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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.

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Dumbledormer · 05/10/2022 20:58

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

Gosh you poor thing. It’s a bit much isn’t it to be doing full time childcare for all your grandchildren? Could you not speak to your daughter and explain how exhausting it is for you? The toddlers doing a couple of days in nursery would probably give you a well needed break and I’d honestly be ashamed with your daughter if she gave you any pushback on this suggestion. You are the same age as my DM and I can’t imagine expecting this much from her.

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WonderingWanda · 05/10/2022 20:59

Looking after toddlers and babies is exhausting. Not to mention the broken sleep, no wonder you are exhausted. Trust me and everyone else when we tell you it does get easier and slow down a bit. You don't need to achieve anything. Try and plan some easy days where you just hang out in pj's at home for the morning then have a little walk in the afternoon.

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momana · 05/10/2022 21:03

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.

I've been to the GP etc. had some CBT and found that really not useful at all and actually just another strain to keep up with in the day. I have had CBT a few times and I don't think it helps me. I have all the self help books / CBT strategies from when I've been depressed before anyway. So I know what I ' should ' do.

GP has prescribed anti depressants, but I'm not really sure I want to go down that route at this time, or ever.

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Notplayingball · 05/10/2022 21:04

HollyJollyXmas57 · 05/10/2022 20:13

That’s a normal day and I can’t see why you would be tired as nothing is strenuous. Seems like a perfectly relaxed day to be fair with a added in gym visit.

Of course it is. Perfectly relaxing day when sleep deprived and suffering from fatigue on a daily basis.....

Nothing to it🙄

Some people don't have a clue what it's like to have a chronic illness.

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minipie · 05/10/2022 21:12

I was exhausted when I had a baby and toddler - mine both slept badly too.

If you are being woken up every two hours, of course you are tired. I need four hours sleep in a row at some point not to feel tired and I believe so do most people.

And then there’s all the physical work plus toddler negotiations/strops to deal with.

Plus the gym. also tiring right now, albeit good for reducing fatigue in the long run.

And that’s leaving aside your condition.

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Nineeuros · 05/10/2022 21:13

I don’t mean to be rude, but I do all that and all the house work, sort the dog and work when my DC sleep and I don’t get to go to the gym or have any time to myself, I parent 24/7 alone and have to squeeze in work, so no, your list isn’t that bad. It sounds quite typical parenting to me.

But you have a chronic illness, so your threshold will be entirely different to someone else’s. I’m at breaking point, because I have ADHD and I don’t get any time to myself ever. Someone else would still be able to cope in my situation and do. It doesn’t matter what other people, it’s about how you feel and you need to get some support ASAP to cope.

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Nineeuros · 05/10/2022 21:14

My son also has a medical condition so he is awake half the night so I feel you on that, it’s horrendous. Can anyone help with night time? X

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SillySausage81 · 05/10/2022 21:15

momana · 05/10/2022 20:00

I think getting them both ready and bags packed takes up most of my spoons ! I really find that part of the day taxing. Especially when the toddler keeps running off whilst I'm trying to get her ready. Such hard work.

I don't have a chronic illness but I do have a toddler and honestly, getting ready and out of the house is probably THE most stressful part of our day. By miles. So yeah, it's not just you by any means. Especially when like you say every. single. step. is a major battle of wills.

The main difference between my day and yours apart from me only having one kid is I WFH in the evenings and some afternoons while DH sorts DD or she's at nursery, but honestly that feels like a spa break in comparison to looking after a toddler so ignore nasty people like that beachbreak person. You don't seem to get much help with the kids from your husband either, which won't be helping things.

I am also convinced some people simply have more vital energy than others, regardless of illnesses. Which is why you get some people on here sympathising with you completely and others going "What? That's all you do? What a breeze!" I am definitely a low energy person, so two or three non-essential activities a week is enough for me, certainly not every single day. It's not about laziness, it's about prioritising and knowing your own limits.

Having moments to yourself and getting a good night's sleep make an enormous difference to how tired you feel doing daily tasks. If you're not getting either of those things then it's totally normally that you'll feel exhausted.

