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Tired of It All

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

While I have a few minutes I wanted to share what has been running through my head.  I can not shake the thought "I'm so tired of this" meaning life.  Now don't think I'm going to go kill myself or my family because I don't have any thoughts like that! 

 

It could be a spike in my pregnancy hormones? I noticed when I'm feeling like this- stressed, tired, irritable, like PMS, I break out in pimples.  Also after tracking my hormones and going through hormone therapy in the past for stress I realized Progesterone make me "crazy". It's suppose to be the peaceful hormone, but why when it rises in women do millions of them suffer from PMS? Progesterone gradually increases throughout pregnancy until birth. 

 

Obviously pregnancy is a stressful time but I've felt like this for years.  It ebbs and flows.  I don't think I am ever really happy though.  I don't really find any joy in life.  I listened to a neuroscience book recently.  He talked about how our brains are wired, and they are wired to soak up the negative and send the positive through a sieve. It made sense to me looking back at pictures and videos that I've had happy and good times, but they are just not stored in my brain. 

 

I dread getting up everyday.  I'm tired and I just don't want to do all the things I have to do.  I recently discovered I need to allow myself a break sometimes, and am working on doing that. Along with doing things that I want to do.  However that doesn't escape the fact that someone has to take care of my kids.  Someone has to cook for them, someone has to clean the house, someone has to pay the bills and run errands, someone has to teach them school, the list is endless. And the only someone to do that is me. So while I may have discovered that sometimes I just need to sit and take a minute for myself or do something I want to do instead of what needs to get done it doesn't take away from all the things I still have to do everyday. I read somewhere once that if you spend your day doing things you hate to do they will be miserable until you stop doing them. Well I hate cooking, I hate cleaning, I hate laundry...

 

So, I continue to be disgusted with life everyday.  I love my kids and do enjoy being a mom, but you all know being a mom is tough work.  It's taxing physically, emotionally, mentally and it's never ending. My high expectations and dreamer personality just doesn't get fulfilled by wiping butts, cooking, and sitting in traffic.  I will never leave my kids nor do I want to.  I like to travel and I like getting away from the "everyday" however doing this with kids is stressful and removes the joy out of it. We drove cross-country last year.  7,000 miles, 3 kids age 2,4,7. It was extremely stressful throughout the trip so much so we kept thinking about turning back.  But back at home when it was over it seemed like we had a good time, well at least we saw and experienced some cool stuff. 

 

What can I do to be happy? How can I look forward to doing all the mundane requirements of daily life? 

post #2 of 28

I just wanted to post quickly to send you hugs.

 

You are so not alone. Our province's women's hospital has a reproductive mental health centre. I went there for three years. Pregnancy and postpartum are very challenging times for someone who is sensitive to hormonal changes (like me, too). 

 

I have to say, though, that sometimes we are too stuck to be able to get ourselves out. I know many mamas don't like the thought of medication, but this is what it's for. There is a lot of safe antidepressants to take during pregnancy. I took Cipralex (has other names). I was able to enjoy my life again.

 

I was in a toxic situation with my marriage and there was a time when despite the antidepressant, I became depressed again. I remember talking with my wonderful psychiatrist about it and she asked me to decide on a marker that will let me know if I am well or not. For me, my marker is whether or not I can enjoy playing with my children. If I stop enjoying that for a long period, I know I need to be really careful and monitor it. 

 

Gotta run, but i just wanted to share that btdt experience. I feel for you. I have been there and it is such a glum place to be in. I hope you're able to get help and heal.

post #3 of 28

hug2.gifOh, Mama. I hear you loud and clear. It is really challenging to have young kids (and to be pg to boot!!). I very much felt the same way when my kids were little. My husband worked full time and went to school full time. I was home alone a lot with the kids and left to my own negative mental devices. My friends were off starting their careers and traveling all over the world and I was home sewing cloth diapers and listening to babies scream. OY!! Now my kids are a little bit older, 10 and 8, and that feeling as passed. I enjoy my life and motherhood much more then I did when I was sleep deprived and on edge all the time. It also helps knowing I will be free to travel until my heart's content in nine years.....yes, I'm counting. winky.gif

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just won't take anything while pregnant. Things would have to be a life or death situation in order for me to medicate. I won't even take Tylonal. All the risks are too scary. I would never be able to live with myself if something happened to the baby. That is just my personal decision and don't look down on mamas that need it.

