On Feeling Burnt Out

I am very tired lately. I sneak naps by accident, like when I am putting my son to bed. I will fall asleep for an hour then wake up groggy, panicky and shaky because my blood sugar is low and I also have lots of work to do.

Work is stressing me THE FUDGE out. Which is so selfish to say because I work from home and am very lucky to have this remote working job. The whole company works from home, as they are an app and it’s a start-up.

I just sometimes feel out of my depth because I need hours of uninterrupted thinking time to do this job, and you can’t have that when you have a one year old with you full time. So I get this work done when he is asleep, often staying up until the small hours, and getting up in the later-small hours to work until he wakes up, and work through his afternoon nap, and while he eats his meals, and sometimes pop The Gruffalo on for him (it lasts 28 minutes) so I have half an hour’s time to work.

But even so I think it’s not enough. It’s 8 hours per day but I need more than that.

And I am falling behind and sometimes appearing stupid in meetings. And am worried they will think I am not doing enough or thinking enough and will fire me. So I am pushing and pushing and pushing harder and harder. And I am so goddamn tired. Bloody hell. And lonely. But too goddamn tired to connect with anybody, even my parents. And when I cook and clean I feel half hearted, and when I read to my son my eyes start to close. I take him to the park 3-4 times a week and try to run around with him and play with him, and that’s tiring too.

How do people do it? How do they work full time and mother full time and get 8 hours of sleep and work-out and eat healthy and be in a good mood?

Because I can’t do all of that. So something has to give. And that’s my sleep. I probably get 3 hours of sleep a night. And when I crawl into bed at 3am my son wakes up and asks for my ‘mam’ – which means ‘arm’, which means he wants to sleep in my arms.

And I lie there in the dead of the night, my arms numb from the weight of his head, and my fingers stroke his soft round cheeks and I listen to his even breathing, and smell the softness of the top of his head, which has lost the ‘baby’ smell but still has this sweet toddler smell, and sometimes he mumbles ‘mama’ in his sleep, and he nestles into me, and moves my arm tighter over his little baby body, and I relax.

Because yes I am stressed and sleep deprived and often think I cannot do this, but I realise that with each day, my son grows a little bit more. Maybe taller, maybe something in his brain grows, maybe he learns a new word, or conquers a new skill. And life is never the same again. And soon I won’t be as stressed or worried or tired, and I will feel glad I pushed through this period of time.

Often I think back to my pregnancy and how bloody hard and painful it was, and I remember the mantra I would recite as I hobbled around on a stiff hip, I would say only way out is through.

And that is true. Only way out is through. Just keep pushing. It will be over. Or get easier. Enjoy the time, as much as you can.

So I can smell the top of my baby’s head, and I can’t let the negativity get to me. Because it will change and shift again. Life always does.

13 thoughts on “On Feeling Burnt Out

  1. “How do people do it? How do they work full time and mother full time and get 8 hours of sleep and work-out and eat healthy and be in a good mood?”

    The answer to that question, my dear friend, is that they don’t. My heart goes out to you. I don’t have an answer, but please talk to your husband and those family members who will help you figure out a solution. Sometimes even the tiniest adjustments can feel huge and make a big difference. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t have an answer either OB, and I wish I did. I remember the exhaustion and the mind numb that comes with it. I can’t even tell you how I traversed it. But I did. As are you. During all of this, while you are smelling that lovely only-baby-smell, remember to give yourself kudos. Because you ARE doing it. Even if it is a struggle. You are doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t see the big picture either, that “this too shall pass.”
    I was miserable when my babies were small. Frantic and stressed and sad. We made it somehow. My kids are grown now with kids of their own. I’ve had to apologize to my babies for not realizing that they were more important than sleep. Being a mom is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My heart goes out to you and i really hope you find a way to push through this phase and process you’re currently in. I’m not a parent but as someone who works in social care I would encourage you ask for support if you can from family such as your parents, siblings if you have any or friends you trust regarding your situation. I appreciate your transparency and vulnerability

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s