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It upsets me when people notice I’m unwell

I’m with my son and his wife who’ve just had their first baby. The labour was long and my daughter in law had no proper sleep for 60 hours. My son came home last night after his wife and baby were settled and he got a solid 10 hours sleep. I’ve popped by today this afternoon after a very quiet morning. I’ve gently pottered to make sure everything remains ship shape in their already orderly house. I’ve peeled a couple of carrots, chopped some broccoli and cauliflower and prepared some chicken breasts so that they can easily make a wholesome meal.

But my son saw me become overwhelmed with fatigue. I was trying to cover it up but he insisted I sat down and tried to sleep. He now wants me to stay at their house tonight rather than drive 60 miles to my daughter’s or 120 miles home.

All through the pregnancy they’ve said how important it is for them to be alone at home with their baby so if I stay, I’ll spoil their first night at home as a family. (Not that they’d ever make me feel unwelcome. They are lovely.)

It really upsets me that I can’t hide this illness from my children. I used to be so energetic and so capable. This time last year I would think nothing of leaping out of bed before dawn, driving 125 miles to my company’s head office, having a full day of meetings then driving home. Now I can’t peel a few veg and put on a washing machine without being exhausted . #moanmoanmoan

4 Replies

Ha. Complete opposite here. No one seems to notice when I'm on my last legs! Like you, I used to be an energiser bunny. Now, washing my hair requires military-grade planning.

I think it's great that he notices. I imagine they'd feel a whole lot worse if you'd left and ended up in worse condition. And I am sure despite your protestations, your d-i-l was secretly grateful an experienced mom was on hand in case she needed help :) x


I think they meant being alone with their new baby when your DIL was up & about after the birth.

Listen to your son......don't get in a car feeling tired it's a recipe for Disaster!

Get a good night's sleep Grandma.......& then be on your way!


I agree with LupieMani. Having been through three difficult labours and raised children on our own without any family around, I would have loved to have a kind and understanding MIL on hand and most certainly wanted her to stay if she was suffering from fatigue from a condition such as Lupus.

Your daughter in law’s fatigue is a natural and relatively wholesome fatigue that everyone suffers following pregnancy and labour. Yours is autoimmune fatigue and you are really lucky to have a son who is so observant to notice it and make you rest. Why would they not want you to stay until you’re energy levels are restored enough to drive home safely?

I understand you mourning for lost energy, career and independence of course. But actually I think you should be very proud to have brought up such a considerate son and be able to look back on such a full life until you got ill. I’ve never been well in the way you describe so don’t the feel the contrast/ absence as you do - but I wish I had been able to achieve my ambitions more when I was younger. So I think you have much to be proud of and rejoice - please don’t feel sad.



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