Lots to Do But You Struggle with Fatigue
I often hear from other moms, “There’s just not enough time and energy to get everything done!” And while we do all have the same amount of time in a day, we all have different levels of energy. Energy varies a lot due to stages of life, stresses of life, health, nutrition, lack of sleep, certain medications and the number of responsibilities we have.
I’ve struggled for years to manage my asthma with different medications and diets… but have been fairly unsuccessful in managing it well. It really saps my strength a lot of the time. So I’ve had to learn how to work around it. I can’t run and play soccer, or even do ballroom dancing with my husband, but I can do lots of other things.
I can still function as a mother and wife, certainly not perfectly, but with a good amount of productivity.
If you too struggle with fatigue, I want to share with you what has helped me get the things done that I need to:
But I do recommend first, if you are tired a lot of the time, talk to your physician and get a check up, to make sure you don’t have something going on that needs to be treated.
- If it’s possible, try and fit a few naps in during the week. When my husband is home on the weekends, and can hold down the fort, I like to take a nap both days. I reciprocate for him too! You may think taking a nap isn’t getting things done, but it is! It’s taking care of you, and will give you a boost later.
- Find when you feel most productive, and do the most important things first.
- When I find myself having a bunch of energy, I go with it. I work on tasks I haven’t been up to doing earlier.
- I keep a running list of must do’s and might do’s to prioritize and keep me on track.
- My top priorities when it come to chores are to keep up with dishes and laundry. If I leave dusting, mopping or vacuuming to another day, it’s not that big of a deal, but dishes and laundry pile up!
- Ask your kids to help with age appropriate chores. Their participation can help a lot.
- Ask your spouse for help. I know, I hate to ask my husband for help, because I know he works hard too, but he knows things are better for both of us and our kids, if we support each other and model helpfulness and compassion.
- Hire help or a babysitter if you can afford it. For the last few years, I’ve paid someone to watch my kids for the day, about once every 3 weeks. Since I homeschool, my children are with me all the time, and having this day off gives me time to recharge, have some quiet, and do things I want to or need to do.
- I say no to a lot of outside responsibilities and activities. I reserve my strength for my current priorities. I frequently get asked to make and decorate cakes for different events, and my response has been, that I would be happy to buy one, but I’m not going to deal with the time and stress of making one.
- Make sure you stay hydrated, and try to eat healthy. I’m preaching to the choir here! Water is probably the best thing to drink, but I also drink green drinks and carrot juice, and I take a multivitamin. (Consult with your doctor about what’s best for you).
- If I wake up a little early, and I’m not still sleepy, I get up. For some reason, I get more done, when the rest of the house is asleep. 😛
- I try and simplify as much as I can: possessions, chores, gifts, laundry, grocery shopping.
- When you can, and even if it’s just a drawer at a time, purge and declutter your whole house. This is a continual process at my house, but I find it energizing and restful when there is less STUFF.
- I still enjoy having people over, but I have to keep things simple and easy. For company dinners I often choose to make soup in the crockpot, along with chips and salsa, or order pizza.
- There are so many books I want to read, and I’ve found that listening to them on Audible, or getting the audio-book from the library on Overdrive, takes up much less energy. If I’m doing something mindless on my computer like deleting emails or editing pictures, I often listen to a book at the same time.
- One of the things I’ve told myself lately is I can always sit down if I get tired, but once I’m down, it’s much harder to get up. The whole “body in motion” law. (However, I don’t push to exhaustion, and you shouldn’t either).
- Just this last year, my hubby and I have started going to bed a lot earlier. When our kids were little, we got in to the habit of staying up late, so we could have some time after they went to bed, to do what we wanted. Now though, we’ve started going to bed shortly after the kids do, and giving up most of our TV time. There’s really not much worth watching anyway, and we can DVR it for later if there is.
- Since I struggle with doing super physical activities with my kids, I choose less taxing things to do with them, like puzzles, reading books together, playing with playdough, drawing or coloring together, watching a movie, playing “I Spy,” hide and seek, or playing computer or Wii games. When I do have the lung power, we take walks, ride bikes, go to the playground or shoot hoops.
I’ve seen my parents and others’ health deteriorate with arthritis and hip and knee problems, and how discouraging it is for them to not be able to work like they used too.
