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AIBU?

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:
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Howappropriate · 05/10/2022 20:36

Broken sleep is the killer- you don't complete sleep cycles so never feel properly rested.
What about going for walk in nature instead of the gym once or twice a week? It's energising and you can breath deep. Nice time of year to wrap up and see autumn colours.
Also I recommend restorative yoga too- body needs cardio but it needs rest and repair time too. Yoga nidra is great too.
Going for coffee or a meet up might be worth it- the idea is tiring but it's enjoyable having connections and you're no more tired than you would have been at home.
And nap on the couch when you can. Xxx

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AliceMcK · 05/10/2022 20:37

I’d be absolutely exhausted, I don’t do half that stuff and still exhausted. I too have chronic illnesses, suffer from fatigue, my illnesses were triggered around the birth of my youngest DC and I spent 5 years in hell with Drs trying various drugs on me. I was barely able to be a mum during that time. It’s still hard but my DH is a huge help, he works full time and dose 90% of the parenting a lot of the time. He didn’t step up straight away, it was only when I had an emotional breakdown (I’m not an emotional person) and ended up bedridden for months, that he realised/acknowledged or it sunk in how bad things really were for me that he changed his attitude. He’d always been hands on but he took over so I could recover.

These days I’m much better but I don’t work and DH still dose a lot of housework, managing DCs. The brain fog that goes with my illnesses has made it so hard for me to be on top of things like I use to be, I couldn’t even understand an email about gymnastics fees today even though I use to work in finance. I step up on my good days, if I’m lucky good weeks. But I’m luckier than most as I have the opportunity to spend the whole day in bed if I need to.

One thing I’ve learnt is pick your battles, do the jobs that are a priority, don’t care about the mess if you can help it and don’t take on too much. I got into a good routine just picking one job a day, if I do a food shop then there is no way I’m doing laundry. Easy dinners or get DH to peel & chop all veg before work so it takes less energy to cook. Most of the time I’d give dcs something easy and wait for DH to get home to make us dinner. There is nothing wrong lying on the sofa with your toddler and baby play around you, as long as it’s safe.

As my dcs have got older (oldest 10) I’d rather have the energy and mental capacity to sit and chat to them about their day. If I exhaust myself doing too much during the day I can’t do this and usually in bed long before they are.

I hope things get better for you op x

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5128gap · 05/10/2022 20:37

For someone without an illness the day is manageable. For you, because of your illness, it isn't. If you want to give yourself the best chance of being as healthy as possible, you need to expend your limited energy only on:
1.Things that are essential, can't be reduced or have corners cut, and can't be delegated. You need to be strict with this. Ask for help.

  1. Things that improve your health, a good diet, excercise, rest, and some pleasurable things.

Before you take on any task ask yourself if it falls into one of those two categories. If it doesn't, don't do it.
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Rachaelrachael · 05/10/2022 20:40

I have a 19 month gap between my 2 and for the 1st year (since 2nd child was born) I was utterly exhausted. I haven't managed to fit in any exercise yet so you're doing better than me!
Apart from the gym, my days sound exactly the same as yours - nursery runs, cleaning, admin and appointments. I have barely made it to any baby groups this time around, but it feels more like survival with 2 under 2 than the first time around.

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BertieBotts · 05/10/2022 20:40

If I do drop off and pick up and I do something else in the day too then it floors me. But it's hard to judge because I use public transport to do the nursery run and I do think driving would be significantly easier. But anyway I do get DH to do one or the other every day as it keeps my energy levels manageable. Then I do something outside of the house on about 2-3 days a week and rarely anything hugely taxing.

I don't have a fatigue causing condition but I do have ADHD which makes things more tiring.

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NCFT0922 · 05/10/2022 20:41

No. I think you’re massively overthinking things. Things like changing a nappy and packing a bag aren’t noteworthy. However, YANBU to be tired with a chronic condition that causes fatigue. The majority of people wouldn’t even think to write “get children out of the Car” on a list of daily tasks.

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DucklingDaisy · 05/10/2022 20:43

I do more than you in terms of activities out of the house with my toddler and baby, but I could well be slacker with the housework and I don’t go to the gym.

