I stayed home sick the other day. But the truth is that I was not ‘ill’, I was not down with a virus or sick, in that sense of the word. But I was exhausted. Tired to the bone. Annihilated. Fatigued beyond measure…errr, ya! Ok, I know you get the picture.
There I was, sitting outside my son’s nursery, just across the road from my office, all ready to go into work. But it just seemed so overwhelming. I felt like I was drowning and that I was about to collapse! And I knew there just was no way I could put in a full day at work. I dropped him off and came back.
Was it any one thing that triggered it? I don’t think so. It was some things at work, some things at home, lack of sleep. Individually, none of it was a big deal, but it added up. And all together, it was just too much.
There was one day last week when my stress levels hit the roof though – I thought there was a dip in my milk supply, and then, my pump gave up on me. Even though I sorted it out in a few hours, possibly those few hours meant I took a big hit!
I desperately needed a break. I came home. I had a good cry. I slept for five hours uninterrupted. I had a long bath, and enjoyed a nice meal by myself. And I felt like my batteries were fully recharged.
As moms, new ones at that, we tend to go full throttle, without giving ourselves time to catch a breath. Even our down time isn’t really ours. Whether we are watching TV, sitting on the toilet or even trying to sleep, there is always too many things going on.
I have the best support system in the world – my husband, and I love my job, and I love constantly being up to something, I am extremely proud of how I seem to juggle work and parenting, and find time to write and travel and be oh so cool! So this was the last thing I expected. So I turned to the know-it-all, the ultimate knowledge source – Google!
And I found out that this state that I was in was fairly common, especially among the working moms. It even had a name – Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. According to the workingmother.com, this happens because in spite of it all, we refuse to slow down, causing increased levels of stress (which we don’t realize because it is what we now consider normal), which in turn affects overall well-being, without you even realizing it.
It doesn’t help that we are all in a constant state of high-alert, and vigilant, keeping an eye and ear out for bubba even while we are sleeping, and constantly multi-tasking, even at night (I get up to pump, pretty much during every single feed), and have put ourselves last in the list of priorities.
What I have learnt from this debacle: I may think I am superwoman – six months EBF, even through full time work, travelling and what not; jet setting – seeing three different countries; doing well at work.. It seemed like I was acing this whole working mom gig. But I am just a mere human. I failed to see that I was burning out in the process. Just like everyone else, I too need to slow down. I needed sleep. Uninterrupted restful sleep. Without the laptop and phone. Without Angry Birds. Without thinking about ten thousand things.
Please watch out for the signs. Come on, I have it fairly easy. No housework or cooking – I have house help. And my husband does more than his share in taking care of my wee one. So, if I felt this way; I can’t even imagine how a lot of you moms feel.
And if you feel like it is all catching up, please step back before you run out of steam. Get a babysitter or send bubba to the nursery, and send the husband to work, and just let some time be solely about getting rest, and by rest, I mainly do mean sleep for a few hours. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP.
Just Do It
Or at the very least, do something that makes you feel good about yourself. As you. Not as mom, not as wifey, but just you!
- Go have a fancy meal!
- Wear that pretty dress and high heels (and then after half an hour hate yourself for deciding to wear heels, ofcourse!)!
- Even if it is to the doctor’s or to the supermarket, dab on that red lipstick and mascara! Don’ t worry about being overdressed! Sometimes, this might be the only outing you get for a while.
- Go out with the girls or the boys! Let the man look after your wee one.
- Go shopping! Buy something you would never ever have considered buying! Mix it up, change your style! Splurge!
- Get a haircut! All the hair is falling off anyway, so here is your chance to try on that new hair-do!
- Get a mani-pedi!
- Have that tub of ice cream, and crepes on the side!
- Watch something funny! Put on your fave TV series, and laugh your heart out!
- And sometimes, let it be, and just have a good cry! Let it flow!
And do not feel guilty for having a good time without the husband and the baby! Even supermoms deserve that break, mama! And remember, a happy relaxed mama means a happy relaxed baby, and family too! You are important, don’t you forget that!
Great advice. I have colleagues who are in work for 6.30am, teach all day and have 3 children. I genuinely do not know how they do it. Sometimes people feel under too much pressure to do everything but everyone needs a bit of ‘me time’ whatever that is.
Thank you for the comment 🙂
One child, and I find I am drained sometimes.
Twins/Triplets – I cant even imagine!
And children of various ages. Whoa whoa whoa!
I know what u mean exactly.. I wrote something on the super woman myth.. you might enjoy. https://diaryofapmpmom.com/2016/11/14/my-secret-revealed-the-super-woman-myth/
Thank you for the comment 🙂
the superwoman myth! I like that phrase, and yes! I enjoyed your post..
PS – soooo jealous you got to meet Shabana Azmi 🙂
Ah mommy! I think the “world” puts so much pressure on working moms to not let anything slip and be super woman. But we’re not. And that’s totally fine cause our little cherubs will still think we are.
Thank you for the comment 🙂
As long as my tiny human thinks I am super mama, alll is wonderful 😀
We all deserve a day of rest. If you keep going like that you will get sick and it will probably be more than a day off.
Thank you for the comment!
You are right! I would have definitely crash landed soon if I hadn’t slowed down..
I am so glad to read this post. Since the time I have been to blogging field, I do take some time off from the house house hold works and leave my little girl with my husband and go out with the other fellow beings , I can’t just tell how relax I feel !!
Thank you for the comment 🙂
I completely agree! Nothing like time off!
I feel this way all the time. I am a stay at home mummy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the moment I do not trust anyone to look after baba, Hopefully i get over this soon because I am in need of a good mani, pedi, massage, new hair do! LOL
I remember that phase when I hated my lo even being in the next room!
Dont worry mommy, it’ll be okay soon!
And you definitely deserve a break!
I remember several times when I’d just walk into our spare room and just cry. Not because I couldn’t handle it and not because I was unhappy. I’d be so exhausted that it was the only thing that would help me to release the ‘tired tension’. A good cry makes the world of a difference to us hormonal mummas 🙂
Thank you for the comment Yummy Mummy in Doha 🙂
A good cry. nothing. absolutely nothing like it 😀
Everyone needs a doona day aka “mental health day”
Ahh Dilraz, this one reaaally spoke to me because I have been there, ohhh so many times! And I haven’t even started going back to work full time yet. That happens in January, and I will be contacting you for advice!! You seem to be doing an absolutely amazing job of working, being a brilliant mum AND writing a blog and supporting other mums in the process. Time to take a step back and give yourself a huge pat on the back for that. And at least a few more sick days when you feel the need 😉
Thank you so much Polly.
Means a lot coming a fellow mommy who is juggling so many things 🙂
I am sure you’ll be fine in Jan too! Alll the best.
And kisses to lil ms Sunshine.
You need a “me time” atleast for couple of hours in a week.
just to sleep or to pamper yourself… ?
But then when can i get some fun?
Decisions. decisions. decisions 😀
You are right. We all need that extra care we need to give ourselves. That always helps us achieve more than when we are drained out
Yup! Need to recharge batteries regularly!
You deserve a pat on the back! <3 Take care of yourself always! 😀
Thank you 🙂