I was on Prozac before we started trying to conceive. I didn't feel it made a big difference, but coming off it I could tell that the edge was not taken off anymore. I tried another anti-depressant before that and hated it. I can't remember what it was but it made me clench my teeth and gave me strange thoughts. It was taking over my mind or making me feel crazy and I stopped right away. My family doctor doesn't necessary think I'm depressed more then I have OCD. Not the physical impulses just the mental ones.

The fact is my life is just really hard. I'm trying to get over that, not talk about it, think about it, etc. (but I'm not doing a very good job am I!!!) I don't have anyone to relate to. I don't know any other mamas that have husbands that work as much as mine. I don't know any other mamas that don't have family in their lives helping them out. I don't know any other mamas as friendless as me. My husband is very supportive and tells me he understands, but does he? He drives alone in his car everyday, chats with people at work whom he calls friends and I live in a world of silence and constant overwhelming work. I would like to see a therapist but when? On my husbands one day off? The mondays for the next two months are booked on our calendar with doc. appts., dentist appts, field trips, etc. I do not trust anyone to watch my kids, so I'm just stuck.

Everyone including my husband questions why I wanted 4 kids if life is so hard on me. Well I didn't feel I could let go of my dreams of a big family because I wasn't strong enough to make it through these tough years. I know my kids will grow and life will get easier. I'm counting those years! Also my kids are the one shinning light in my life. I love them!! It's an odd thing b/c they create all the work and most of the stress- but they are worth it!

After baby is born and starting solids and getting less milk I plan on getting medicated again. I don't know how this ride will be until then?
post #5 of 28

Not everyone made to be a stay at home mom. Get a job. Part time, full time....anything that makes your brain work harder. Use the money you make for a house-cleaner.

 

You need to start trusting other people watch your kids. This is the only way you will have a life since I imagine on your DH's days off you want time together.

 

It is not a big deal. People do it all the time.  Almost all the abuse is done by family members and not hired caregivers.  Kids are fine in day care, with nannies and babysitter. However, having a depressed mother can have life long negative effects.

 

Hire a babysitter once a week and go to therapy. Start there.   It  it will be 2-3 hours t most. (Therapy plus travel)

 

Life is not gonna get magically easier just because kids are older. I have teens. i do not have to wipe their butts but there other things to deal with.

 

Get help now . Dreams, ideals. BLAH> Deal with NOW. Now is hard. You need a help. Therapist can help so I babysitters and nannies.   Do not be martyr, be a happy mother!

post #6 of 28
Oh, hugs to you, Mama. I do know just how you feel. I also get so much from my children (love, fulfillment, etc) that I would never trade it. I am overdue with #4, so firmly in the stress zone, as well! I used to have severe problems with depression until I started taking higher doses of niacin (vitamin b3). You can read more about it at www.doctoryourself.com. It is a safe treatment during pregnancy, and I have also experienced my best blood pressure readings ever. I am not a doctor, it's just my experience.

Pregnancy is an especially hard time bc it seems like mamas are more introspective and self-aware than at other times. That is the case for me, anyway. Being away from my kids actually doesn't help me, so suggestions of babysitters and time off just frustrate me more. I would like things just to be easier sometimes! My DH also works a LOT, so I know what it's like.

I actually take many supplements and we juice and I drink green smoothies. These practices help a lot with stress. But, I also encourage you to try to make more friends. By nature, I am a super introvert, but I have cultivated friends in recent years that have been such a salve in hard times with the kids (I have two with ASD). Having supportive friends makes a huge difference.