With getting out and about, it becomes easier with practice. You’ll know what you need, how to anticipate and (usually) avoid
potential flash points and so on. It’s definitely daunting, I found the first few times I took both out very daunting indeed, but you do find a rhythm.

People claiming they can’t understand why you’d be tired with a baby and toddler, broken sleep, 4 x a week gym and a chronic illness causing fatigue are talking complete nonsense. They’re being nasty for the sake of it and trying to make you feel bad.

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momana · 05/10/2022 20:44

NCFT0922 · 05/10/2022 20:41

No. I think you’re massively overthinking things. Things like changing a nappy and packing a bag aren’t noteworthy. However, YANBU to be tired with a chronic condition that causes fatigue. The majority of people wouldn’t even think to write “get children out of the Car” on a list of daily tasks.

Oh but those are the things I find really exhausting.

OP posts:
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bringincrazyback · 05/10/2022 20:44

Beachbreak2411 · 05/10/2022 20:08

So you don’t work? You should be fine with those things and all that free time to go to gym etc! No you shouldn’t be tired! Appreciate how lucky you are having free time to spend on yourself and make sure you make it up to your husband and kids

What a ridiculous and unhelpful thing to say. You sound completely clueless about the nature of chronic illness.

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HighlandPony · 05/10/2022 20:44

Nope but I’m an ‘on the go’ person. I can’t really stay still and I don’t like routine. I’ve got springers and horses too so they need doing every day and we’re renovating too. My youngest is only 11 weeks so I’m existing on coffee and adrenaline at the mo.

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Pigsears · 05/10/2022 20:44

Get iron, B12 etc checked out by GP.

Otherwise... pretty normal parent schedule.

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Smineusername · 05/10/2022 20:44

Could you go to the gym later in the day? You'll be tired after working out so if you go in the morning it'll make you tired the rest of the day. Also get out of the house as much as possible with the kids. Staying in is very tiring and just creates more housework. But I agree with others that it just is a busy stage of life

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Onceuponawhileago · 05/10/2022 20:45

Id skip the gym and go home to sleep for an hour or two. Can you not get shopping delivered once a week and cook off a plan - saves multiple trips?

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momana · 05/10/2022 20:45

Smineusername · 05/10/2022 20:44

Could you go to the gym later in the day? You'll be tired after working out so if you go in the morning it'll make you tired the rest of the day. Also get out of the house as much as possible with the kids. Staying in is very tiring and just creates more housework. But I agree with others that it just is a busy stage of life

I can only go in the morning because that's when the crèche is open unfortunately.

OP posts:
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Dashie · 05/10/2022 20:46

Looking after 2 pre-schoolers can be very challenging, especially if one is still so young. Lack of sleep makes everything worse. Unsupportive husband. And on top of that a chronic illness. Not everyone would be exhausted but with that combination it is not surprising that you are.


Can I gently suggest that your mental health may not be at its best and it would be a good idea to talk to your GP about this? It would certainly contribute to what you are describing.
The last paragraph in your initial post in particular makes me think that looking into this could help you.

You are giving so much to your children. Don’t forget to look after yourself.

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escapingthecity · 05/10/2022 20:46

How old are your kids? I have a 3yo and an 8mo and my days are not dissimilar. I don't have an underlying condition but after a year of not sleeping for longer than 3 hours at a time (if I'm very very lucky) I am tired to the bone, and I have a helpful DH. Why doesn't your kids' dad do more?

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Plantmum2047 · 05/10/2022 20:46

Why isn't your husband doing more to help you? I'm not surprised you're exhausted.

