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Would you be exhausted after this, or is it just me ?

273 replies

momana · 05/10/2022 19:03

I suffer from a chronic illness which causes fatigue. I'm so tired. To my bones tired. I see others doing so much stuff and going to so many places and can't work out if it's me and I'm lazy or if it's my life or if it's my illness, I think about this every day and I can't work it out.

I have a baby and a toddler at nursery.

Each day this is my routine :

Change nappies
feed baby and toddler
Get them ready to leave the house
Get myself ready
Pack bag for baby and toddler
Get both in the car and drive to nursery
Get both out of the car for drop off at nursery
Go to the gym and drop baby at the crèche for an hour
Take baby home
Change nappies / feed etc
Tidy up / do laundry
Any calls needed to be made / admin IF baby naps
Food shop some days
Prepare dinner
Get toddler from nursey with baby ( so again in and out of the car )
Give dinner to toddler
Entertain toddler and baby
Lost of nappy changes
Get both ready for bed
Somehow manage to get them both to sleep
Baby is very fussy at the moment, waking up and screaming every two hours in the night

Rinse and repeat, with slight changes in the day - like doctors appointments or taking the dog to the vet / groomers. Some days toddler is at home with me too of course.

Weekends are the same, except that toddler is definitely at home. Husband at home one day at the weekend, we don't get on well at the moment.

Baby is going through a phase of not wanting to be put down and waking a lot in the night.

Is it normal I'm so exhausted ? I don't go to the gym every day. But I'm trying to go 4-5 times a week.

Today, I'm at breaking point. The baby has been screaming at me all day and night and I don't know how to calm him down. I've got a massive headache and I'm just done. Yet people ask me ' what have you been up to ? ' and I feel like I have absolutely nothing to say. I have nothing to give. I can't imagine going anywhere at the weekend etc. I'm just too tired.

OP posts:
itsnotdeep · 07/10/2022 06:35

does you husband help you at all OP? Does he do housework or look after the children?

That stage is exhausting ime - the lack of sleep and the relentless drudgery are tough. It gets easier once they're sleeping/at nursery. I did find that having some friends to have coffee with during the day really lifted my mood - can you do that instead of the gym?

Velvian · 07/10/2022 06:45

@momana , don't be too hard on yourself. I found it utterly exhausting having a baby and toddler. I had ME/CFS as an an adolescent and currently referred to a neurologist to see what is going on with me now.

They seem to have ruled out MS (although 2 people in my close family have it). Very similar symptoms.

I would give up the gym for now, until the DC are older and it gets easier. I found going back to work so much easier than being at home. As I had 2 preschoolers, I hired a nanny, rather than using a nursery or CM. She took and collected the elder DC from their free nursery hours, made their lunch, took them out to the park or out and about. It was really good to know that everything was OK at home and the DC would have had a good day.

When my youngest got to around 3, my life became a dream, compared to how it had been.

Hang in there and take it as easy as you can. Do what is easiest for now.

Lulu49 · 07/10/2022 07:40

Depends on the cause of the chronic fatigue. I have a condition that as well as causing fatigue puts me at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol so keeping fit is a priority hence I do as much exercise as I can.

user1468761869 · 07/10/2022 09:08

Most would be exhausted, particularly if you don't sleep through the night. Please give yourself a break. Looking after 2 young children without help is relentless. Any family members you can call upon to have a day off?

Wantthisfriend · 07/10/2022 09:14

It IS exhausting fir all parents. I can't imagine how one would feel with a chronic illness too. Im sorry youre exhausted all the time. Please ring your local Homestart charity to see if they have people to give you some respite. 💐

Happysnaps · 07/10/2022 10:21

Lack of uninterrupted sleep at night will do this. It makes anyone exhausted, even if the day is empty and mundane - especially if it’s empty and mundane. Plus you have a chronic illness on top.
Few things might help…

