I’ve suffered from chronic fatigue (CFS) for a long time now, and I have periods when I’m definitely doing better – and others where I’m definitely doing worse. Same with my fibromyalgia. However, I always feel like I can cope better with the pain than I can with the tiredness and exhaustion. I realise that this makes me lucky in some ways, the fibro isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, and for that I am grateful. The exhaustion can be debilitating though. And somehow I decided that I would add a baby into the mix. (Well, technically a toddler by now.)

I will never regret having the Imp, I love her above all – but there are days when I feel like the worst mother because I simply don’t have the energy to do everything that everyone else does. There are days when we just hang out at home because I can’t contemplate leaving the house, I’m just too fatigued. Fortunately, the little Imp seems quite happy to potter around at home, wreaking havoc the way I imagine a small hurricane would.

For the last few years, I’ve managed my fatigue somewhat. I’ve been able to work full time, which has been a definite win, even if it’s been at the cost of some other things having to go. During the years I’ve noticed that I can’t have it all, I have to choose where to expend my limited energy. I can either do my hobbies, keep a clean, tidy home or work. The last couple of years I worked, and my hobbies suffered. (As for cleaning, I was somewhere in between. I managed to sort of keep on top of it, even if not perfect.)

Pregnancy was okay. I was exhausted, but I think even women with no previous health problems are exhausted during pregnancy. Especially if they, like me, work waking night shifts.

Then enter the Imp. I’ll be honest, the first few months after she came along I was doing great. Exhausted? Yes. But I don’t think any more than any other new mum (or so I like to think). My pain was nearly entirely gone. It was amazing. Maybe six months down the line the pain started creeping back though, and both it and the exhaustion has been getting progressively worse.

The Imp is 14 months old today, and yesterday I was so tired I just wanted to sit down and cry. I struggle with feeling inferior to other mums, who manage to care for their child, going out and doing things every day and keep a neat, tidy home. At the moment I can’t do either. I feel like I’m stuck, trapped in this body and mind that are sluggish and fatigued – all while the house crumbles around me.

There are so many things I want to do. I feel like I need to do. But I can’t bring myself to do them. I’m just so tired. All I want to do is sleep, it’s what I would have done in the past, but with a little one running around that luxury is beyond me.

For months the exhaustion has been getting worse and worse, the lack of sleep definitely not helping. The Imp isn’t a great sleeper, still waking up several times at night, and she won’t let anyone else settle her. Only I can get her back to sleep (I am also the only one that can get her to sleep when first going to bed in the evening). I’m not sure how to fix it. At this point, all I can think is that I need to rest. But there is no rest to be had.

Day at the beach when we had summer weather at Easter.

Ps. I’m sorry about the rambling nature of this post. I don’t know if it’s making any sense, and I’m quite honestly too tried to make it make sense.

3 Comments on Chronic Fatigue and Motherhood

  1. You’re doing amazing!

    Fatigue is no joke, I’m in awe of how you manage to work full time, raise a child and do anything around the house while dealing with debilitating health conditions! I’m not suffering from anything, I have a great sleeper of a child, I’m lucky to have a long mat leave and I STILL have days where I physically can’t get off the couch!

    Ultimately, I think it doesn’t matter if the house isn’t perfect or the schedule isn’t full – there’s nothing more important to our little ones’ development than quality time with mom and dad.

    • Thank you, but I don’t! I realise now my post wasn’t really clear! I *was* working full time up until maternity leave. I’ve not actually gone back to work, and in fact, ended up resigning. Over here childcare is so expensive that it would have taken most of my salary, at which point it just didn’t seem worth it. And if I’m honest I think it’s the better choice anyway. I really don’t think I could have handled working full time and then coming home and taking care of the little hurricane that is my daughter.

      Even just taking care of the Imp and trying to keep a tidy house is hard enough. And I am failing at times (like right now when I’m doing a bit worse), and I have to try to remember that she doesn’t care if I don’t do the dishes straight after dinner. The only one who really cares if the house isn’t spotless is me. But it’s soooo hard to get away from that feeling of wanting to be able to do it all. I wonder if that’s a woman thing? My partner has no problems with the place being untidy, and actually gets annoyed when I complain too much about it hahaha

  2. Men du, går det att få hjälp m städningen? För att jämföra sig m alla andra är bara totalt bortkastat. Du har dina förutsättningar – och en väldigt klok man till på köpet.

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