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I'm Exhausted. Is This Normal?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I feel like such a complete loser posting this. There are so many parents out there that have multiple children and here I am struggling with one. 


I'm 34 years old and stay at home during the week with a a wonderful 15 month old boy. My husband typically works from 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. I do all the housework during the week ( no dishwasher ) and most on the weekends, although hubby cleans some on Saturdays when I work.


My son is extremely active, like a normal boy. Into everything, running, climbing etc. He's transitioned from two naps a day to one and maybe naps about an hour and a half. He's always had issues with sleep and he sleeps with us. Until about a week ago, he woke AT LEAST 5-6 times a night. I finally convinced my husband to participate in night time parenting and it's made a big difference in only a week. But, I'm exhausted. I also work every Saturday for four hours as a landscaper and I'm really struggling with it. It's only four hours for pete's sake. But, everyday Saturday I wake up and I almost cry because I'm so tired. I have great days, don't get me wrong. The exhaustion usually sets in on Thursday and goes through the weekend. We need the money, but I'm thinking about quitting my Saturday job. I just want to sleep. 


He was very anemic and because of this he was sick a lot during the past five months, also creating more exhaustion. His bedtime is supposed to be 7:30, and my husband is responsible for getting him to bed, he rarely sticks to the 7:30 rule and it seems he's usually getting to bed later. Last night it was 9:30, the night before it was 8:30, sometimes it's 7:30 and sometimes it's 10:00 pm. . So, I'm going from morning time, until he finally goes to bed because he always wants to be with me, because I rock that much. 


Seems we're always going. We're homesteaders, believe strongly in good diet and nutrition, so I cook everything from scratch,we can and I raise chickens for eggs and meat, which I also process myself. Just typing this makes me tired, LOL. 


Am I normal to feel this way or am I just a lazy complaining mom? I feel bad complaining about how tired I am. My sister has five kids, I don't know how she does it. She says the first child is always the hardest, the biggest adjustment. 


Please tell me you're as tired as I am. Please tell me you also feel guilty asking your partner to help because they're also tired. 

post #2 of 31

I don't think you sound like a lazy complainer. You're doing a lot and any normal person would be tired! I think your sister is right, the first is the hardest adjustment. I've got one five week old at home and my brain is fried most of the time due to lack of good quality sleep. I feel a little guilty asking my husband to help sometimes, but not much. We're in the same boat together, and it's a just a matter of course that we'll help each other. And that we'll both just be totally exhausted for the foreseeable future. :-)

post #3 of 31

You do a ton more than I do, and I finally hired a housekeeper. LOL! It is a lot of work. Especially if you add in homesteading. I cook from scratch too, and I decided that as my priority, but my husband works a lot of hours and wasn't up to help clean more, which is what I needed, so he suggested just hiring someone to do it. I know that isn't an option for everyone, but I use it to demonstrate that a lot of people who have it together might only have it together because they're having outside help.

post #4 of 31

Never underestimate the importance of REM sleep.  If you are waking that often, you're probably not getting much of it.  Do you have the possibility of seeing someone for some supplemental support during this time?  When my babe only slept in 20 min increments my Vit D tanked.  They put me on some adrenal support, the Vit D, and a B-complex.  It's not a miracle cure, it won't instantly make you well rested.  But it was amazing to me how I went from feeling like I could literally die from exhaustion, hardly able to move - to be able to at least get through my day without crying.  It's kind of hard to explain, the fatigue is still there, but the pain and hopelessness of the fatigue goes away.  


At any rate, you are not alone!  You are not a whiner!  You're DH is in this with you!  The best thing you can do for each other at this point is to look at each other and say "this sucks for you, this sucks for me, we're tired.  But it won't always be this way.  If we support each other now, rest and fun will return."  And mean it.


It's true, this too shall pass.  But until then, be GENTLE with yourself!  


post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your input, I really appreciate it. I've felt like such a loser being so tired. It's an awesome day when I get to actually take a shower and (gasp) shave both of my legs. 


Right now I'm taking fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, and I drink about 6-8 cups of raw milk daily, so lots of D and A. It does seem to help. I'll admit to only taking my prenatal vitamins a handful of times, I'm sure if I took them or started a B complex it would probably help. 