  • get some help at night - you need to get some uninterrupted sleep or you will be broken. Poor sleep really damages your brain long term, plus your cognitive and mental health - it’s important to look after yourself and it’s much easier to tackle tasks when your brain is functioning, so you’re less likely to make mistakes (which then take more energy to fix)
  • manage your days a bit better to renew yourself eg get more naps, get out in nature (eg swap the gym for a walk a couple of times a week), get some good company - laughing for half an hour really helps
  • what can you do to make getting out of the house first thing easier, so it’s less of an obstacle eg can DH help? What can be done the night before?what can slide?
  • Generally, what can slide?? The tidying and cleaning time would be better spent in bed 😉

💐 Hope you feel better soon and good luck finding out what’s wrong with your baby
HelloDoggy · 07/10/2022 10:31

I think most people with under 2s are knackered!

When DS1 was a baby he was relentless. V fussy. Colicky etc.. the only thing that calmed him was being taken out and constantly stimulates (he's 10 now and still needs constant stimulation, but we have computer games and sport, so it's waaaaaay easier to handle!!)

If you aren't getting out, maybe try it! Take them to a cafe with a soft play. Take them on the bus. Go for walks. You might actually find it helps!

And wow!! Good on you for using the gym!! I am only just starting to think about getting back to exercise now - 8 years since youngest was born!! You are doing flipping well!!

momana · 07/10/2022 11:02

Thanks everyone !

• what can you do to make getting out of the house first thing easier, so it’s less of an obstacle eg can DH help? What can be done the night before?what can slide?

This really rings true this morning !!!

DH can't help, leaves too early to help.

I think I need to do more stuff the night before.. we got up at 7 today and I was still late for my tennis lesson at 9:30. It's a 15 minute drive ! And I didn't drop the toddler at nursery, otherwise I would not have made it.

I started driving at around 9:15. This means it took me from 7 to have breakfast and get all of us ready and out of the house. That's excessive right ??

This is what I did:

Drag them both downstairs
Go back up to get bottles and formula etc from the night before
Make breakfast for screaming toddler
Let doggie out
Tidy kitchen as I go along a little bit
Put dishwasher on
Have coffee
Clean and sterilise bottles
Pack bag for baby
Clean baby up and change nappy after poo explosion
Get baby dressed for the day
Change toddler nappy and get dressed, hair very knotted today, so it took ages and was difficult
Get myself dressed and washed
Get toddler in car
Get baby in car

I think I can see where I'm struggling, just from writing it down. Some of this stuff should be done the night before. By the time I managed to get them both to sleep yesterday, it was 9:30 pm. My husband came home and made a mess with food and left some stuff out that I started tidying away this morning. I also just function much better in the morning. On a good day, if both are asleep by 8:30, I can do some of the things in the evening. But usually I don't do them at the moment. Also at the moment I have so much washing just sitting around in baskets, because it's not been put away yet. This means dressing them takes a lot longer than usual ! I've got all this washing in baskets because this week I've been neglecting the house a lot and seeing friends more during the day.

OP posts:
Vodkaany1 · 07/10/2022 11:05

momana · 06/10/2022 19:33


I immediately thought CMPA too when I saw your OP. CMPA babies are so difficult and it is heartbreaking when you haven't yet found the solution for them to be happy and healthy.

Nutramigen still contains caseins from cows milk, so you're right he may need an amino acid one like Nutramigen Puramino or Neocate. That's great that you have a docs appt. Has your baby started on solids?

Your life sounds exhausting and you have so much going on. Have you heard of co-regulation? Your children's heartrates and blood pressure mirror your own. If you can take care of yourself and find ways to feel better and more regulated then your children will feel the same.

Have you tried safe bedsharing as a way to get more sleep?

Are the toddler and baby doing well at learning to entertain themselves for periods? Adopting a Montessori approach to toys/play have helped me massively with this, and it is better for them as well. Also the book Hunt, Gather, Parent.

