Helping Mums Embrace Gentle Living & Easy Journaling

Does it help to know I struggle too?

Exhausted Mums

Exhausted MumsDoes it help you when you are shattered to know that there are days or big periods of time when I struggle too?

Does that make you feel better about it, and normalise it?

Or does it make it seem hopeless?

Practially speaking, the only reason I can write the tips I write, and the whole inspiration behind my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being A Mum‘ was the fact that I have experienced the struggles that Mums have.

But I’m not sure that you want to know that I still have bad days? Or that sometimes I literally have to make myself read my own stuff to sort myself out?  Or that this means that there is no ‘permanent fix’ out there?  Is it more helpful to see a constantly positive image like Annabel Karmel gives?


So I’m having a ‘bad period’ at the moment.

Looking at the list below, it’s nothing major, it’s more the quantity.  If I write down everything that has happened it makes total sense that I’m knackered, shattered, overwhelmed, and not sure which way to turn.


1) Constant side of back, shoulder and jaw pain – improving, but had it for a couple of months, and haven’t been as often to the Osteopath as I needed to go because family life ‘got in the way’ (that old excuse).  So can’t run and get the escape I used to get and it’s affecting what little sleep I get.

2) Unreliable childcare – the lovely Nanny bets was ill, so the big northern one offered to cover my client sessions, then he couldn’t do it either.  I’ve literally stopped booking client sessions until I can be sure of my availability, and I’m frustrated by not having had enough time to publish V2 of my book with a paperback version and get on with my new book.

3) Unreliable cleaner – it was only a couple of hours a week, but it meant that I had 2hrs that I could play with Little Dimples or not do 1/4 of the weekend doing chores.  Don’t know what it is about me and cleaners, but I must have been through nearly 10 in the last 7yrs.

4) The journey to find a nursery – I must have been to every single one locally now, confusingly ranging from £14-£37 per morning.  I was hoping for a cheap option in order to reduce the worry about paying for nursery, but ended up in tears just before the Jubillee after a rubbish settle; they didn’t introduce themselves to Little Dimples and only spoke to her for 5mins.  When I asked how come they thought she would stay with them next time they just looked bemused.  I’ve found a great one, but it’s in the expensive list and I still have the settles to do.

5) I’ve missed my mum; I’ve pretty much sorted my grief i.e. I remember her without pain, but it’s the best times and worst times that I miss having a Mum most.  I’ve also not been chatting to my mates enough on the phone because I used to phone them on the way back from the school run.  Last week I found my Mums favourite cousin had died; he was 88 and I saw him last year and knew I probably wouldn’t see him again; but I’m still very sad about it.

6) Of course I’ve been worried about Curly Headed Boy changing from private to state school, and there have been times when the nerves and excitement meant he’s had a few massive meltdowns.  Little Dimples has not adapted to the new school run at all and I regularly have a screaming child on one of the trips.

7) I got a stomach bug, which left me exhausted and feeling nauseous just before the half-term.

8) I’m finding it weird adjusting to the northern one being a contractor as it means not taking a monthly salary and I worry that we’ll over spend.  Ironically he doesn’t appreciate the fact that I don’t want to spend too much, so it’s not a popular thing to be worried about at home.

9) I just don’t seem to have the time to get all the work, family and to do’s done and it feels like walking through thick mud trying to get anything done.  For example, we’re trying to work out what we need for our first camping trip, but the time it takes is ages (I’m making some Pinterest boards so that if you guys need help I can make it quicker for you).  We’re worried that we picked the wrong tent and went to see another one at the weekend, but the horror of the ugliness of them all literally had me in tears ….. yep that’s the other problem, I’m like a walking waterworks at the moment.  Plus I’m behind on all my health stuff – I need to see a dentist, reckon I need glasses and the old smear test reminder came through the other day.  Just looking at my diary to see where I can fit them in is stressful.

10) Little Dimples dislocated her elbow poor little mite which meant that there’s been very little sleep for a week


Oh and I forgot to say that a squirrel bit me! Evil squirrel!


So it’s nothing major really.  I’m just whining really, because there’s been good things or are good things to look forward to as well –

1) I have a small group of really great mates, and felt loads better after speaking to one of them last night.

2) I was really chuffed to be nominated as a finalist in the BiBs and the MADs 

3) I’ve been really lucky with treats for me and the kids from my blog, from a wooden trike, to visit to whipsnade, and outfit from Joe Browns for Britmums, an invite to both the Penn Festival and Just So Festival and a weeks holiday in Siblu france.

4) The big hairy northern one’s contract seems to be going well at the moment and there are possibilities that it will be much longer than thought.

5) I really enjoyed being interviewed by Danny Smith over at Radio Verulam and have got an exciting new project coming up with them in the next couple of months.

6) Curly Headed Boy has just taken up Tap and Street Dance, so there will be lots more time for me to get some writing done on my book before the summer holidays.  Plus, although it’s taking a while to settle in with the kids he’s loving the school and it’s making a big difference for him (more about that soon).

7) The nursery I’ve eventually found for Little Dimples looks really good and will take her straight through to school, with great gardens and lots of space.

8) I’ve loved the Jubilee parties, it was all great fun and felt very community orientated.

9) I’ve got a new pillow which has really helped and a new mattress arriving tomorrow.

10) I’m really looking forward to the discussion den I’m helping with about online negativity next week at Britmums live.  Getting together with a pile of bloggers is bound to pick me up.


I’ve done all the tips that I wrote up on how to get energy quickly and then got hit by little dimples getting hurt.  So I’ve also cried, as that’s good for us too.  I probably just need some sleep and some sunshine.