So even though I struggle with fatigue, I’m so thankful I can work, I feel it’s a gift. It’s beneficial mentally and physically to be productive and provide for our families, and while I certainly don’t mean that we should push ourselves to exhaustion, we don’t have to shut down and give up either!
These are encouraging and helpful tips for any busy woman! Thanks for sharing – so glad I found your blog! <3
Like your “must do” and “might do” list approach – great tips for new moms and others too!
Hi Margo, I am a Margo too! Like you, I also suffer from debilitating fatigue, mine from auto-immune disorders. I think your tips are great! You mentioned hiring help and I just wanted to add that if possible having someone do a good, deep cleaning of the house once or twice a month is amazingly beneficial
. Particularly for the stress level. (I know how $$ can prevent this. My mother and I share the expense.) Another newer blessing is grocery and pharmacy delivery!! That is heaven for me!!! The cupboards can get bare around here sometimes when it takes days for me to feel good enough to tackle the grocery store. Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway all deliver or have order-to-pickup services. I’m sure there are others as well in different areas. Amazon and Walmart are everywhere though! I wish you well and am so happy that I found your site! The Other Margo
So nice to meet another Margo! Thank you for sharing your tips! I sure agree with them and constantly find myself considering the deep cleaning. 🙂 We don’t have grocery delivery yet in my area from local stores, but I do order some supplies like paper towels and toilet paper on Amazon. 🙂
Once upon a time my schedule was super busy! So, much so each family memeber and activity was color coded.i am enjoying a slower paced simplier life as of now, and love this.
I crave a slower paced simpler life! 🙂
I loved where you said you “reserve your strength”. It is so hard to just say NO sometimes even when you know you have other things to do or you are just, tired. However, saying no and reserving time for yourself is so important. Loved this!
I know it’s hard to say no, and I don’t always either, but it makes it much easier to save strength for important priorities. 🙂
Yes, Audible has become my secret weapon!
While I don’t have a physical impediment, I do find I have low energy and struggle to be as productive and ‘good’ as I want to be. It’s great to know I’m not alone, but also having helpful strategies to achieve more.
You are certainly not alone! I hope you found some helpful tips! 🙂
I’m sorry that you struggle with fatigue. That sounds hard. I don’t struggle with fatigue, but I over-do at times and get tired. Mostly, that is my fault for not going to bed on time. These tips are helpful even for someone like me to remember.
Thank you, I’m so glad you found it helpful! 🙂
Thanks for all of the tips! So glad you are making it work for you. Although I don’t have some of the same physical challenges you mention, I do think this is great because I do feel like everyone can relate to it in some way. I mean, we all get tired, we all wear ourselves thin sometimes. Especially as women, I feel like we just struggle to say no, so your point on that really resonated with me.
What a wonderful compilation of tips! I am often tired. I find that by drinking water constantly, it helps. When I get dehydrated I actually crave water. It acts as a booster. Watching what I eat is important too. If I have just a few bites of fast food then I am in for at least and hour and a half nap, it’s terrible!
These are great. As a mother of 8, ages 1-18, I find I “push” myself into exhaustion way too frequently. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to take care of me, sometimes.
This has been such a good read! I’m in my second trimester and still waiting for the fatigue and morning sickness to wear off. Thanks for this 🙂
Both my husband (a cancer patient) and I (autoimmune) struggle with this. Your post is inspiring and has given me some great ideas. I struggle with how much to expect form my kids (teenagers), but we have always taken the team approach to keeping our house in order.
These are great tips, thank you. I have an autoimmune disease and struggle with fatigue. It is really frustrating since pre-disease, I was a type A perfectionist. My best tip is learn to let things go. It took me a long time to get there but it definitely helps me learn to conserve my energy. I also conserve my energy for things that are meaningful to me – spending time with my kids versus cleaning the house.
I’ve used a few of these tricks to boost my productivity so I know you’re onto something. Great post! Thanks for sharing.
Yes! Naps are fantastic – I couldn’t agree more!
I love these practical tips so much. AND I love that you dont use asthma or fatigue as an excuse to do nothing but moan and complain. We all have “something” that can keep us from getting stuff done and whining about it, but we need to grow up and deal.