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tired and overwhelmed

Community Member

As a mum to four beautiful kids, I can't help feel that I am letting them down. I have so little energy that I am not able to involve myself in their lives as much as they deserve.

I am so tired, I am unable to keep my house tidy- much to my husbands.horror. I am so overwhelmed!

I take my meds everyday, but I feel as if slowly but surely I am slipping under. I need to find my enthusiasm again, I need to get my zip back. I don't know how much longer I can go on like this. I need some ideas on how to be happy, I would like to know why I feel so flat...

Arrrggghhh! I love my kids so very much xx

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi noenergy. I am not the best person to give you advice as there a lot of people on here with more intelligent and insightful responses than mine. But I can tell you that I admire and respect the job you do. To raise 4 kids is one hell of a job but to do while battling depression is mammoth!

Keep hanging in there because from my point of view there is no bigger reason to keep on going than having 4 beautiful kids and a loving partner

I wish you all the best and hope you find that spark again


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Noenergy, raising 4 kids whow what an effort that is.

There is so much to do, and if your struggling with depression, it's seems to be an impossible effort, because everything you do you might as well multiple this by 10 fold.

Cooking, dressing, feeding them, making school lunches, taking them to the doctor, dentist, checking their homework or helping them do it, answering all their questions, having their friends over or taking them to their friends place, whow, it's an enormous effort, and it's no wonder why you are tired.

I have to cook, feed and take my two dogs for a couple of walks a day and this makes me tired, especially my beautiful white puppy who has cancer, so I take her to the vets.

Your husband must understand that your job as a mother is much more demanding than his work, which is 8 hours a day, whereas yours is 24/7.

Ask him if he can take the kids away for the day so that you can get some sleep time, fairs fair, and when he says to you that he wants a day off, because he works 40 hours a week, big deal, so what, your work is constant all the time, that's 168 hours a week, now compare that to 40 hours, an enormous difference.

You need this time to regain some sanity, because if you don't have this then trying to cope with depression will only be prolonged. L Geoff. x

Community Member
I am a stay at home mummy of one ( and whatever other children decide to call my house home for the weekend) and get flat and exhausted too. I think it's because as mums we have these crazy ideal of "The Perfect Mother" . You know the one, the mum that manages to feed the kids 2 fruits and five veges a day and make every meal delicious and has a house that looks like its from better homes and gardens. Oh all while dressing like a page out of a vogue magazine. It so stupid! I don't know how old your babies are, mines 8. If your really run down is it possible to divide them up between family and friends and give yourself a short break. Sometimes even a day is enough to get  a little rest and time to yourself. Oh and the housework, its always going to be there (lol). At the end of the weekend and the school holidays my house looks so gross and grotty I am sure the local council will mistake it for the town dump one of these days.       

Community Member
Hello notanounceofenergy,

You may have noticed a general theme among the answers so far: DELEGATE. I believe these answers above are suggesting you delegate the wrong burdons. You have explicitly stated that the love you have for your kids is where you draw your strength from, so I believe it seems logical that any efforts made to distance you from your kids, for any more than having the kids sleep over at friends houses, will reduce the stress you feel pressured by, but will also remove the source of your strength. This is not a solution, and I am deeply disappointed that this has become the standardised reactionary measure for the Australian Government in cases where parents are overburdened.

So what do I suggest? Advertise! Put out a call for help from the people in your community, and tell the people you’re asking for help from to keep spreading the word to people they know that can do something, ANYTHING, to help you raise your kids. The most common response is in the form of food, so you won’t need to cook much any more. Some people will offer to clean if you’re willing to offer them food (like the food you might receive from other people), drink, and a comfortable place to rest while on break between trimming the hedge and scrubbing the toilet. Other people may offer to take you and your kids to do something fun with them and their kids, like waterslides and icecream. You may need to learn how to make a nice tasting home-made lemonade, and the microwave will get a workout, but life will get easier, without being separated from those you love most.

We live in a country with an ageing population that are desperate to feel needed and valuable. Older people are highly experienced at interpersonal skills, most have successfully raised kids into adults, and if they’ve been made redundant recently they could jump at the chance to interact with other people, like kids, even if there is no financial gain offered. From house-sitting to walks around the local park, older people are the world’s best babysitters and excellent conversationalists. You’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have an amazing story to tell someone like you, that just wants to sit back, relax, and listen to a story while their kids play in the background. And they love a good lemonade, as long as its not too cold.

Calling on your husband to do all these tasks would be torture for him. To a degree you can rely on him to do a little more when you’re having a hard time, but I’d be willing to bet if given a choice, he’d rather help you look for people in the community that can help your family. He could start by distributing flyers around to people where he works.

If you’re worried about giving people tasks that would require putting a lot of trust in people you don’t know, don’t give them those tasks. Get to know them first, build relationships, let them prove their strength of character. If you find it hard to learn so many peoples’ names and character in such a short period of time, write things down in a ledger with pros and cons for each person. 

If your husband knows anything about human resources (HR) management, or has a colleague that does, ask for evaluation forms and the like, and ask your husband to do the character assessments. Everyone that is willing to volunteer help is valuable, so don’t turn anyone away, even the worst criminal you can imagine. They may be looking for a way to redeem themselves. Just be careful which jobs you give to whom. And if a person consistently demonstrates strength of character, offer to be a referee or write a formal reference that could help them find work. The letter you write could save their life! When it comes to writing references, the ledger I mentioned will come in handy.