I will be thinking of you!
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

Agreed! Being away from my kids would make the situation a thousand times worse. I knew the moment I gave birth to my first that there is NOTHING else in this world that I want to do other then be with my kids everyday. There is no job nor amount of money that would EVER make me leave them.  You can't just "get over it" and have someone come and watch your kids either.  It's like telling someone with PTSD or PPD to just get over it, and move on. It doesn't work that way. I'm not concerned with how others raise their kids. I'm concerned with how my kids are raised.  It may be fine for others to use day care, babysitters, and send their kids to school but that is not what I want for my children. 

 

It is the same for me, I just want things to be easier.  I want a husband that doesn't work 80 hours/ 6 days a week. Every night, every weekend, every holiday.  We are working towards that now and when he does get a less demanding job I imagine it will have a huge impact on our lives.  I feel cheated coming from a crappy family thinking I would marry into in nice family.  It has not worked out that way.  My DH's family is horrible. I've tried to make friends. Really, really tried. Hoped, prayed, wished, cried and I have yet to make any real friends.

I can't relate to anyone due to our life situation which makes it really hard. Add that any mama I like has to have compatible children. Add that I homeschool 2 kids and am pretty much a single parent- when am I going to nurture a friendship? 

 

I will check out the site and talk with my midwife about it. Thanks for the support and UNDERSTANDING. 

post #8 of 28

grouphug.gif Mamas my heart goes out to you!! I live in a pretty rural city but there is a national SAHM club that meets here. I went a few times when my kids were babies but I didn't find any like minded mothers with whom to start a friendship but that was ten years ago and people are changing. Children need interaction with other kids, too. How about joining your local YMCA and letting them play with the other kids for a bit while you sit back and relax with a magazine for a few minutes. You need to take care of yourself, too. If you are frazzled and unwell your kids are going to pick up on that vibe.

post #9 of 28

I don't have any advice since I battle the exact same feelings, though I truly WANT to pick up and run away from my life.  I WANT to leave everything behind and just be alone.  I know it would solve nothing and I don't plan to do it but it's my "back up plan" in the back of my mind all the time that if everything gets too overwhelming I could just check out and leave.  I can't......but it makes me feel a little better thinking I could.  So you aren't alone in your feelings.  I don't think I've ever felt really and truly HAPPY and content with my life.  I always feel like I'm just waiting for something to happen.  I'm brushing aside the everyday for the future, though I don't know what that is.  It's a low level of depression that I've had since I was a teenager that's never gone away.  I won't say that I don't think you could benefit from an antidepressant to take the edge off but that's entirely up to you.  My kids are now 12, 8, and 5 and somehow they are more difficult now than they were as babes.  At least when they were tiny, they didn't have so many extracurriculars and meetings and doctor's appts and other requirements.  They may be wiping their own butts and clearing their place after dinner but now I'm chauffering them back and forth to brownies and art class and camp and playdates and somehow I'm busier.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

It makes me "happy" to hear other moms feeling the same. Yes, running away would be very nice sometimes. I have always run away in the past, but now I don't. I know it really doesn't solve anything, though it sure feels good to be in a new place and start over. 

 

I got my ultrasound and we think it's a girl.  We did everything to make a boy.  I'm really disappointed my plan for the perfect family of 2 girls, 2 boys may not work out.  My midwife said to me "having expectation can make things hard" Gosh is she right! I have high expectations about everything and I think that really interferes with being happy because nothing ever goes as planned. 

 

My advice to you if it's too much running cut out some activities.  I think kids have WAY TOO MUCH going on in their lives now days. Kids only get to be kids for a very short while.  One thing about being a kid that you will never get to experience in your life ever again once you grow up is the joy of doing nothing. As adults we are required to do so much.  I feel like I'm on a treadmill on high and I can never get off. There is just not enough time in a day. No matter how hard I work it never gets better, hence I always feel like I'm drowning. I think a lot of parents train their kids that they have to be doing something, going somewhere, be with someone to be content.

