Fatigue is Not My Friend


Fatigue is DEFINITELY not my friend.  I’m a bit of a wreck when I’m tired.  I’m tired today due to being woken up by an off-colour four-year old and consequently lying awake for hours, thinking.  Being tired is not good for my head.  When I’ve had a good night’s sleep (and with the help of a low dose of happy pills) I think I’m a fairly well-balanced, reasonable person.  When I haven’t…well, I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel grateful for everything I’ve got; I accept that we’re not loaded but we’ve enough money to get by and a roof over our heads.  I feel lucky to have the option to stay at home with my children. I feel hopeful that my writing might turn into something that will eventually pay my way.  I have a lovely family and great friends.  None of that changes just because I’m tired.

The difference is that when I’m tired, my defences are down…and that’s when the anxiety creeps in.  I start to worry about money; that it’s too much pressure on my husband to be the sole bread-winner and that I should go out and get a ‘proper’ job, just bite the bullet and go back to teaching.  I fret obsessively about spending, like forking out for two lots of uniforms, the impending and necessary buying of expensive school shoes, the fact that we need a new fridge freezer that doesn’t leak, a new tumble dryer (without a broken door) and a decent bathroom.

I still feel lucky to have the option to stay at home with my children but I also get resentful of the constant demands and bickering.  I worry that I’m not spending enough ‘quality time’ with them because I’m on my laptop for large chunks of the day.  I’m short-tempered and feel annoyed at myself for taking out my moods on them.  On days like this I feel physically sick when our eldest wants to play out because I convince myself something awful will happen to him when he’s out of my sight and I half hope it will rain so he’ll stay in where it’s safe.  It’s not rational but it’s how I feel.

On days like today, I don’t feel the least bit hopeful my writing will turn into anything that will earn me a living.  I think I’m kidding myself, playing at something futile, wasting my time.  It feels like a laughable pipe dream and I feel crushingly sad that I won’t fulfil my aspirations or gain the sort of professional and personal recognition that I crave.

Despite my lovely family and great friends, on days like today I feel lonely to the point where it feels unbearable.  It’s like being in limbo; not being the best wife, mum or friend I can be and not doing anything of any consequence, either…and then I feel horribly guilty and ungrateful because I AM doing something meaningful, looking after my three beautiful boys.

Yet, on days like today, I can’t help feeling ‘invisible’.  I should be satisfied to be JUST a mum and JUST a wife with writing as an enjoyable hobby but I can’t help wondering:  Where the hell did I go?  Who am I without something just for me?  And then it feels as though I’m failing spectacularly and frustration kicks me right between the eyes.

I hope I get a good night’s sleep tonight.  I hope that tomorrow I won’t feel like this, or that at least it won’t be so overwhelming that I feel like I’m drowning.  Today, the happy pills aren’t enough to stop the negative thoughts creeping in.  Hopefully tomorrow they will be.



  1. I’m with you on this one. Everything is flippin hard work when you’re exhausted. For me, when I’m especially tired is when the guilt kicks in. I didn’t read enough/at all with them today, I gave one more attention than the other, have I been paying enough attention to what and how much they eat, etc etc etc…….! I’m learning to accept its a knackered day and some sleep will shut my brain up for a while!

  2. Thank you for writing so honestly, you really are not alone in this. I am in the same boat and some days are fine, but others I feel like this too. I think it’s a bit all or nothing at all with the work issue. My friends who work would like to be at home more and vice versa!

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