I'm hanging in there, it's been a tremendous blessing having him, he's so much fun and I try to appreciate each precious smile, giggle, and request to nurse ("beebee?"). Some if it probably is co-sleeping and nursing on demand, but I wouldn't change that part for the world. 



post #6 of 31

B-complex is definitely something I would look at adding.


Besides that though I know about 15 months is when I was reaching points of hysteria from the prolonged exhaustion. I ended up nightweaning ds at that point so that I could start getting more than 2 hours of sleep straight. It took about 2 weeks I believe & then I could reliably get 5-6 hours straight each night & it made a HUGE difference in my energy levels & outlook on life.


For me getting us out of the house most days helps a lot 'cause it seems to require less of me than staying home. We have a drop-in play centre (which is especially fabulous in the winter) we go to frequently. All I need to do is get us dressed, pack a snack & get us there. Once there there is so much to entertain ds that most days he will play happily for 1-2 hours & I get to talk with other moms in a fairly relaxed state. Some days I just sit quietly in a chair & watch. When we stay home all day I feel much more drained by bedtime.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks Lifeguard,


I'll be sure to look into B complex. I am sort of night weaning him. It's not a planned thing, he just seems to sleep better with my husband comforting him in the evening. For the past week, I've been able to get between 3-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. 


I love the play idea. There's a huge network of moms out here called Little Hoots. Once Mikey's immune system is stronger, I plan on getting him out and around other kids. Being cooped up does seem to make me more tired. 

post #8 of 31

B-Complex is a great one to look into, I use to take it and probably should again. It helps..


As for being tired I think we all feel you. Its completely normal, especially if your child doesn't sleep at night. I keep telling my DH that life would be easier if the baby would just sleep. It does get better! Mine started sleeping better around 18 months and now at 2 and 4 they sleep from around 730-830 until around 6am. Now if the baby would sleep as well lol.gif

post #9 of 31

I have one 19 month old and I am prettyy exhausted too!

Edited by Snapdragon - 12/24/11 at 10:08am
post #10 of 31

Could it be that you are also anemic, that can make you feel very low-energy too?

post #11 of 31

I just thought of this, since it's something I struggle with - are you hydrated; drinking enough water every day? Being dehydrated can make you feel extra run down, especially when you're sleep-deprived to begin with. I have to consciously make an effort to drink water throughout the day, otherwise I never get enough. It just adds to the exhaustion. 

post #12 of 31

I was very tired when dd was young like that. It got better for me as dd got older.

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

I do struggle with hydrating myself. It's very easy to forget to drink enough. I'm drinking tons of raw milk, but I know I need water too. 


I don't know if I'm currently anemic, but I was ill a lot during my pregnancy. I've mentioned me possibly being anemic to my husband too. I can't get tested, our insurance is major medical only. I try to make an effort to eat meat at every meal. 


My sleep schedule is pretty whacked out right now. I also was walking 3.5 miles a day with little guy in my back carrier and that really seemed to help with energy, but now I'm too tired to do it. LOL.

post #14 of 31
Originally Posted by choochootwo View Post

I don't know if I'm currently anemic, but I was ill a lot during my pregnancy. I've mentioned me possibly being anemic to my husband too. I can't get tested, our insurance is major medical only. I try to make an effort to eat meat at every meal. 

A hemoglobin test should not be expensive, they can do it with a finger-prick method for a quick screening. I also tend to be anemic (heavy periods), and your symptoms seem familiar. You can also check the inside of your lower eyelids for example, they should be red not be pale.


post #15 of 31

I am a SAHM. I have a 17mth old and I am 8mths pregnant. As mothers we wear many hats and raising children is more than a full time job. It is totally normal to be tired and sometimes, like any job, you don't enjoy it very much to say the least. But the sacrifices that we make as mothers are so worth it. It is so nice to have some support from other mothers in this community. It has helped me so much just to know that I are not alone in my feelings. I wish you the best!

