Topic | Wisdom for dealing with exhaustion

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  • Kath85

    I am longing for some wisdom from some more experienced moms. I am in Year 1 with my oldest who is not quite 7. I also have a 3 year old and a nine month old, all boys. The baby is not yet sleeping through the night – in fact he’s up several times a night yet. And the exhaustion is getting to me. All of my children have been poor sleepers, so it has essentially been seven years since I’ve had decent sleep. I assume this is normal for many households, but the sleep deprivation nags at me and I find it hard to play with everyone and keep the house clean and teach and relax and cook healthy meals. But surely there are many families with many more children and many more years of sleeplessness where moms are somehow keeping up with stuff decently and also managing the physical/ emotional/mental feelings of exhaustion. To me it feels like a constant dripping. I don’t mean to complain at all. I just genuinely want to understand how you manage this? (And FYI, my husband is great at helping, lets me sleep in on Saturdays, etc. so it’s not for lack of his support.) I have a sneaking suspicion I just need to buck up, but those days with the weepiness and heart palpitations and headaches really get to me.


    I”ve been there. I have 4 children. When my daughter was born, my boys were 7, 5, 2.  and we were homeschooling. and I was 39.And I am a poor sleeper so the up in the night stuff would really get to me.    At that age, I was focusing on learning to read, Math, and lots of books and audio stories.They did the books on their own. If they couldn’t read, the audio stories and such were perfect. I never scheduled that  in, they would just listen as the mood would strike. They loved to listen to the Your Story Hour.

    A few months after my daughter was born I started having physical trouble, and tired, always so tired, exhausted. I too was having heart palpitations.  I finally sought an Endocrinologist( thyroid dr.)  and found that I had hypothyroid or low thyroid.  My regular doctor had checked for that but I found that a thyroid specialist will follow a bit different guidelines for the levels of the TSH and the Free T4.

    You may just need rest, rest, rest, and I know that is hard to do…. or you may want to have your thyroid checked. I’ve been told that moms can often but not always be low in thyroid after having given birth. But I’m not a DR , so just throwing that out there.  It’s so hard to be so tired, and all the demands that are coming at you through your day.  Try to give yourself grace and it is perfectly okay for the children to just play on their own, while you’re keeping an eye and ear to them.  Make sure you are keeping plenty hydrated as well. Dehydration can lower your blood pressure which in turn causes the heart rate to increase as it is trying to keep the blood pressure up.( I know this as I’ve had Dr and nurses telling me and my mom has trouble keeping hydrated)    And protein, try to get plenty of protein.

    Hugs 🙂


    I’m afraid I don’t  have anything very helpful to say.  I have to admit that I didn’t get it all done.  I had to learn to accept things the way the were, including my own physical limitations & for awhile it was very rough as we worked through getting myself  back up to my old self.  I had to learn that taking a nap was of top priority and when I couldn’t sleep even then, to realize that just resting for awhile was still beneficial.  I had to talk to myself these things (after I was told them by a wiser, older mom) or else I’d get so frustrated.  It was okay for my house to be not as clean as previously.  It would get done eventually.  We did what was the most necessary for the day.  We used paper plates for awhile to cut down on the dishes. I don’t have a dishwasher.  My husband was also very good at helping when he’d get home from work.  I’d often feel guilty, but I had to realize that it was just another of God’s blessings and to just accept it.  I had to learn to prioritize and to work efficiently to save my energy, to just let some things go.  And to realize that “this too shall pass”  it’s a phase in my life.  And I had to throw myself on God, to know that He was/is my strength and help, to realize that He WAS there in my day, with me, helping me, guiding us through it all.


    I’m in the trenches myself! 3 of my 4 kids were born in under 3 years so I had 3 in diapers for a month, and they all want to snuggle to sleep every night. They are all light sleepers, and so am I, so I spend half my night waiting to fall asleep. 😛

    Definitely get your thyroid checked! Mine came back normal except the T3 which the Dr said was a sign of adrenal fatigue.

    Cut out everything that isn’t necessary for survival. We were doing dance and music, but now the only outside activity we do is a weekly laid-back nature play group, but we don’t make it every week. My husband will take the kids grocery shopping so I can have quiet time. Can yours do that for a few months (it years)?

    Simple meals are a life-saver. Rotisserie chicken and a bagged salad. Hummus or guacamole and a bag of carrot sticks for snacks. Smoothies with yogurt for some protein. Larabars, healthy jerky, fruit, veggies, and  hard-boiled eggs for lunch. Make a big batch of baked oatmeal and eat it all week for breakfast.

    Crockpot enchiladas: chicken breasts, 3 cups enchilada sauce (or can of tomato sauce plus salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and chili powder). Cook until chicken is done, shred, add a dozen chopped corn tortillas and a handful of cheese. Take-n-bake pizza once in a while won’t hurt. A friend of mine likes to say stress is worse than a candy bar, so do what you can to relieve stress!


    I hear you. When my youngest was born, I had a newborn, an 18 month old, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. None of mine were good sleepers and at that time, the 18 month old was still waking up several times a night, plus the new baby….I was exhausted.

    I also ended up with advanced stage 3 adrenal fatigue. By the time I was diagnosed, I was having multiple panic attacks a day, barely surviving and though I was going to lose my mind.

    Don’t worry about getting it all done. I let my kids watch lots of educational movies. I basically did dishes, laundry and cooking. School happened, but I did things like MUS to make it much easier on me. Just doing read alouds was exhausting.

    By the time I got help, I had low thyroid, low progesterone and almost no cortisol.

    Your health is worth taking care of.  You don’t need to just buck up and deal with it. You need to rest. Find a way to take naps or long soaks in the tub. Give yourself grace on not having a perfect house or perfect homeschool day. Take time to laugh and enjoy an hour every day for you. If that is playing piano, do it. If that’s playing with your kids, do it. If it’s reading a book, that’s ok. But make time to rest and recharge.

    For me, at one point, we did CC because it actually made my life more doable. Later, we cut out all outside things. There isn’t a “right” way to do this, but you do need to take care of you, too! It’s not selfish to get enough sleep!!!!


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Oh ladies, thank you so much for taking the time to offer your advice and encouragement. I really never expected motherhood to look this way. It has been quite a shock. I will work on simplifying and giving myself grace and prioritizing naps. I will look into thryroid and adrenal issues too. Becky, thank you for what you said about throwing yourself on God and remembering that He is there. Sometimes it feels like He’s not…but then sometimes I forget to ask Him.</p>

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