 

I got a lot of advice on here that since I'm stress my kids are somehow unhappy or I don't take them anywhere.  My kids are SUPER happy. And yes they go to soccer, art class, park day, and on play dates. But they are extremely content playing at home together.  I don't attempt activities that I know are too much for me or for them. I am human after all.  I see my kids pretending, enjoying books, coloring and painting and sitting looking out the window with the spring air blowing in their faces.  I see them happy and content just being.  I wish all the time I could go back to being a kid with nothing to do but let the spring air blow my hair as I looked out the window.  I was never involved in any activities as a kid and I was happy that way. 

post #11 of 28

You don't think your kids pick up on the fact that their mother doesn't find any joy in life?  I think you are underestimating how important a mother's well-being affects her kids.

 

You say that you realize you need a break, but you won't leave your kids with hired help.  What about with extended family members?  Is there no one besides you and your husband who loves these kids?  No aunt, uncle, grandparent, godparent, or even one of your closest friends or a neighbor you trust very much?

 

It doesn't have to be for many hours, just a couple, while you get some time for yourself, would be better than nothing.

 

If your kids have no other relationship with a trusted adult outside their parents, then I think you should work on rectifying that.  It's invaluable to have a variety of loving relationships, with extended family, or even i.e. your best friend who is like an aunt to them, or a nearby neighbor with a family?  Surely there are other homeschooling families in the area that you don't totally disapprove of how they parent?  You could swap babysitting where you leave your kids at their house for a few hours at some point that would help you out tons, and you take on their kids for a few hours on another occasion?

They say it takes a village for a reason.  Only mom 24/7 (plus Dad on Mondays) isn't necessarily the best way to go, especially when mom is finding zero joy in full time homemaking, and eventually this will affect your kids.

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

Can I say my kids have no idea that I'm tired and stress? No I can't. Can I say my kids are deeply effected by it? No I can't. They seem to be oblivious to it. They are happy little kids in their own world with a mommy who does absolutely everything for them.  Just because I am joyless cooking and cleaning and being overwhelmed I don't think it has this huge hurtful impact on my children. I play with my kids and laugh with my kids everyday, like I said they are the only joy in my life.  I am a damn good mother and do more things for/with my kids then most other moms. Their happiness is my number one concern and believe me they are happy.  

 

I wrote this post so I could hear other mamas say "me too", 'I understand", "raising small kids is a stressful selfless time it will pass". Not to be criticized and UN-understood.  

 

The answer to your question is no.  No, there is no one else to help me! My family is 1,500 miles away and my DH's family does not care for or love our children.  They don't even care for or love my DH. Not everyone in this world is blessed with loving family and friends.  Some of us get really screwed in the deal and have to go it alone.  Do I wish I was surrounded by a big loving family? You bet! Do I wish they were here to help me? Yes! When we visit my family I watch and care for my kids as usual, then family members step in and help me.  It's SO ODD to not be the person who is doing everything. It's awesome to have help and others love my kids.  But that is vacation not a reality at home.  

 

It should be understood that I love my kids and do the best job I can with what life has dealt me.  Do I wish for and want them to be surrounded by family and friends, yes absolutely. However the family is not here. Nor are the friends. I've tried for almost a decade to to make friends and it has not happened.  Sure we spend time with other families.  Have I developed a close friendships and trust with these people? No sadly that has not happened and not for a lack of trying on my part either. I wouldn't just swap babysitting duties with someone.  It would take years for me to build a trusting relationship with another family in order to just leave my kids with them. That is not the mother I am, not the mother I will ever be (or want to be for that matter).

post #13 of 28
Mama, I feel for you! I know how it feels to struggle through the day and not have support. I have a family that is dysfunctional at best. There is so much I see here you are doing right, but I really do think you need to take care of you! If you can't do medication right now seek therapy.

Kudos to you for keeping active within the community. That was a smart move mama! Isolation is never good for anyone. Are you also actively seeking companionship for yourself? Allowing yourself some mama time? Taking good care of yourself? If any of those areas could be improved upon that's where you would want to start. Those are thimgs that help me anyways; self love and care, seeking out support and companions...just a couple of suggestion, of course.

A lot of what you describe sounds like depression. A lot of it also sounds like anxiety. You mention there having been times like this before. Do you see any pattern in your moods other than the monthly ebbs and flows when you aren't pregnant?