post #16 of 31

I feel ya. I have really let go my housekeeping standards! It was either that or hire someone, and I don't really want to pay someone for that. If I didn't also cook from scratch(I don't homestead, besides my small garden), I'm sure I'd have more time to keep the house clean, but I cook the same way you do. I'm guessing you follow Weston A Price? That's a job in and of itself! I find myself skipping playdates so I have time to make dinner, or prep for lunch the next day or what not. It doesn't help that DH thinks it's silly the way I want our family to eat! blah. Anyway, do what you have to do to make the day easier for yourself. If that means letting go of some of the housekeeping standards for awhile, then so be it. my bathroom is so dirty right now, but I had a healthy, homemade dinner, so whatever. DH works LONG hours too..we're talking, leaving the house at 7 am and not coming home until midnight some nights(this happens about 1/3 of the time) the other 2/3 of the time he's home by 8 or so..that's at the earliest though. We're also really involved with our church and half of sunday is spent doing church stuff, and every so often DH works on Saturday, so it's mostly me, with 2 kids all the time. I know you aren't religious but getting involved in a church could help your situation a lot..playdates, babysitting co-ops, and MOPS is just a few of the perks of being involved in a church! Oh, also to help with the kitchen clean up, line your pans with tin foil! Use a cast iron skillet a few times before washing it(lots of oil), It sucks not using a microwave(I'm guessing you don't, or at least limit it!) Makes for lots of dishes. Make more one pot meals...Roasted chicken with veggies below, so the grease flavors the veggies. Limit or eliminate grain. That makes it more expensive, but if you're already raising chickens and eggs, you might be able to swing it. The prep of grains takes more time than just cutting up a potato or squash.


All that said, it will get easier when your toddler gets older. I remember right around DS's 2nd birthday, he got so much easier..would play by himself, wasn't as attached to me, and was able to cook meals more easily without him clinging to me. But I remember feeling the same way you do right now. Now I have a 5 month old, and I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the toddler age again, because it really wore me out, but right now it's easy.

post #17 of 31



Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post


Make more one pot meals...Roasted chicken with veggies below, so the grease flavors the veggies. 

Crockpot! I have a six week old baby and I also cook predominately from scratch and the crockpot has literally saved my sanity some days. I have a large crockpot, so I go ahead and make the biggest portion size the recipe calls for, and then we have leftovers for lunch as well as usually another couple of portions to stick in the freezer. It's not really any extra work to prep the bigger portion size, and once you turn it on you can literally walk away for the rest of the day and still have a hot, delicious meal on the table for dinner. And it's great to have a little reserve of meals in the freezer that you can just defrost and heat up easily on the stove top or in the oven (we're also a no microwave household). 


post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 

MrsBone : 


Yes, we follow Weston Price. No grains in our household at all as I think our toddler has a sensitivity to them. It is time consuming, isn't it? But, I do enjoy it. :) 


To the other poster : I do need to make friends with my crockpot again. :)

post #19 of 31

sending along hugs from another tired mom.

post #20 of 31

Well, you need another coupla kiddos.  I'm sorta kidding.  Having one is soooo hard!  Having 2 or more under 6 is hard.  But then they get bigger and it is SO nice. 


I get you, Mama.  Look at my siggy.  I get you.  I am tired, but so much less than I was.  I found myself some good support for my body, give the kids some chores so I have more time to spend in the kitchen doing all that us homesteading mamas do.  I use a wonderful b lotion from Neurobiologix.  Found it because my oldest has severe Aspergers and goes to see the Dr. who created these supplements.  http://www.neurobiologix.com/Neuro-Immune-Stabilizer-B12-Cream-p/46.htm  It's expensive, but it lasts.  Sounds like you and your little one could use it. It is wonderful for boosting the immune system and it's easy to use. Also, you need greens for iron, so either start incorporating more of them into your diet, or get some of the green stuff off that website to add into a daily smoothie.  Or drink chlorophyll!  Also, look into melatonin for both you and your lo for the sleep issues.  Perfectly safe to give to a baby!  I only WISH I'd known about the stuff when mine were babies!  We use it religiously now for several members of my family.  Also, considering your age, have you thought about getting a good quality progesterone cream?  I use Emerita, and notice a HUGE difference in the way I feel when I am not able to use it (when I'm on my period).  Menopause starts earlier than normal in my family, what about you?  Could hormones also be an issue for you?  Even if you are not perimenopausal yet, maybe some progesterone (the mother hormone) could help a bit?


It will and does get better.  You MUST support yourself thru this, and doing Weston Price is a great way to help, but you are a mom and sometimes we just.need.more.



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