheated out of free time but you need the sleep.

poozlepants Sun 31-Mar-13 21:23:46

It is really tiring looking after small children and it maybe you are just stressed and exhausted but I would go and see your GP to get checked over. Anaemia can cause dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, headdaches and exhaustion.

StitchAteMyEasterEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 21:34:32

Mine are 1 and 3.9 and I feel like this a lot at the moment. Kids and I have been ill, youngest is teething.

I am a SAHM so I do not have to worry about time off sick and if I have an off day (after a night of 3 hours broken sleep), I can keep activities low key.

When you look at your outgoings, is it cost effective for you to be working? Does it cover your childcare costs? Would being a sahp work for a while?

If that is not an option, go to bed by 9pm, nap on the weekend when DH is home, eat well, take vitamins, exercise a little.

It will get easier I am sure.

Megamum42 Mon 01-Apr-13 20:08:44

Thanks for your replies smile When I was on maternity leave (for a year) I did find it a lot easier..but I will keep on with my job (as long as theyll have me!) as I worked really hard to get it and I know how hard it is to get jobs now adays so am lucky. I do nap when husband is around at weekend and go to bed reasonable time. I guess this is just an exhausting time. Might try the vitamins, eat more good stuff and check out the iron. My son goes to school in september (so pleased I had an end of summer baby!smile..although I will miss him, I'm hoping it will become easier as for me I found looking after 1 child much easier than 2.

Loislane78 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:32:43

Sounds tough sad. As well as other great advice, are you making life as easy as possible ie. online food shopping once a week, batch cooking and just being a bit organised (!) to relieve some pressure? Obviously DH can help with all that.

Oh and sod the cleaning for a bit! Bit o' dust and a missed hoover won't do anyone any lasting damage.

bigkidsdidit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:34:55

Twice a week I go to bed with DS, at 7pm. Can you do that? I find even one 10 hour sleep makes a world of difference. I have my bath and tooth brush with him, and we put our pyjamas on together, he loves it smile

niamh29 Mon 01-Apr-13 22:34:01

I feel your pain! I have 3 DD's, 6, 3 and 2. I also work full time and work shifts, I found the hardest was when I went back to work after DD3, I was so exhausted all the time........I will freely admit that coffee was my best friend for about a year and we're still on good terms! I always TRY to get at least 7 hours sleep (my kids are generally good sleepers) and I've been taking Pharmaton vitamins recently which have really helped. Don't feel like you HAVE to go out as young kids don't really care about that but I often found it was easier to bring them somewhere cause if I was at home all day I'd be tidying all day and driving myself crazy!

NellyTheElephant Tue 02-Apr-13 10:36:14

Certainly it can be normal, but that doesn't mean that there isn't something wrong too (eg maybe anaemia as someone else suggested). When my 3 were 5, 3 and 1 we moved house to a new area where I didn't really know anyone, and were doing a lot of building work on the new place, basically very unsettled. I was so exhausted I could barely function (bit like you sound). I was convinced that the must be something wrong with me and went to the doctor for full range of blood tests etc. When all came back normal I was actually disappointed as I just wanted something that was fixable. I needed to be kinder to myself and lower my expectations. It was a tough period, but I survived it of course. Everything does start to improve, school makes it easier (although be prepared for how hard juggling school runs can sometimes be, not to mention how tired and tantrum prone little ones can initially be when you pick them up). By the time the youngest is 3 I think that you turn a big corner. Mine are now 8, 6 and 4 and that period of my life seems a million miles away. I mean I am still tired most of the time (3 fairly young children and working part time will do that to you) but not in the same league. In retrospect this period of life will seem to have gone by in a flash, but that doesn't help much now while you are living it!

shebird Wed 03-Apr-13 21:27:06

I cold have written your post OP, although my DCs are at primary school it is easier in some ways but still demanding. I drop them off on the way to work, do a full time job in half a day, pick the kids them up on my way home, then it's often straight to an after school activity, rush home to do tea, homework, reading etc. I sometimes forget to have a pee I'm rushing around so much and I have felt the symptoms you describe over the last few weeks. I have started multivitamins and took a weeks holiday this week I was so worried that i would explode or have a breakdown. I am making a big effort to do as little as possible and I can feel my stress levels falling. Am dreading going back to work and the school run -we just need to win the euro millions and that will solve everything smile

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