Depression sucks, and it's hard to treat on your own. Don't be afraid to ask for something if and when that time comes. You don't want to now because of baby, and I completely respect that. There are some thimgs you could do that may help. The lack of energy and gloominess can be helped with excersize and getting out of the house. (easier said than done, I know!) Taking a few minutes to pamper yourself will help your mood improve. Like a pp said, you could always swap chidcare with another parent for a couple hrs, and take some time for just yourself and your husband.

Best of luck, mama! Those hormones are tough. pregnancy is tough. not having loving family around to help is tough. But, you mama, trudging onward with hope--You are stronger and tougher than it all!
Edited by wild violet - 4/4/13 at 10:37pm
post #14 of 28

I'm sorry my post caused you to feel so defensive.  I feel bad, I should have prefaced with hugs and sympathy and letting you know that I have been where you are, am also currently pregnant and suffering from pre-natal depression, and all sorts of other things about me that would convince you that I'm posting from a good place and only wishing to see things get better for you and your family, nothing more.  Please trust that that's the case, without my needing to list my personal full 'resume' of why I do indeed have empathy and understand your lack of support (i.e. I have been living in a foreign country myself for a decade, no family around, and very hard to make friends so I know how that feels, etc. etc. ).  I do get it, I feel awful for you, I've felt that way, and I'm seeking psychotherapy myself to try to nip my current bout of mood issues in the bud before it escalates into something much harder to deal with.  Anyway, I really wanted to avoid talking about myself and there I go.  But let me explain....  I think a few of your comments just seemed a bit.... unreasonable, given the big picture, at least to the ears of those of us who believe that you have to first put on your own oxygen mask, before putting on the masks of your children.  You gotta mother yourself first, before you can ever be up for the challenges of a big growing family, especially when it's your full-time job.

 

Depression can escalate or at least become more entrenched in your brain and harder to pull yourself out of.  Those of us who have BTDT or loved those who have suffered, immediately will take it very very seriously when you say statements like, " I don't think I am ever really happy though.  I don't really find any joy in life.."  and "I dread getting up everyday." and " I continue to be disgusted with life everyday"  and  "I recently discovered I need to allow myself a break sometimes, and am working on doing that"  but then follow up with why that's never going to happen.  And "I live in a world of silence and constant overwhelming work"  and "I don't have anyone to relate to."     These are all red flags that you really do need to do something to get yourself off this track and get some help, whether professional or just making lifestyle changes to try to alter the way you feel about your life.  

 

If these are the feelings you have on a regular basis, the status quo is NOT working out for your family.  You and your husband need to talk about major changes (moving near your family, him pursuing a different career,  hiring a part time housekeeper, something!) and if that leads to nothing major, then hopefully a combination of minor changes (therapy, joining a support group even online if that's all you can find, a homeschooling community, something where you can start building up a friendship network in your world) will help ease the way things feel these days.

 

I just really do strongly wish all the best for you.   It can be so hard to live in your own head when those feelings are recurring.  I have friends who were raised by mothers who struggled with depression which is why I feel that it can be best for everyone, including the children, that you make your own well being a true priority,  asap.

post #15 of 28
Serafina33-- toche! overshare edited out of my previous post. I didn't mean to sound like I was condoning ignoring an urgent issue; but can't help say, I can relate because x, y, z.. I was trying to point out exactly what you were-- depression (and other mental health issues) DO need immediate assesment. I absolutely agree it IS necessary she address the issue.

Original Poster, you are kinda coming across defensively. You see a problem and post here seeking help. Some of what has been said by others has been gentle, some of it tough love; but I think everyone aggrees that it isn't a normal end of pregnancy feeling. No matter what course of action you choose, you recognize and admit it's necessary that you feel you need to do something and come here reaching out for help from the pits of depression. That's a great first step given the lack of irl support. Then you refute suggestions that you seek help and say you just needed support and empathy. Mama, we are being supportive and empathetic, everyone of us on this thread; but she is correct mama-- those are the red flags that do need adressed! Depression is not going to go away through commisseration! Having someone who can listen and relate is great, but I think what would really help you is seeking treatment. Medications may cross the placenta, but so does negativity, right? Therapy couldn't really harm baby, but could benefit your whole family. Might be worth looking into. At the bare minimum talk to you dr/midwife and let them know what's up. If you feel this way now they need to be able to help you keep on eye out for ppd at least.
Edited by wild violet - 4/4/13 at 11:09pm
post #16 of 28

