Exhaustion

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My fatigue is bordering on depression.

Emily has been sleeping through the night, and I am getting 7-8 hours of mostly uninterrupted sleep, but I am deeply exhausted.

If I lived in Victorian times, I probably would have taken to my bed for a few weeks, propped up on pillows and served by my house staff hand and foot.  A dose of morphine might have been given to me to take the edge off.  The neighborhood would have buzzed with concerns for my health and even the possibility that- gasp!- I might not make it.  Eventually I would have recovered enough to be taken out to sit in the sun for a few hours a day, and after another few weeks of that, maybe my children could come and visit me for a few minutes.  But only for a few minutes!  And only very quiet, mild behavior, because no one would want to upset my fragile recovery from that awful, consumptive, exhaustion.

Of course I do not live in Victorian times.  I live in this time of full-time working woman with the second and third jobs of being wife and mother.  I live in a time of impossibly messy apartment and difficult child.  I live in a time of “why do my carpets smell like urine, did Emily pee out here?”

I don’t want to wash my hair.  I don’t want to pick up toys.  I don’t want to go grocery shopping.  I don’t want to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or slice strawberries.  I just don’t wanna.

All these “don’t wannas” pose the question, “what would I like to be doing?”  Honestly, I don’t know.  Maybe just sit still next to the ocean by myself.

I look at the piles of laundry and the filth on my kitchen floor and am plagued by the thought that I just can’t keep up.  I’m a failure.  A fraud.  A crappy mom.  A snarky wife.  A neglectful friend.  An ill-tempered co-worker.

In short, I suck.

Jack has been in a very tricky and angry mood over the last week, after about three weeks of perfect behavior.  I think he is anxious about the end of the school year and the transition to summer-mode, which means a new daycare scenario, etc.  His behavior is usually his way of communicating stress.  But oh, man, I just don’t have the energy to deal with it.

And it doesn’t help that my husband has a case of “Man Flu” that just seems to be lingering on and on.

I am so tired I don’t even have the energy for a good, frustrated cry.  But in my dreams at night, that is all I do.  I walk around crying, weeping, sobbing into my subconscious.

It isn’t that I lack supports.  We are so fortunate to live close to both sets of grandparents who drop everything at a moment’s notice to help out.  I have good friends who are always willing to listen.  I have a husband who is generally supportive and helpful.  It is just this sense of not being able to balance it all that pushes me near the edge.

Sometimes I dread the weekends.  I dread being home with my family because I have to worry about what to feed them, how to entertain them, when to clean up after them.  I stress over chasing around after Emily who is more mobile and fast every day. I am fraught with Jack’s behavior.

How is it easier to be at work, dealing with the woes of humanity, than to be home enjoying my sweet family?

Does this make me a jerk?  I have so much more than so many, yet fight to appreciate it on some days.

I haven’t written a real whiney bummer of a post in a few months.  I apologize for not having something more delightful to say, but I’ve got to be honest–  I am just worn down to nothing today.  Maybe tomorrow I will feel better, but today I am telling you the truth that I just can’t say anything else besides how bone-weary I am.

At least I’m not a liar.

Now to get up and transfer laundry from washer to dryer.

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16 responses »

  1. Charlotte –

    I am certain that all of what you wrote is filled with great honesty and truth…except the part “I suck”… Your honesty betrays a willingness to face what is before you, which is just as it should be, yet so difficult. I wish you well~

  2. No fun! Being a mommy is exhausting, I have struggled a bit as well with keeping up and wanting to even try to keep up. I imagine its cause I’m almost full term pregnant, but I don’t see it getting easier when my third child is born. I think everyone goes through phases like this, and we all get through it!

    Finding work easier than home life does not make you a bad parent or unloving spouse. Work probably IS easier. Facts are facts, we know your heart is with your family regardless of the facts 🙂

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  4. Charlotte, I have SO been there! Being by myself on the beach has been a fantasy I’ve had many a time. 😉
    Balancing things, no matter what they are, can be exhausting!!!!! With me, balancing homemaking, homeschooling, and now a baby/toddler thrown in the mix has been a BIG challendge! I have been beyond tired at times too. :/
    I think, for me, the main things that help are choosing sleep when I need it (going to bed earlier if I can), prioritizing (not everything deserves my limited thoughts!), and planning better so I can enjoy things more easily.
    *hugs*

    • Gosh, Val, I would imagine that balancing all of that must be tricky, especially the home schooling part. I think you have such a natural gift and passion for educating your children, which is admirable to me, since I wouldn’t touch that with a 39 and a half foot pole! You always come across as so bubbly and energized, so it is a weird comfort to me to know that even you have your down times. I do try to go to bed early when I can, and pick my battles in terms of things like not making the beds, or fussing too much over the condition of Jack’s room! Thank you so much for that thoughtful comment and commiseration. You are so kind. Maybe one day we will meet up on that beach and get to have a drink together!

      • A 39 1/2 ft pole, eh? All I could do was picture the grinch when you said that! 😉
        Yeah, it’s been tricky alright, and it’s taken me awhile to figure out how to plan/teach the subjects and I FINALLY have it down to a science! Now, watch – everything will change somehow. 🙄 Oh well, that’s life!
        I generally do feel very energized (and maybe even a bit bubbly) and I think it’s because I really enjoy this blogging thing. 😀 I don’t always feel super energetic, but I try to stay positive. And blogging helps me do that. xoxo

  5. I have only one baby, she’s almost 10 months old, sleeps through the night since her 6 weeks, but yes, I know the feeling. It is hard on us because we have no family around, so when she is not a daycare, it is really a full-time job. I work at home but have got to go to my company abroad 1 week out of four (4 nights away, traveling with my breast pump, pumping on service areas on the highway and in a basement at work). I miss her and my husband but sometimes I feel relieved too: it is the only time in the month where I can go out eating (even if it is just a sandwich in the park), do shopping etc. Yesterday I had this kind of breakdown too: I am leaving tomorrow, this time by train and my family joins me on saturday, and we stay abroad till the next friday. So I have to prepare my suitcase with work clothes till saturday (I’ll work saturday and sunday), more comfy clothes till friday (but not to much cause I have to stop by again at work on tuesday), all the baby stuff, and well, maybe it is just figuring out how many underwear do I take and how many onesies she will need but it was just too much for me…. (Especially the part where I carry my suitcase and breast pump between trains and find a way to pump…)
    You don’t suck. Being a mom is just the toughest job: no wages, no holidays, no benefits, 24/7 and you can never go on strike!
    Take care!

    • Wow, girl! You might be Super Woman! I can’t even imagine having to travel and be away from my family, as much as they drive me insane. And carrying a breast pump and suitcase through a train station or airport sounds very tricky! I can totally empathize with your struggle to pack and how stressful that must be for you. But eating a sandwich in a park by yourself does sound lovely! Thank you so much for commenting and for your kind words. It means so much that other moms can identify with the struggle of trying to be perfect! I wish you all the best, and thanks again for stopping by, Elea! It is always great to hear from you!

  6. Hey there, long time. I’m so sorry you’re so wiped out–are you sick? Sounds like that eight hours/night needs to become ten. I wanted to offer a tiny piece of wisdom from my son’s preschool teacher. When I complained that he was a “2-weeks-good, 2-weeks-bad kid” (meaning he is an angel for two weeks, then the whinyness etc. returns full force for two), she reminded me that often in those two “bad” weeks they’re growing a lot, and when they come out on the other side they’re stronger, smarter, better people. In the moment, even though I couldn’t wait for the terrible period to be over, it did make me feel an iota better: that this too shall pass. In the meantime, take care of yourself.

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