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Dumbledormer · 05/10/2022 20:46

Beachbreak2411 · 05/10/2022 20:08

So you don’t work? You should be fine with those things and all that free time to go to gym etc! No you shouldn’t be tired! Appreciate how lucky you are having free time to spend on yourself and make sure you make it up to your husband and kids

OP please ignore this poster who is clearly a knob 🙄

I think you are doing fine. Way more than fine. I have a one year old and have occasional self-employed work and go to college one day a week. I feel like I am on my knees some days with exhaustion. Nappies being changed are a big deal when you are dealing with a never ending pile of them, with a screaming, rolling baby to battle with each time. My child seems to find new and innovative ways to get stuck/eat things he definitely shouldn’t/electrocute himself and my god, when he cries it makes me want to throw myself out the window. Childcare is truly knackering on a scale I didn’t fully appreciate until I had one. You have two AND you make the effort to go to the gym AND you make an actual dinner every night! You are basically my hero right now. We’ve eaten cereal for dinner tonight because I am completely fucked.

On top of this you have a chronic health condition and it sounds like not much support from your husband. Have you spoken to your DH about how you feel? Are you not on great terms at the moment because he thinks you should be doing more?

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CammyJo · 05/10/2022 20:48

I have FMS and am 61. I live with my daughter and son-in-law and their two DS. During school days, I have 2 toddlers (both in diapers) full time, a 6yo, who has ASD, part time. During summer, I have all three all day and every other week, my 12 yo GD. It can be exhausting, especially with FMS. I had to learn the hard way, that I just need to let some things go. If you can't clean a whole room clean a corner of the room. If you can't do all the dishes do two dishes. Each day you'll be able to do a little bit more. Some days you'll just have to rest as much as you can

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ComebackQueen · 05/10/2022 20:48

Aww OP firstly, big hug.

you are NOT lazy, not at all!

Is it worth mentioning to your GP that you’re feeling exhausted and, dare I say it, over whelmed?

When your husband is home on his one day off, does he take a larger role in the childcare?

Do you have friends and family willing to give you a few hours once a week to have a break from the baby? Even if it’s a chance to sleep?

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EmeraldShamrock1 · 05/10/2022 20:49

Yes it is normal to be exhausted but your illness will make you feel worse than others.

Can you squeeze a 20 minute shut eye during the day in a quiet room?

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Fuwari · 05/10/2022 20:50

Sensitive question but how old are you? I had 2 DC in my early 20's (18 months apart) and I had almost unlimited energy. By late 20s my health was declining somewhat although by then they were older so less of an impact. By the time i was heading to my late 30s no way could I have coped. I also suffer with fatigue, pain etc. This isn't to slate older mums at all. But I ask because if you're on the older side, along with the health conditions, I can absolutely see why it would be a struggle. These kind of chronic conditions get worse with age.

Also, for fatigue type illnesses the gym really isn't the best exercise. You should be aiming at more gentle types. Yoga, walks, swimming, nothing high intensity. It just burns you out.

I would also suggest something to calm your mind. Reading, art, music, whatever you like but something to make you feel at peace and is something just for you.

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Bumptious22 · 05/10/2022 20:51

You're doing more than I could have with both a baby and a toddler. Well done!
I did find those early days mind bogglingly boring though, and now I wonder whether it was that which made me feel so tired and unmotivated.

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EatingPeanutButterWithASpoon · 05/10/2022 20:51

No it's not you. I've got a toddler in nursery 3 days a week and a baby on the move and I dont have any medical conditions and I'm knackered. And it does get repetitive with nappy changes, prepare meals, clear up the mess each time.
I second having an online food shop and preparing bags the night before if you can.
And lower standards, it's hard but needs must. Definitely try meet up with mummy friends if you haven't many there's a great app called Peanut to meet mummy friends in your area.

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Squashpocket · 05/10/2022 20:53

I don't have chronic illness, so I could be way off here, but it sounds like burnout to me. Done that schedule and, as long as I've had a reasonable nights sleep, i don't find it physically tiring, it's just bone-crushingly fucking boring.

I think it's really telling that you list absolutely everything about your day - get kids in the car, get kids out of car etc. If you were having a super fun time these parts of the day likely wouldn't register so much and wouldn't contribute to your sense of being run off your feet.

I can have a really busy interesting day and not feel as physically tired as a day spent endlessly trudging through the minutiae of mum-life.

I find a proper break from the domestic drudgery is the only way to come back rejuvenated, but it's difficult to get, I know.

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