What you want for yourself, give to another!! If you’re seeking help, offer to help others. If you’re seeking kindness from others, be kind. If you’re seeking relief from pain, become a pain reliever for others. BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!!

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Mel, my sons are in their 30's, but what I do remember was that when they were adolescents and I was in my period of depression there was never a time when we didn't have kids come over after school and then week ends, and always take them on holidays, which I dreaded.

All I wanted was peace and quiet no noise, however I cooked the meals during the week days because my wife worked for not only the 4 of us but their friends as well, at that stage I still like to cook, now I hate it.

My wife thought that some friend of the boys should stay with us full time, but I never liked him, he was a 'know all' and always rubbed me up the wrong way.

At the week end they wanted me to go to the football or market, but I couldn't go, I just wanted to be alone, and the peace and quiet was great, I could sleep.

School holidays were disastrous kids always staying all the time, noise after noise, I loathed every minute of it.

They never stayed at their friends house always ours. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Hello all,

I'm going to present two contrary perspectives in an analysis of Geoff's post: A highly critical, negative analysis, and a positive, motivating, representative example of what happens when people try to deal with their problems while trying to retain a sense of pride. Either way the story is sad for Geoff, my parents, and I. In my life I have always tried to learn from others and do something different. The hard part is to hear or read their story in a way that helps, by providing confidence and empowerment, rather than demotivating and discouraging. Fear is rarely the healthy reaction, but it's been destigmatized into normality. 

When I first read this story I felt incredibly guilty for having friends growing up, and for choosing to hang out with them at my house, placing such an extra burden on my dysfunctional parents. I could sense that they weren't comfortable having my friends over, night after night, playing LAN computer games all night, making all that noise from the game and our arguing. We were kept awake with excessive doses of caffeine and other stimulants, and eating large quantities of unhealthy food, like pasta and chips and pizza. They hated my friends, firmly believing they were a bad influence. In reality it was the friends that my father told me to socialise with that got me into drugs. It was my know-it-all friends I respected the most; they helped me to learn humility. My whole life I have felt like a burden on my parents, as though they had put all this time, money and effort into raising me only to see me become the sum of all their worst fears. When I read this story I think of all the horrible things we've said to each other over the years. I think of how a person could read this and be discouraged from allowing kids to make friends, and limiting where they be permitted to socialise. I think of how a person could see this as a reason to reduce how much interaction they have with their children, as though there was a direct association between being around children and being stressed, anxious, exhausted and angry. One could easily start thinking that all children are disobedient, impulsive, careless troublemakers, and can't be trusted to do anything alone or with each other. It took me about an hour to see this story in a different light.
The first thing that comes to mind here is an excessively covered song originally by Bill Withers called "Lean On Me." The chorus is among the most beautiful melodies ever recorded, because it empowers people to think of humility as an act of strength and courage, not as a sign of weakness. Have you ever heard the phrase "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts"? Your body is a collection of cells that on their own would have no function, but when working together toward a common goal create something valuable: consciousness. In the not so distant history of the human species, we once thought of communities as a collection of individuals working together toward a common goal in order to create something valuable, but this ethos has been lost. This was the way of the tribe, and every member of a tribe was family to each other. We now have an ethos of individualism, competition, and status defined by financial wealth, in a dog eat dog world. Our sense of compassion for each other is slowly being stripped away by global corporations and the governments they control. You don't have to comply. You can become a hub of cooperation and love by giving people who feel empty inside something to work toward with no pressure to perform miracles or tolerate torture. I wish someone had suggested this to my parents when I was young. I wish someone had suggested this to Geoff and his partner when his kids were young. We all have our moments of fatigue, and sometimes we need to be reminded that we don't have to push through the fatigue to get the required outcome. It is GOOD to ask for help. You deserve help. Geoff deserved help. I don't know if he asked for help, but I know my parents deserved help and never asked for it. My father is, and always has been, an extremely egotistical control freak. If help was offered, and if he believed he could do the job better, it was refused. I was ruled under an iron thumb, and he wonders why I fought back against him so much. Frequent punishment is one of the worst things parents can do to their children, according to extensive psychological research, and i received it every single day growing up. They just wanted me to do as i was told, and when i refused for the 10th time punishment was the easy way out for an exhausted parent. Don't make this mistake. i don't want your kids to hate you or fear you, or the reverse! We live in a dysfunctional society on a dysfunctional planet, but that doesn't mean you're destined to have a dysfunctional family.
Now here's the hard part. Before you had read this post, but after reading Geoff's post, were your thoughts more along the lines of analysis 1 or analysis 2? I prefer #2, but I almost never think in that way. My impressions usually tend toward #1, and if I were a parent this kind of thought pattern would be extremely hazardous to the psychological health of everyone I interacted with, especially my partner and children. You can change this tendency simply by asking for help from as many people as possible, as I am doing.

"Lean on me

When you're not strong

I'll be your friend

I'll help you carry on

For it won't be long

'Til I'm gonna need

Somebody to lean on"