OP - I've been thinking of you. I just wanted to send more hugs. xo

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild violet View Post

Serafina33-- toche! overshare edited out of my previous post. I didn't mean to sound like I was condoning ignoring an urgent issue; but can't help say, I can relate because x, y, z.. 

wild violet, we posted within 3 minutes of each other, I never read your post until the next day, so please don't think I was implying anything about your post in mine.  We were writing at the same time.  

It will not go away with commiseration, that is so wise, mama.  I hope the OP understands that and can benefit from the empathy and warm wishes from those of us (yes me too --I just came across abrupt the first time I think)  as well as the constructive nudgings to act IRL.  

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLmomof1/1ontheway View Post

 

I got my ultrasound and we think it's a girl.  We did everything to make a boy.  I'm really disappointed my plan for the perfect family of 2 girls, 2 boys may not work out.  My midwife said to me "having expectation can make things hard" Gosh is she right! I have high expectations about everything and I think that really interferes with being happy because nothing ever goes as planned. 

 

 

Out of this whole thread, this is what stands out most to me.  Perfectionism is NO JOKE.  OP, I would gently suggest that you do some reading on perfectionism, and see if any of it resonates with you, and try to start working on that.  I never thought I was a perfectionist, I thought I was easygoing and just a high achiever......then I had a son who is most definitely a perfectionist, and in reading about and working through things with him, I have also learned a LOT about myself.  People think, "oh perfectionist ha ha that's great you'll always do well" but that is FAR from the truth.

post #19 of 28

Mama, I'm still thinking of you.  Somehow I missed your second post where you implied that your doctor thinks you have Pure O OCD.  I also suffer from OCD and I can completely relate to obsessing over being the one to do everything fo ryour kids and not trust anyone to  take care of them.  I was like that when my middle daughter was born.  It was AGONY to watch someone else hold her or when she would cry and someone else would attempt to soothe her.  Pure agony.  Everything in my body was screaming at me.  I trusted no one to watch my kids, to be with them, etc.  I knew they needed me and only me.  I completely shut out my husband and our families.  I know how that feels to know in the very core of your being that you are the absolute only one who can do all the things you do during the day.  So I'll tell you something my therapist told me that helped: "Perception does not always equal reality."  The way your brain is perceiving the situation is not always the way it truly is.  Sit back and think about whether the way you feel is truly accurate and rational.  I'm not sure about you but I know for me and most of my friends with OCD, it's extremely difficult to judge whether our reactions/perceptions are in line with reality and truly appropriate for the situation or whether they are anxiety-based.  I don't know whether it's your anxiety and depression talking to you or whether it's just the way you need to parent.  Only you can decide. But I do know that when my third child was born that I realized that I couldn't and wasn't meant to do it all alone.  It was too overwhelming and my daughters wouldn't suffer for accepting help.  They look forward to their time with daddy.  They ENJOY having my mom pick them up from school occasionally.  It's been only a positive addition to our lives and my stress levels have gone down significantly.  I don't feel like I'm running a race just to survive anymore.  hug2.gif

post #20 of 28
I am relate to the perfectionism OP and it really really sux. It takes years to let go of -- but I've found I've passed it on to my 8 year old who frets over her grades.

And OH how I relate to the abject misery of the long days home alone with small kids. Kids whom you love and would rather die than be apart from ... But the endless monotony. I honestly don't know how I lasted through that time. I too had pp hormonal issues but didn't know it.

Hang in there. Honestly no advice. I managed to find a few mom friends whom I saw once a week and they were strangers at first but total life lines. But seriously it is not easy to find good friends.

I used to go drive off into the woods when my husband was home in the weekend. Park by a stream. Eat a sandwich. Smoke a cigarette. And never tell anyone where I was ! That was my only break it seemed.
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