The negative impact of tiredness

Since having children, I have been pretty much permanently tired. I know I’m not the only one, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a refreshed, energised parent of young children. There have been a few times since Libby came along when I have reached a point of feeling close to exhaustion.

I was in hospital for several days before having both girls, as I was induced both times. The lack of sleep during induction meant that the snatched few hours here and there when I’d had the baby and come home felt like absolute bliss.

Then came the difficult times of working until 3 am most days just to make ends meet, being back up by 7 am with the girls on a good day. Then my husband’s accident threw another spanner in the works and the extra pressure took its toll on the way I felt.

It wasn’t until I finally managed to slow down, sleep a little more and relax occasionally that I realised what a difference it made. The NHS facts on lack of sleep make for really interesting reading. They mention the physical and long term effects of tiredness, including obesity, heart disease and decreased life expectancy.

They also mention the small things that I have really noticed. The lack of sleep – and probably the stress of the situation – was making me really grumpy. That’s never a good way to be when you’re a mum of young children. Especially when one of them is a threenager.

The negative impact of tiredness - and coming out the other side

Since things calmed down a bit here, I’ve been getting on so much better with Libby. She is incredibly well behaved for her age and always has been. In my exhausted state I wasn’t coping well with her incessant talking though. It sounds ridiculous now, but I had a really short fuse with her because of it.

I also feel more able to exercise, and the idea of losing the weight I’ve put on since having children seems much more reasonable. I’ve treated myself to a nutribullet and I’m going to do my best to use that for one or two meals a day and cut out snacks.

I’ve also managed to find the time to run a bit more and do a 30 day abs challenge, much to the disgust of Donna from What the Redhead Said who reluctantly agreed to do it with me. Next week I hope to start swimming more regularly again.

This weekend, I’m even going on a proper night out, for the first time since having Libby. I always said that things would eventually get easier and I think it is finally happening. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of our lives and hoping that this isn’t a momentary blip and things really are starting to improve.

The negative impact of tiredness - and reaching the other side



  1. April 16, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Good luck with the lifestyle changes you’re adopting to help you sleep. I’m with you on the incessant talking when the kids are younger – mine used to drive me insane even on a good day with their chatter x

  2. April 16, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    What a lovely, positive post. I’m hoping this is the start of a new stage in your life.
    Tiredness really does take it out of you. I can’t imagine how you managed to work until 3am!

  3. April 17, 2016 / 6:21 am

    Hi Natalie, it’s easy to underestimate the power of sleep as we tend to think by being awake longer we can fit more into a day. It doesn’t really work out like that, I know there have been times (when the children were younger) when I was guilty of nodding off whilst trying to help them with their homework and even when reading a bedtime story.

    Getting that bit more sleep gives us so much more energy and I’m sure you’re not having a blip, I’m sure it’s a lifestyle change for the better. You will have the odd tired days, but at least you’ll be able to acknowledge why you feel like you do and know it’s not a long term grumpiness.

    I hope you had a fantastic night out and just having time to exercise will increase your happy hormones!


  4. April 17, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Good luck though I think you’re crazy on the abs challenge! This gives me hope that sooner rather than later I will feel normal again……exhausted isn’t even the word some days!

  5. April 18, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Oh whoop whoop, go girls on your abs challenge! I am so with you on the tiredness Nat, I feel it particularly badly at this stage in my life I don’t remember being this frazzled after Lewis and Holly but I guess where some girls my age were pulling all-nighters at the club I was doing similar just at home with those two. Nowadays I can barely make it through the day sometimes but the fact I can’t seem to get myself to bed before 1am doesn’t help at all! xx

  6. April 19, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    You’re amazing really Nat, with everything you have had to cope with and take on in the last year – to just be grumpy is a miracle. Love that you’re seeming happier at the moment and hopefully less tired! Your fitness level also scares me 😉

    Stevie x

  7. April 20, 2016 / 3:29 am

    I can relate to so much of this – it seems I’m permanently tired regardless of how much sleep I get! I have a nutribullet too 🙂 Ooh I need to find out more about this 30 day abs challenge – my back is killing and I’m sure it’s because my abs are non-existent! x

  8. April 20, 2016 / 8:36 am

    Oh I know how you feel with sleep, it’s so difficult to be patient when you are tired. Sounds like your lifestyle changes are helping anyway. I wish incessant talking was my problem, it’s the whining and screaming at everything that doesn’t work properly here! x

  9. April 30, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    I think, and only think, you’re right that there isn’t really an energised parent of small children. My sleep patterns are horrendous and often need time just to catch up on myself. I will take a look at the facts and see if they can help. By the sounds of it they’re useful and have helped you.

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