Worn Down

by Jasmine Carlson on March 8, 2010

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I thought that having a newborn was difficult. And it was. I had a very “disorganized” baby. As time has 18580_296149799499_503414499_3173136_3692797_ngone on we have brought order to our lives. Together we have found a rhythm of sorts and though the disorganization is still there it is organized disorganization, if that makes any sense. It makes sense to me. It’s our life.

I thought that having a middle aged baby things were easing a bit. Or maybe I just found a way to function on four hours of sleep a night. And then he decided to wean himself and I lost the comfort tool. It wasn’t an option. I wasn’t ready. He was. End of story.

Now I have a toddler. Wow. Today toddlerhood has blown me out of the water. Today I am tired even though I got seven hours of sleep last night. I feel like I have run a marathon and he even took a nap. My brain feels like oatmeal.

I tend to get frustrated with myself for feeling tired and many times feel like I am not “doing” enough. Because how is it possible that one small child can drain ever last ounce of, well, everything out of me?

Really even though I have a very active child that really is not the reason for any of this. I don’t think that it matters what personality of child that we have. They seem to have been fashioned just right to completely wear down their parental unit.

I never knew that I could function with so little energy. How about you?

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Jasmine Carlson (49 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. (www.shapingher.com) Join the conversation at (www.facebook.com/ShapingHer)


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

mamapoekie March 8, 2010 at 5:52 am

Same here… I often think I must really be a masochist for wanting a second child (but I keep believing in what my grandmother said: with every child it gets a little easier). Sometimes I wonder how I could’ve ever found it hard when she was still a baby.

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Kate March 8, 2010 at 7:39 am

I often find myself awakened after just a few hours sleep and I swear that I will never make it through the day. But then I feel a little hand grab my nose and I look over to see the biggest, toothless grin possible, and suddenly I feel my energy returning. That’s when I remember that, although my 8 month old daughter is one of my biggest energy drainers, she is also my biggest, most positive energy source!

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Becky March 8, 2010 at 7:50 am

My son will be 2 in a couple of weeks. My daughter is almost 9 months. My husband is working out of town, so I have them alone 98% of the time. I have never been so exhausted in my life; but still I get up every morning to their beautiful smiles and continue to move forward. The fact that they are thriving and make me laugh everyday is what keeps me going (that and the fact that I just have no other choice – survival mode – ya know). We have our moments, but I remind myself that if I can stay calm and somewhat together, they mirror my actions. So, while I’m panicking on the inside about constantly interrupted sleep or lack of a social life, I keep a smiling facade on the outside while I laugh and play with my kiddos; and I start to mirror them! I try and remind myself every day that this is only a small portion of their childhood. The golden years are soon to come and then . . , dun, dun, dun . . . they will be teenagers (EEEEK!).

BTW, I also have an awesome, but equally exhausting. 14yo daughter.

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Nancy March 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

I’ve been having the same problem and I realized that part of it was that I was not taking better care of myself, giving myself time to focus on me, something that my husband has been pushing me to do but I always brushed him off, saying that I didn’t have the energy or the time. I’ve had to force myself to make time, especially since I’m having another baby in a month! So, I’ve started a prenatal yoga class, and every once in awhile, after the kiddo has gone to bed, I take myself out on a date. Doing things for myself actually gives me more energy because I get a brain break from my toddler and get to use a different part of my brain for a little while.
Also, I read this quote by Peggy O’Mara recently on SouleMama’s blog:
“…understand that to nurture and love others with the grace you desire means taking care of yourself and cultivating your own inner harmony. Inner harmony grows not by finding ways to get away from your child, but by giving yourself the gift of a hot bath at the end of a long day, reading a book of poetry, talking to a friend on the phone, taking a nap, crying, getting a massage, having a day off from cleaning and cooking, staying in your pajamas all day, swimming, going out to eat, or attending a conference. Do something for yourself as you give. Learn to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously.”

That really drove it home for me!

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Reggie March 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

Yes, I get exhausted. My 18 month old wakes frequently and only gets back to sleep by nursing and she nurses throughout the day,mainly for comfort. I also moved to Brazil and far away from support. My husband is good, but he has to work and what late night working, and I am fried – I can be utterly patient and proud of myself for handling a ‘tantrum’ really well or diffusing a situation. My daughter is also very needy right now, most of the time wanting to be held and that makes doing anything and everything extremely difficult. Every other day, I seem to slip up, raise my voice or give a brush off comment. Often times, she seems my ‘raising of voice’ as funny, for some reason… but still, I am extremely burnt out and thinking of moving back to England for some support and exactly what you all said, regaining back some ME time. I really need it. Good to know I am not alone.

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Clara March 9, 2010 at 1:58 am

Naomi Aldort`s article about getting out of the way, saved me from that feeling of not doing enough. I have learned to just go with the flow and be gentle with myself, my husband and my child. And of course totally childproof our house !!

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Maria March 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I agree, raising a toddler takes every last bit of energy. However, you may want to go to the doctor for a check-up, particularly for a thyroid disorder. The best information anywhere about thyroid issues is at http://thyroid.about.com/ . When your doctor tests you, make sure they test your Free T3. This shows the amount of available thyroid hormone in your blood. Make sure you get a copy of the results, and if your Free T3 is above 2.5, you probably need thyroid replacement. So many women have thyroid issues and don’t know it, and it can lead to heart problems (among other things) down the road. Hope this helps!

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Maegan March 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Right there with ya. My son is 18 months and wearing me out, even though I’ve gotten back into jogging & yoga & I’m only eating homemade meals (no junk!). I nap when he does on really rough days and try to get outside a lot (gardening, stacking wood, walking around the hood, playground, digging for rocks, you name it!), but we still have these moments.
I try to remember he’s overwhelmed by all of the things he wants to help with and do, and communication this is hard (even though he’s an early talker and can say so much — it’s like when it matters the most, he’s too frustrated to find the words).
Good luck!

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Carrie March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I am so glad that other people feel this way, too – my son is 27 months, and my daughter is two months, but she practically sleeps better than him! He is up at 5:45 most days now, so if she eats at 5 & goes down at 5:30 I’m practically up at 5…and then if their naps don’t overlap…I never understood why people said they never had any time to think until I had two kids & now the demands are just constant all day (and during the night, too). But it is a blessing, and someday we’ll look back and this will all be so long ago… :)

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Jasmine Carlson March 9, 2010 at 9:50 pm

It is great to hear so many stories and perspectives. It is also always good to know you are not alone!

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