At the moment feel like I’m forever treading water and going nowhere fast.

Do you ever have that feeling? Like you’re bobbing along on a wave and ferociously trying to move but no matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to get anywhere?

This is my life right now. My life as a mum to two, with one being an eight month old baby. At the moment I feel utterly overwhelmed by motherhood and I’ll be honest, some days are a bit of a struggle. The daily grind of motherhood is beginning to grind me down. I am shattered and my energy levels are depleted.

I love my kids with every bone in my body. I feel it’s important to say that, even if it is stating the obvious, because not for one second do I want this post to be taken in the wrong way. Elsie and Leo are wonderful, beautiful children. They haven’t done anything wrong or out of the ordinary. This post isn’t about them, it’s about me and how I’ve allowed myself to get to this point where I’m worn out. How I’ve allowed the daily demands of being a mum to overtake me and really – bearing in mind that this is my second time round at this mummy business – I should probably have known better.

Because we all know that we ‘cannot give from an empty cup’. We’ve all heard the phrase or something similar. Self care quotes and messages are forever doing the rounds these days, so why on earth is it so difficult to do anything about it when it comes to ourselves?

I’ve been where I am now before too, back when Elsie was a baby. At the moment it feels like there’s nothing or very little in the tank to give and although my life is busy and full, I also recognise that it’s my fault for not filling it up first.

Because motherhood is demanding. It demands energy, love and time in huge, exhausting amounts. Not filling my cup back up and allowing my tank to run dry, has been a whopping failure on my part because how can you give what you do not have?

Some days are easier than others. Some days can go like clockwork from start to finish and it can all feel remarkably simple. But other days feel like a continuous battle until bedtime, when finally there is some peace and quiet for a while. A little time to breathe, and if possible, relax.

Sleep deprivation is hitting me for six. Eight months of sleepless nights and broken sleep is taking it’s toll. But my tiredness isn’t just physical. It’s everything. My brain is tired. My body is tired. Damn, even my soul is tired.

Yesterday morning when I had to get out of bed at 6.30am after being woken every hour or so throughout the night, by a baby going through a major sleep regression, I cried. I’m normally a morning person but I cried yesterday, because I had to get up and start my day again. Because I had to get ready for the school run and get on with my daily routines and tasks which seem endless and just go on and on and on.

School. Baby stuff. Life. Housework. Freelance work. Appointments. Schedules.

My brain is frazzled by it all. I never really understood the phrase ‘at the end of my tether’ until I became a mum. But now I get it. It’s total overwhelm in every single way.

It’s the noise that doesn’t stop, until they’re asleep. It’s being physically touched continually. It’s the lack of personal space. The mess. The sheer amount of stuff there is to do and the million and one things you need to remember or think about.

Motherhood overwhelm.

As a self employed mum, with no childcare, I’m a woman who wants the best of both worlds and I know that this is part of the reason why I feel so exhausted by motherhood right now, because I’m trying to do it all and failing at everything.

There’s never enough time to do everything I want to do. There’s nowhere near enough sleep. There’s never more than ‘five minutes’ in the day for me.

This past week has been a wake up call. It’s time to get my ‘big girl pants on‘ and make some positive life changes.

Both for them. And for me. (I’m on it.)




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6 Discussions on
  • It’s funny that this post should resonate with me today of all days when I’m sitting in the sunshine by a pool in the south of France….

    But I’ve had one of those days today! A holiday with a 2 year old and an 8 month old is never going to be relaxing, but I feel totally out of control! Their routines are out of the ordinary, the food is different and getting a fussy toddler to eat slightly different ham is a challenge… the baby’s just weaning do it’s tricky eating out with him, there’s still the bottles to wash, clothes to wash, meals to prepare, etc etc, the floors are all tiled and the baby is pulling himself up on everything so we can’t leave him alone for a second, and they both had a tummy bug for the first 3 days! Ahhhh! They are both currently asleep so my husband and I are taking a moment to ‘regroup’ before one of them wakes up, which will be any time now!

    Sending big understanding hugs, and we really should arrange to meet for that coffee soon (somewhere with a soft play area ha ha) Helen xxxx

  • Hi Katie?
    You’re not failing. You’re taking care of your family, running a business, keeping house? and a million and one other things.
    The only failing is the ability to see what you ARE achieving. There’s a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture – it’s horrendous. I grunt and groan and struggle to function properly if I lose an hour or two every now and again; if it was happening on a nightly basis I’d have been locked up by now for murder.
    Your beautiful children won’t see a failure. They’ll see, and feel, the most giving, patient, loving being on this earth giving them their full attention and putting them before everything. Jamie won’t see a failure. He’ll see his beautiful wife unfairly giving herself a hard time when he knows she’s really Superwoman in disguise. Your clients won’t see a failure. They’ll understand your situation and wait patiently for the talent they’ve come to appreciate, because they know it’s not easily found. And your friends will see someone who absolutely rocks needing to offload.
    Because, although you’re a mother, wife, daughter, friend, business owner, freelance entrepreneur and God knows what else, first and foremost, you’re HUMAN. Take 5 when you need to. For your sake, as well as everyone else’s. But don’t think you’re failing, because you’re not. Xx

  • Well you have quite clearly been inside my head and stolen my thoughts!

    Thank you for writing this though, because it’s always comforting to know that I’m not on my own.

    My ability to tell people “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is fantastic. My ability to listen to that myself is not. “Self care” for myself is not encouraged or taken seriously, but I’d absolutely expect other to be making sure they’re doing it.

    I don’t think we mean to, we’re not being martyrs or anything similar. It’s just that the overwhelm is so strong that to fit something else in when our brains are already so fried is, well, overwhelming!

    Something I was told (I don’t listen to it often enough but it is true!) is to speak to yourself as you would to a friend. You would never tell a friend “you’re a failure!”, you’d say “you can’t do everything, but look at what you are doing!”. You wouldn’t say “this is a list of what’s going wrong” you’d say “look at all this stuff that you’re getting right”. You’d tell them to look for the good. Be nice to yourself! This motherhood park is bloody hard work and we are doing our absolute best.
    And whatever we’re doing, we’re nailing it!! Xxx

  • So tough Katie. This has been my life for two years. I’ve only ever spent one night away from Lottie, after giving birth to Frankie. There is literally no rest rest for the with kid! I have no advice or help I’m afraid but sending lots of love and support xxx

  • Oh lovely, I could of written this myself. I totally underestimated how difficult life would be with 2 kids and 3 work from home jobs. I mean, when I write it down like that of course I’m going to struggle?! When I’m struggling and the days is tough I ask myself if the kids are happy? If they are then I’m doing my job and doing it well. Because no matter how tough I’m finding life, if the kids are happy then I can cope with the rest. Well, kind of ;)

    Have a think about what little changes you can make to take the pressure off. Have a break from something? Reduce your workload? Ask for a little help?

    Remember, this is just a tiny part of motherhood and before you know but you’ll be looking back and wondering what all the fuss was about :) xxx

  • My wife went through something similar after each of our three – in her case it was juggling the kids while trying to fit back into a 3-3.5 day a week job that spilled over into her evenings and weekends too. You’re definitely not failing though – maybe it’s more that what consitutues ‘success’ needs to be redefined so that you’re not being so hard on yourself? I wish I had a solution for the overwhelm – if I did, I’d be a very wealthy man …

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