Parenting Fatigue - when is it not normal??

Posted by Karyn Cossey on

I fell asleep!

In normal circumstances I’d be jumping for joy being the parent of a 6mth old hard out teether. Yay, sleep!!!

But sadly not this time.

Why, because I fell asleep behind the wheel.

Not far from home, I thought I was fine! Little miss 5 merrily chatting away while playing a game in the back, little Miss 6mths asleep.

Then in an instant I woke as my wheels made an unfamiliar bumping that alerted me I was not on the smooth road any more. I quickly (and as smoothly as possible) swerved the car back onto the road and carried on. The adrenaline kicked in big style, that got me home wide awake and quietly crying so as not to alert little Miss to anything being wrong.

But everything was wrong!

What if I hadn’t woken to the bumps?? My kids were in the car, I could have hurt them or someone else.


It freaked me out so much I didn’t drive for a couple of days after that.

What the heck man – why am I so tired!

Sleep when they sleep they say. I found that easy to do when I had 1 – but add one more to the list along with running a household and a business and that went out the window. Little Miss 5 is in school now so between school drops offs, pickups, chores etc. Little Miss 6mths only has one nap during the day – and that time is spent on my work/cleaning/washing/sorting dinner etc. Not often time for a nap!

I expect to be tired – every parent does – but this was beginning to feel next level tired! But I kept pushing. Kids need me, dinner needs cooking, house needs sorting, and that washing won’t fold itself! I’d just tell myself keep going Karyn – remember there are tonnes of mums out there feeling tired right now and they are all getting on with it. Have another coffee, eat some more fruit, and get some more exercise. All good advice, but none of it was working.

Fast forward a couple of months and its school holidays. Time to go on some trips, try to keep myself sane rather than cooped up in the house with a hyper now 6 year old and a teething 8 month old. We were invited up north to a friend’s batch along with some other mums and kids. Brill I thought – throw all the kids together to play and we are away laughing. That and I get to catch up with some mummy friends, it’s a win win situation in my books. I made a couple trips up, one with a mummy friends then back with just the kids. Having another mum in the car to talk to on the way there and back was great – but the second trip was very different! Getting there was fine, but on the way home I recognised the signs. My eyes started to go blurry, concentration lapsing and nonstop yawning. But this time I was ready and pulled over somewhere safe, locked the car and closed my eyes for 10 minutes. This allowed me to make the trip home safely.
This happened 4 times over the school holidays.

4 times too many!

But still I carried on.

Finally I spoke to some close girlfriends on what had been happening. I felt silly, like I was complaining about something that we are all feeling. What gave me the right to complain about feeling tired, we all do! But upon hearing what I said they agreed with me that it was not right – get some help – go to the doctors – this is next level they said.

Thank you

Thank you for hearing me and having my back.

And thank you for telling me to get help!

Off to the doctors I trotted. Again feeling a tad silly going for feeling tired – sheeeesh get a grip Karyn. But my Doctor is fantastic (he also helped me with my PND) and agreed it’s not normal and ordered a bunch of blood tests. A bunch of results came back and it looks as though my Iron levels are on the lower side of normal. Low Iron = tiredness and lethargy. Solution, take an iron supplement to increase levels.

It’s a start – a step in the right direction of feeling better, feeling more in control and hopefully being able to feel safe driving again!

Why am I writing this??
Well, it’s my hope that by sharing my experience that if it’s happened/happening to you then you won’t feel alone – and you will realise its next level – and you will go to the Doctors and have a check-up – and you will accept any help that’s offered to you round the house and kids.

Because you need to take care of you.

Because you are worth it.

Because you are loved and needed.

Take care mummas

Xoxox Karyn

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