That said though, being a low-energy person, I do take my DD to swimming and a mother and toddler group once a week and they don't actually make me feel more tired - because you're giving someone else the responsibility for entertaining the children for an hour or so. So I'd definitely say it's worth trying an activity or two. You never know, it might make you feel better instead of worse.

Another piece of advice I would give personally is ease up on the housework. Less tidying and cleaning and less of anything non-essential.

But yeah in conclusion, I suspect I do less housework than you, I don't go to the gym, I only have one child, get some "time off" to WFH, and I still find my life tiring, so I'm not surprised you are exhausted either, with a chronic illness on top.

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momana · 05/10/2022 21:16

Nineeuros · 05/10/2022 21:13

I don’t mean to be rude, but I do all that and all the house work, sort the dog and work when my DC sleep and I don’t get to go to the gym or have any time to myself, I parent 24/7 alone and have to squeeze in work, so no, your list isn’t that bad. It sounds quite typical parenting to me.

But you have a chronic illness, so your threshold will be entirely different to someone else’s. I’m at breaking point, because I have ADHD and I don’t get any time to myself ever. Someone else would still be able to cope in my situation and do. It doesn’t matter what other people, it’s about how you feel and you need to get some support ASAP to cope.

Oh no of course you're not rude don't worry. It sounds really full on what you do.

I asked the question precisely to understand if my fatigue is limiting me or if my schedule would exhaust a ' normal ' person. It sounds like it's the fatigue.

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petpig · 05/10/2022 21:17

Just curious, how long have you been going to the gym daily and who walks the dog?

I have multiple autoimmune diseases so I have to pace myself. The gym every day on top of everything else would trigger a flareup

I was a single parent when my two were the same age, and I had to be very careful regarding rest and making sure I got enough of it or I would become quite ill.

I did got to the gym and it definitely helped me mentally but it was paced out every 2-3 days

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momana · 05/10/2022 21:21

petpig · 05/10/2022 21:17

Just curious, how long have you been going to the gym daily and who walks the dog?

I have multiple autoimmune diseases so I have to pace myself. The gym every day on top of everything else would trigger a flareup

I was a single parent when my two were the same age, and I had to be very careful regarding rest and making sure I got enough of it or I would become quite ill.

I did got to the gym and it definitely helped me mentally but it was paced out every 2-3 days

I've been going for a couple of months. But have had a few breaks in between because I was ill.

The dog, either I walk at some point in the day or husband does. It's a tiny old dog, so doesn't require a very long walk.

The gym is exhausting !

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tolerable · 05/10/2022 21:29

burnout/chronic fatigue/self induced (ridiculous aims/rarely achieved) is ma life man.gony look up the howard thing too. is the gym being included cos-excersize generates mental improvement-or creche thing?4-5 days..is ALL WEek.?
not that it matters (to me)but ask yourself.you are defo-doing alot...be kind to yourself
also.get your baby and toddler baltic amber(amber artisans)
not get along mr 1 day wk is-hardly surprising.if /is it that hes 6days out working ....hes proli as much use as a man down!
thats an immense amount of pressure ....for all y'all. best of luck x

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Booklover3 · 05/10/2022 21:31

I have Fibromyalgia and I am tired all the time. Some days are better than others. Being woken in the night is a killer for me because it takes so long to get back to sleep and apparently with fibro you don’t go into a good restorative sleep anyway.

The tiredness when the kids were small was crushing. I slept when they did when I could and that helped… but it still felt relentless.

Any chance of you having a break and someone else doing the night feed / waking? A bit of a break will help. If not then I wouldn’t stop going to the gym but I would consider dropping one day and trying to squeeze a nap in.

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Lessofallthisunpleasantness · 05/10/2022 21:32

Sounds normal. I would change gym to 2 or 3 times a week only. Try and schedule in an hour lying on the sofa ... maybe watching Cbeebies with the littleuns before making dinner.

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Dishwashersaurous · 05/10/2022 21:35

Honestly if you have a chronic illness then you need to think about how you use your energy.

Going to the gym.stands out as even more draining and unnecessary.

Plus waking in the night. Can your husband do a week of solid night waking so you can sleep undisturbed.

Looking after small children is exhausting and not getting a full night sleep is exhausting.

