Family Fatigue Syndrome: the secondary infection

Do you ever have days when life seems insurmountably arduous? You wake far too early after way too little sleep. You can’t get back to sleep because you’re thinking about all the stuff you need to do. Mondays after weekends away particularly brutal. I don’t sleep well in “foreign” beds, I come home to washing that hasn’t been done, suitcases to unpack, piles of chicken poop to scoop, nothing in the fridge … That was yesterday.

Around 1pm, I felt like this:

I jealously watch the baby chicks slumber, their little bellies rising and falling. I want to huddle in a corner too. I am so tired. Too tired for Sprog 2’s limpet-of-love act. It’s normally cute, but today I shake her off. I turn away so I don’t see the disappointment in her eyes. I need peace. I hide in the study, staring at the computer, wracking my brain for a blog topic. The only thing that sluggishly comes to mind is “exhaustion”. It seems to be the topic du jour lately. Everywhere I go, mums admit to battling their own weary demons. They confess to yearning for child-free hours to regroup. Next week the Sprogs will be back at school and I’ll berate myself for not enjoying my time with them enough. What if it’s the last mum-at-home holiday I get? I might have a job soon. (Admittedly not terribly likely at this stage). Despite this impending guilt hovering over my head, I can’t help dreading the week stretching before me like a marathon. I wish I drank coffee. Someone should invent caffeine pills so I can ditch this chemical-laced Diet Coke addiction of mine. Oh, that’s right. They have. They’re called No Doz. Hmmm, now there’s an idea … the Sprogs are watching a David Attenborough educational video, they won’t even notice if I duck up to the chemist … No, wait, the Diet Coke is kicking in, better go clean out the chicken coop while my brief energy burst lasts …

Later that evening:

I’m sitting in the botanic gardens waiting for Husband. It’s our annual open-air cinema date. (Possibly not the best timing, but the tickets were purchased six weeks ago.) I’ve scored a table so we don’t have to eat dinner on our laps like last time. I’m trying not to think about the total bill for the date (tickets, parking, food, wine, babysitter …). Husband arrives, we buy a bottle of nice wine and raise a glass while the city lights glitter before us. A school mum wanders past and makes a joke about yesterday’s “divorce” blog. Husband has not read the blog. I divert him with the Sprog 2 “guts” anecdote. He laughs and tells me his own Sprog 2 “guts” anecdote: he took her swimming one day and she was sitting naked in her car seat afterwards, she looked down at her lady bits and asked him: “Is that my guts?” Fatigue is replaced by laughter. Life is good. And then we watch Brad Pitt in Moneyball. Life gets even better!

This morning: So bloody tired. Woke far too early after way too little sleep … Hating those dozing chicks all over again.

4 thoughts on “Family Fatigue Syndrome: the secondary infection

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  1. I think it’s the monotony of it. Its the lack of result for each day or week. I miss deadlines. I miss getting excited by what I’ve achieved after five days of work. And then there’s the guilt of all that squandered so-called quality time that is the school holidays. It’s a double edged sword.

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