Parents can sometimes feel like they’re alone in their struggles.
One dad of two took to Reddit to voice his frustrations, saying that while his 4-year-old and 2-year-old daughters are his world, he’s been mentally and physically exhausted for a long time now.
I’m a father [of] two girls. The eldest is almost four, and the youngest is almost two. Now, before I go any further I’d like to state that I would not be without them for one second. Beneath the day to day mundanity, they are absolutely my world.
But here’s the thing – I’m exhausted. I don’t mean ‘a bit tired’ or ‘somewhat fatigued’. I mean that I am mentally and physically akin to an animated corpse. Between the girls and a full-time job, I’m on my knees. I find myself spending evenings sat in a darkened corner, snarling at anyone who ‘dares’ interrupt my mental slumber. I’m like a PC in hibernation. I’ve also become a scathingly sarcastic asshat. I’m a shadow of the person I used to be, and I don’t know what to do or where to go from here. Sometimes I feel like just getting in my car and driving off the nearest cliff.
The dad went on to say that he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in over three years leaving him completely sleep-deprived and unsure of how much more he can take.Picsea/Unsplash
It also doesn’t help that he and his wife have two completely different parenting styles.
The real kicker is that my wife is Spanish, and therefore she has a totally different approach to parenting. Try as I might (and oh boy did I try), I cannot get her to adhere to things like routines, or sensible sleeping times. It’s irrelevant anyway because they go to Spain so frequently that any semblance of routine they do have instilled in them is absolutely shattered by their Spanish side. Kids up at 2:00 in the morning having a ball of a time? No problem!
I dunno. All these years on I feel so unprepared for all of this. Although I absolutely wanted kids, we had them at this time because of my wife’s age (she’s 11 years older and therefore she was worried about the risks involved with becoming pregnant later on in life). It was always my idea to have myself ‘sorted’. I know that’s a fable, of course – are any of us ever truly sorted? Either way, I at least wanted to be at a point in my life where I had direction and a plan for the future.
However, as time goes on and he continues to be the father he needs to be, he worries life as a parent will never get any easier.
He added that the lack of support from his family also weighs heavily on him:
I know many people out there don’t have support either, but it’s frustrating when your parents live quite literally a few doors down the road, yet they show very little interest in helping out.
The tired dad says he even finds himself insufferable:
Now, selfishly, I find myself exhausted and extremely bitter at the fact that I haven’t done any of the things I want to do, nor can I find the time or energy to do a damn thing about it. I’m stuck in a job I hate (not a bad job, though – just not for me) and blah blah blah, whinge whinge whinge. […]
Is this normal? Is it a regular thing to feel like you just want to jump off the planet because your life is completely and utterly over? […] I do realize how lucky I am (really, I do) but no matter which way I cut it, I can’t get over the fact that I’m about to have a f*cking breakdown.
Many commenters tried to help the dad by telling him it will get easier once the kids are in school and suggesting that he sit down with his wife to have a serious conversation about putting their girls on a regular sleep schedule so that he can begin to feel somewhat rested again.
Have you ever had a moment as a parent when you felt like you just couldn’t continue on anymore? How were you able to get past it?