It’s just going to be a matter of writing a list following my Dump/Delegate/Do/Delay motto and slowly working my way through all the things and accepting that I can’t click my fingers and make it better tomorrow.

But I’m going to make sure it’s better in time for the summer holidays so that I can have a lovely few weeks with the kids – that gives me 5 weeks to get through the list.



15 thoughts on “Does it help to know I struggle too?

  1. Great list Lisa – very honest and probably like a lot of other mums trying to hold all of the balls up in the air at once. I have spoken to so many mums lately who are going through this constant juggling process at the moment. My childcare has recently become unreliable too and it is so frustrating 1) trying to find the time & 2) trying to work ut were to fcs your energies when you do ve time – do I clean, do I cook, do I take the kids out for the day,do I write an essay for uni, do I write a blogpost, do I focus on looking for paid work there is always so much to do and no time. Sometimes I think Ivf I had a ”normal’ job wherei went to work, and came home every day things would be so much easier! – great post

    1. Yep Clare I so know what you mean about a ‘normal job’ – it would be nice if it was a well paid job too so that I could feel comfortable paying for more support!

  2. First of all, can I say how chuffed I am that I am in the second list and not the first!

    Secondly, I think it is great that you are being honest about how you are and I imagine a mum following your advice would be reassured to know that you are human and have the same kind of ups and downs as everybody else.

    Let me know if you ever fancy another coffee – I need material for my blog!!! 🙂

  3. I think all of us struggle with this stuff – there is so much to do, especially when you’re trying to juggle work and life. I blogged about this too this week, and I’m a lot happier now that I accept it is all about compromise. I have to make decisions about what I can and can’t do with my time.

    Silly example perhaps, but last night I consciously decided to not do the washing up, but rather to finish a blog review post for an item I was sent an embarrassing amount of time ago. The washing up can sometimes wait for a day (or in my case two!). When you’re trying to keep loads of plates spinning sometimes all you can do is just walk along the line and give each one a little shove to keep it going until you can get back to it again.

    It does help to know that other people struggle with this stuff too, so thank you for sharing. It’s especially good to hear that there’s some positive stuff too 🙂

    Really looking forward to catching up with you again at BritMums!

    1. Looking forward to seeing you again too Geekmummy – I totally agree, when it’s mouldy it goes to the top of the priority list, but otherwise washing up just isn’t my priority either. I’ve done lots of ‘me todos’ today – just to get some worries off my shoulders and leave more time for play with the kids at the weekend – it was a good compromise to make this week I think.

  4. I often think that the books out there for parents are difficult to digest because they maintain the ideal of perfection, and normal parents end up feeling inadequate, or decide that it’s not real advice, and so the authors lose credibility. So I think that fessing up makes you way more normal, and shows mums that even the experts have bad times. If you acknowledge that and show people a way to approach their own bad times it is way more effective than holding up the banner of perfection that we will never be able to achieve no matter how much we struggle to.
    So I think this is actually a bit of a landmark post for your business, and I hope others will see it that way too.
    Secondly, poor Dimples!!!!! That’s horrible for you all! And ongoing pain is difficult to deal with. I too suffer with a lot of pain on and off, and it stops me running, and then I spiral down into a worse place – it is so hard to maintain health as a parent. And we have the same issues over money. What is it that makes our other halves feel so insouciant about spending money while we panic???
    Hugs, and can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!

    1. Thank you lovely actually mummy – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with the money/partner issue – not that I’m wishing that problem on anyone lol!

      I’ll do an update in a couple of weeks to see how I’m doing – new mattress is arriving today, so hopefully the pain will start to reduce and what little sleep I get will be better quality.

      As I’m in the middle of version 2 of my book, I’m going to put a big section in there about the fact that there are no permanent solutions, but we just have to go back to basics every now and again.

  5. I’m glad I read this. I can take advice much better if I know it comes from someone who knows the realities and isn’t just out there telling us how to be perfect. It’s that aim to be perfect that results in loads of us just ending up feeling guilty and beating ourselves up. I also wrote a post earlier in the week about anxiety and things to do. I think we all have it and it helps me if I can write it all down and share it.

  6. Thanks violet I’m glad it makes it more helpful. I’ve popped over and added a comment to your blog – hope writing your list helped you as much as writing this one did for me, as I’m feeling much better with greater clarity this morning xxx

  7. Oh sweetie you sound like you need a big hug

    Also are your hormone levels ok? Sounds to me that you might want to look at supplements that can help there (Agnus Castus, soya isoflavones) just in case something is a bit off and not helping you when you’ve got such a lot on your plate

    1. I think you could be right Muddling along – the tears are definitely suggesting my hormones are all over the place! I was going to pop into a health food shop yesterday, I’ll make sure I do it in the next few days and see what they suggest xx

  8. It could have been me writing the first few points of your list of negatives: the weather and exhaustion are wrecking havoc with my old jaw injuries, at 21 years of pain they are old! Childcare non-existent and every nursery and childminder I try that are recommended as good are booked until at least September, demanding clients getting less and less efficient at their jobs and making my life hell. What Muddling Along says is interesting, I did wonder whether my hormones are more over the place than usual.

    The only thing I can think to add to my list of positives is one: T still sleeps a long nap most days, I don’t know where I’d be without that. For the rest, nothing seems to be going right at the moment 🙁

    I do hope things get better, it did help me write about it on the blog and getting lots of lovely advice like you’ve had. It’s good to know your own advice comes from proper expertise!

  9. You know I know how you feel – hope the weekend was a restful one for you and you’re feeling better. Sometimes a good cry makes us feel so much better! xx

    1. Big hugs hun – whenever I’m knackered I think to myself ‘at least I didn’t have to get up at 3.30am’. If I find those extra spare hours for you I’ll let you know!

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