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Feeling Burnt Out and Needing Space

(6 Posts)
monkeytree Mon 28-Nov-16 20:52:22

I'm mum to two dc's 10 and just turned 3. I was a sahm with dc1 for 3 years before returning to work part-time. I have been a sahm with dc2 for 3 years now but I have no job to return to because it would be logistically very difficult. We have no family living nearby in fact we have very little family at all and myself and dh (who works full-time) have brought our dc's up with little or practically no support. DH and I have been out together just once in the last 3 years. DC2 has just started pre-school one morning a week and is due to go 3 mornings a week after Christmas. The thing is I feel really guilty because I look forward to getting a bit of me time and for her being cared for by someone else. I have just started a writing course and really love it - it stimulates my brain (I am degree educated and miss the mental stimulation of work). The problem is I seem to increasingly want to escape into my study (which is tidy and ordered unlike the rest of my house strewn with toys etc) and I like the orderliness of it. It is a bit of sanctuary where I think I might be starting to spend a little bit too much time. I like to think I have always been there for my dc's and have been told that I am a good mum by others. DC1 has thrived at school and just passed for a top grammar school in the county. She has lots of confidence and has played leading roles in school plays etc. I just seem to have had a lot more energy when it was just DC1 (and I was ten years younger) I am older now, I don't know if that makes a difference but DC2 is high energy, willful and seems very bright. Her speech is fabulous for her age. The trouble is I seem to yearn for mental space. I like to read to the DC's but struggle to play with them. I love my dc's and would lay down my life for them that's not in question but it feels as if I'm running out of steam in the mothering stakes. Starting the writing course has made things worse in a way because it has made me realize that are other things to do apart from being a mother which has always, always been my number one priority. I just wanted twenty minutes time out this evening when dh returned home from work but dc1 sought me out in my study after about 5 minutes and wanted to know what I was doing (probably on mumsnet). I got agitated and then felt guilty and went back to playing with dc's. I am concerned that the more space I get from the dc's the more space I'll want as dc2 starts going to pre-school more regularly etc. I need to re-energize somehow. I have been taking a low dose of ant-depressants over the past few months as I have experienced a lot of bereavement over the past five years including a late miscarriage which I think about most days. My mother was continually 'not there' both physically and emotionally when I was a child and my father was no better. I don't want to turn into that sort of parent, I want to be there for my dc's and I've always tried to make a big effort that way. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this kind of burnt out feeling I seem to be experiencing at the moment.

monkeytree Mon 28-Nov-16 20:54:45

Sorry for the extremely long post!

SophieofShepherdsBush Mon 28-Nov-16 20:59:17

I get it. I'm exhausted. I love them so much but they are grinding me down and I crave time alone, or just time without constant noise. And yes to needing mental stimulation that goes beyond thinking up new games or how to stop them arguing. It's hard. Losing steam is right. And then you feel guilty about feeling this way.
All I wanted when I was little was to be a mum, and now I think I'm not doing a very good job!

allthegoodnamesalreadytaken Tue 29-Nov-16 10:17:06

I get this completely. I'm currently on maternity leave with a 5 month old and feel like this a lot of the time. You just need to be a bit kinder to yourself. You've done a fantastic job so far by the sounds of it and wanting a piece of yourself back is nothing to feel guilty about. Maybe set aside one day a week (perhaps a saturday afternoon for say 4hours when your DH is home and can babysit) just to do something solely for yourself. Try to get out if possible head to a local coffee shop to write, take a wander around an art gallery or head to a spa whatever takes your fancy. Knowing you have that dedicated "me time" coming up will help you to get through the other times when your DCs are being demanding. Also consider some talking therapy in relation to the bereavements

spiderbabymum Tue 29-Nov-16 10:22:32

Can totally identify with this . Mine are 9 and 3 . I'm 44 . Everything with our parenting feels off kilter at the moment . Inconsistent . At the weekend far too much noise and drama and shouting. Fed up . I work four days a week. Totally lacking any inspiration or motivation for Christmas . Guilt about not getting stuff done ,Akers me unable to properly rest .....feel shattered a lot

Cranb0rne Tue 29-Nov-16 10:26:32

I hear you. I'm so desperate for some 'me' time it's ridiculous, and I feel awful for feeling this way. Today I just feel crap and have no motivation to do anything. The 11 month old is tired and refuses to nap this morning and the 3 year old is bored senseless. I am tired of the 4-5 am start to every day and never doing anything for myself. I work 4 days a week though and I think it keeps me from falling over the edge into insanity.

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