Thanks for your advice. I haven't started weaning yet. He's just 5 months. I sat him in a high chair at the weekend and found that he was slumping a bit, so I think he's not quite ready yet. I'll wait until he's 6 months. I am seeing his doctor again next week to discuss what to do now and whether we should stay on nutramigen. He's definitely crying less after feeds and not throwing them up as much. But I also put carobel in his bottles. When I don't, the vomiting is similar, but not crying. Today he did 7 massive liquid poos and I had to change his entire clothes twice. We are going through one sleeping bag a day, because he always has a massive leak at 4-5 am ! Nightmare !!!

I've been out with him most of the day today and he cries so much less when we are not at home. He's super chilled. Everyone says what an angel he is! He's already bored at home with me at 5 months ahaha. He has so many toys etc, but I think he likes to go out all the time and speak to people / smile at everyone...

The house is massively suffering at the moment, but something has to give..

Do you find he is crying more when using the Carobel but vomiting less? If you don't use the carobel does the crying stop but he vomits more? Often children with CMPA can have soya intolerance too as the proteins are similar and as Carob bean (which Carobel is made from) is similar to soya bean, he could be reacting to that, so is worth a mention to the G.P when you have your appointment. My son also had CMPA (undiagnosed as a baby, not diagnosed until he was older) and I can honestly say it was one of the most hardest, exhausting times of my life and that was without having a dibilitating illness like MS. You are an absolute warrior and I think you need to be kinder to yourself!

Mfsf · 07/10/2022 11:16

while my day consists of quite a lot more than that with 3 kids including a baby and 2 sen and a full time job I can certainly see if you suffer from a chronic that will definitely feel to much . Don’t feel guilty or bad just put your health first hun .

Gemcat1 · 09/10/2022 16:19

I've been there, got the t-shirt...... First this is take 10,000iu of Vit D, (build it up not take it all at once) that is now proven to help, along with Vit K (a must to help you absorb it) along with magnesium and zinc. Then your husband needs to take care of the children over the weekend rather than just dropping in. He can get put them to bed and get up at night where necessary. If you have a fussy child demanding attention during the night then you need to know when to go to him. Certainly cuddle him etc and get up when necessary but do not let him control your life. Put him to bed and leave him, he will cry himself to sleep and in a few nights will sleep without fussing. If I wasn't able to walk the senior dog we adopted, then I threw a ball in the garden and made her search for it. Or try to put her through activities in the garden. Exercise is recommended for chronic health conditions but perhaps you should ask to be referred to a physio and talk to them about what is good for you and help you achieve what you are looking for. It may be that, if you use a bike at the gym, that you use one to walk the dog with a baby seat on the back instead. Obviously, I have no way of knowing what the physio will say, what they suggest about exercise, but they are very supportive. I assume you know which condition that you have, talk to the help group that will be found via the internet. They can give you advice on diet too as well as how to help yourself. If there is a local support group then join it. Do you have family or friends near you who could take the baby for a couple of hours occasionally to give you a chance to rest? Try a local mother and toddler group as it helps to have friends with children of a similar age. The worst thing you can do is battle on by yourself, you do need to accept help occasionally. Pace yourself through the day and ensure that you have the opportunity to rest.

sue20 · 09/10/2022 22:36

I don’t really get the need for the gym to be honest.

Seabreeze18 · 10/10/2022 06:07

Only read your posts op but are u drinking enough water and having enough protein?
both of these can add to tiredness and protein is needed for muscles. Vit k really important at this time of year too.

be kind to yourself! U are doing a great job!

Mummysharkdoodoodoodoodoodoo · 10/10/2022 07:03

I’m not sure if it’s normal to be that tired if I’m honest. It sounds like a normal day with young children? I think all mums are a bit tired but it sounds like you’re excessively tired. I do all of those things and feel alright, although happy to get to bed at the end of the day. How’s your diet? Or any deficiencies? Might be worth checking. Also might be worth getting thyroid checked?

Mummysharkdoodoodoodoodoodoo · 10/10/2022 07:05

Also how about taking up cycling instead of the gym? It really wakes me up, got a special seat for baby on the back (if he/she’s old enough). Exercise paired with fresh air makes me feel a lot more awake whereas I always feel sleepy after the gym.