And that's for people without a health condition

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Lessofallthisunpleasantness · 05/10/2022 21:35

Also when my kids were little I was ALWAYS exhausted. Now I am ALWAYS exhausted because I am old.

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FreezingThyme · 05/10/2022 21:36

I asked the question precisely to understand if my fatigue is limiting me or if my schedule would exhaust a ' normal ' person. It sounds like it's the fatigue

I have a genetic degenerative condition and the fatigue when my DS was small was extreme. What other parents found hard (broken sleep, tantrums, the school run, bath, bed time etc, felt absolutely brutal to me. I literally felt unable to function. I stopped at one DC as I just felt I didn’t have the physical stamina needed for two. I’d say pain is exhausting, lack of sleep is exhausting and fatigue seems to be a part of many conditions so I’m not surprised your shattered.

The gym sounds important but is 5 times a week realistic while you’re dealing with broken sleep? Maybe it’s stressing out your body more than helping it right now. If you are walking the dog, looking after two little ones, then I imagine you’re getting a fair amount of exercise. Make sure your not doing too much and the exhaustion is your body’s way of trying to get you to rest.

Dont be hard on yourself. Two little ones are hard work without a health condition. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to make life as easy as possible in whatever way you can, at least till you are getting some regular unbroken nights.

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Lovelystuff · 05/10/2022 21:38

Broken sleep is enough to make anyone feel knackered all day and that’s without a chronic illness. I had vit d deficiency a few years ago before I had a baby and had terrible fatigue. Not sure how I would cope with a little one!

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geraniumthefirst · 05/10/2022 21:38

Genuine question. If you re so exhausted, why don't you just skip the gym?

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Seasonfinales · 05/10/2022 21:42

geraniumthefirst · 05/10/2022 21:38

Genuine question. If you re so exhausted, why don't you just skip the gym?

I wonder too. Not too exhausted. Any GP would question this if you claim you have chronic fatigue.

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purfectpuss · 05/10/2022 21:43

TBH, your day doesn't sound that busy apart from routine chores. Your OP makes it sound that putting kids in a car is a big task, but everybody has to do this stuff. When mine were little I did all that stuff but we also did other things like going for a walk to the park, visiting friends, toddler groups, baking together, etc. Of course I was tired at the end of each day and sometimes it's exhausting.

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user1471554720 · 05/10/2022 21:45

Could you rest, lie on the bed for an hour or two mid morning or lunchtime, while having baby at creche? Could you lie down when the baby sleeps in the aftenoon while toddler is at creche. Personally I would go to the gym every second day, spend every second day at the coffee shop while toddler is at gym creche.

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mast0650 · 05/10/2022 21:46

Baby is very fussy at the moment, waking up and screaming every two hours in the night

This is the bit that is exhausting! If you are being woken by a screaming baby every two hours then you are going to be tired whatever else you do. And personally I always found caring for a baby and toddler mentally draining, even if not physically.

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momana · 05/10/2022 21:48

geraniumthefirst · 05/10/2022 21:38

Genuine question. If you re so exhausted, why don't you just skip the gym?

I do sometimes. They always recommend the Gym/ exercise for fatigue issues. They say it gives you more energy.

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Lady1576 · 05/10/2022 21:48

I feel so tired…. Not in the same way as you. I’m not physically exhausted and done done done, but I don’t have a chronic illness and my husband helps with some of the tasks you listed as doing alone. Also
my parents are often around so we do stuff together about 2x a week. Still feel dull with tiredness often. So yes, your feelings seem very reasonable. The list doesn’t seem so bad until you consider that one of the small people will be resisting each of the steps, or asking the same question over and over again, ‘Mummy where is my blue car? Where is my blue car mummy? But where is it?’ To the drone of a baby that is getting sick of amusing himself because you are ignoring him in favour of finding the bloody blue car, even though you were still chuffed with yourself for finding the bloody red car that was a tragic loss yesterday but now has been forgotten because the blue car is gone. We know it’ll be under the sofa but now toddler is trying to feed baby with an inappropriate sized spoon so that’ll have to wait…so if you get through step one on your list it feels like you’ve completed a marathon. And now baby has pooed right into his fresh nappy…

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