Vallmo47 · 10/10/2022 07:18

Sending love Op. My sister has MS and it’s heartbreaking to watch her struggle with things she previously did so effortlessly. I hope writing things down helps you find coping strategies. It definitely sounds like your husband has to read up about MS, in fact a lot of people do. It changes everything.

1NeedPampering · 10/10/2022 10:59

I found a mother and toddler club. It saved me. I think it was the understanding human contact and some members became friends

ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 10/10/2022 11:08

Similar - but with almost full time work on top of it and so no gym time or time to myself other than the 3 minute drive between work and nursery!

Manamala · 10/10/2022 20:23

How did the doctors go @momana ? Have they prescribed amino acid formula?

moamana · 10/10/2022 22:07

Manamala · 10/10/2022 20:23

How did the doctors go @momana ? Have they prescribed amino acid formula?

Aw thanks for asking ! No actually ! The doc thinks baby is fine on nutramigen. Showed pics of the poo and explained the situation. Baby has grown well etc. so he didn't think it was necessary to change. We will need to start weaning soon and move to nutramigen 2 anyway. I don't know what to make of it really, I guess we can see how it goes.

GUARDIAN1 · 11/10/2022 13:30

Life with babies and toddlers is exhausting even without adding in a health condition with fatigue as one of its symptoms. You break down each task into parts (eg taking child to nursery has getting in/out car seats) which sounds as if you feel overwhelmed. Is there any chance you could skip one or two gym sessions in favour of relaxing in the bath, doing a face mask or something? Or go for a gentle walk with the dog? Could your partner/a friend/family member have the children for the day, even once a month, so you csn recharge your batteries? I know it can seem as if things will be like this forever, but it really does get easier as the children grow and start full time school. In the meantime make the most of any opportunities to rest.

momana · 11/10/2022 18:25

You break down each task into parts (eg taking child to nursery has getting in/out car seats) which sounds as if you feel overwhelmed.

It's strange. That's how I see each task. All those things I find hugely exhausting. I wish the seats just buckled the children in automatically, like in the movie 5th element type thing.

Today was a very tough day, as little one was awake 1 am 3 am 5 am and then the older one also woke up at 5 and didn't want to go back to sleep. Got them both ready, nursery today, sports, dog groomer then shopping a couple of food things, then cooking and then I really really really wanted to have a rest, but the baby just wouldn't relax at all. Just wanted to be held or talked to the whole time. Barely had time to sweep the floor a bit in peace. No rest at all, all day. Baby just kind of shouts as soon as I'm not paying attention to him or leave the room.

It doesn't seem like much at all ! but I'm completely exhausted. Just carrying the baby around is a lot. He's heavy. Even in the sling. Being a mother to young kids is very physical.

Hope tonight will be better. It's definitely better on more sleep. But I don't feel like I ' do ' a lot. But it's just so hard. Definitely will have the kids with a sitter on Saturday and have a rest. There's no other way.

OP posts:

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Manamala · 12/10/2022 19:55

moamana · 10/10/2022 22:07

Aw thanks for asking ! No actually ! The doc thinks baby is fine on nutramigen. Showed pics of the poo and explained the situation. Baby has grown well etc. so he didn't think it was necessary to change. We will need to start weaning soon and move to nutramigen 2 anyway. I don't know what to make of it really, I guess we can see how it goes.

You said you are 'having around 6-7 poos a day and maybe 3 outfit changes a day. It's always leaking' -this suggests your poor baby is still reacting.

Along with the vomiting and the screaming, his poor little gut is still being damaged. GPs don't tend to be trained in CMPA, and amino acide formula is very expensive to prescribe. I really reccomend joining a CMPA Facebook group and posting on there with a detailed explanation of symptoms - so many knowledgeable parents who have been through all of this.

You said you didn't find CBT very good - me neither! So much homework and another thing to add to the list of things making me feel bad out myself for for failing. I have just started schema therapy and it is amazing. Not cheap. But so worthwhile and helping me with so many other aspects of my life. Perhaps there is another form of therapy that will be better suited for you and is worth investing in.

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