Mother guilt and fatigue

Hi All,

I am having a rougher time of it than usual of late and need a bit of a whinge and hopefully some bright ideas about how to manage some practical issues short term.

I am recovering from a very nasty bout of pneumonia at the moment that had me in hospital for 10 days on IV antibiotics. I had the pneumonia in several lobes of both lungs and was very, very sick indeed.

Naturally my MS took full advantage of this and threw a doozy of a pseudo-relapse at me which I am still dealing with all though the pneumonia is getting better now and I am in the convalescence stage.

Then to add to things my 13YO daughter fell and “popped” her hip out and it turns out she has developed hip dysplasia and so we have been doing the round of X-rays, ultrasounds, GPs and hospitals with her.

The problem I am struggling with is that I am absolutely, painfully, out of this world knackered. Fatigue has reached new levels never before seen and I am pretty expert at horrid fatigue.

I was told to take it very easily for at least two weeks after getting out of hospital it would take that long for me to recover from the pneumonia. I am at Day 10 our of hospital and am running ragged with my poor daughter. Because she is on crutches and is needs to be completely resting her leg she is home from school and is needing me to do loads for her, poor mouse. And yet I am barely able to walk either!

I do have home help and have increased the hours to cover the extra I needed with the pneumonia recovery but the funding package doesn’t let me increase it further because of my daughter’s needs.

I am so tired and struggling so hard to be a good mum to my daughter when she needs me now that she is incapacitated and I am feeling so guilty because I can’t do for my girl what she needs doing and I feel like the worlds shitest Mum.

Bloody MS… if I was just recovering from the pneumonia it wouldn’t be so bad but with my usual level of disability and a relapse on top of it and the extra fatigue I am feeling completely hopeless.

She is getting really angry too and the other day went right off her handle at me and we had a huge row. Later on when I was tidying up her room I found a piece of paper she had torn up that said, “I hate you mum. I wish you had died in hospital with the pneumonia.”

Well, that left me completely devastated as you can imagine. I did talk to her about it and she was in tears saying she never meant it, I wasn’t supposed to have seen it, she loves me, she was just angry etc etc, but I still feel really shocked and heart broken. The thing is I did get fairly close to pegging out with the pneumonia :frowning:

My daughter has been seeing a psychologist for a little while now to help her with some depression issues so I am hoping the psychologist will be able to help her with this latest lot of crap as well.

But as for me I am feeling guilty for not being as good a mother as I would like, angry with the MS for making my life and my daughter’s harder than it needs to be and so tired, unwell, fatigued and completely overwhelmed.

Thanks for listening to all that. I needed to get it of my chest at least. Amazing how just SAYING it all helps :slight_smile:


Thanks Pat. I know that on an intelllectual level but at the moment I feel like a crap Mum. I wish I could just stuff the MS in the cupboard for a few weeks while my daughter is on crutches and needs me so much more :frowning: Shame it doesn’t work like that…

B x

I am sorry you have been having such a rough time, Belinda.

I think you have hit the nail on the head in your reply to Pat - it is one thing to know stuff at an intellectual level, but quite another to feel things to be so. As you say, just writing stuff down can be so liberating, and can help with that shift in perspective that seems impossible when things are just being churned around in one’s head.

If your original post was from someone else, you would bring your kindness and wisdom and experience to bear and offer some kind and wise advice to the person in trouble. Why not draft a quick reply in your head to that fictional person? Can you flick the switch from transmit to receive, and show that sort of kindness and understanding to yourself? God, I’m expressing this badly, but I’m sure you know what I mean. Being so under the cosh from every direction at the moment makes this a particularly tough task, I know, and maybe it is just too much to ask of yourself just now when just grinding through each day is hard enough. Sometimes life just conspires to give a person a hard time, and grinding through is an achievement in itself. Please keep telling yourself that you are doing OK and, when you have any energy to spare at all, please use it to help yourself through, just as you help others.



What a dreadful time of it you’ve been having lately Belinda. Not only the MS but pneumonia too and to add insult to injury, your daughter is injured. I wish that I could offer practical help but all I can do is lend support. I am always feeling guilty as a mum for the things I can no longer do with the disability I have and I have been poorly lately too, although nothing like you. My boys are just having to learn to be more independent than they would’ve had to but at an earlier age. Of course that is not relevant here as your daughter is injured and cannot easily help herself. Btw she loves you to bits - her note is just lashing out at you as you are the nearest target. What she is really lashing out at is the cruel, unkind world that has done this to her and her mum. I do understand your devastation though, any mum would feel it. Just do what you can, that’s all you can do but try not to feel too guilty about it. Do you have any other family or friends that can muck in and help for a while until your daughter i’s much better. Btw my eldest son had hip problems when he was little - one of which was hip dysplasia. He had to have several ops when he was quite young 3,5 and 9 but his hip is fantastic now and he plays loads of cricket without any problems. Hopefully, your daughter’s recovery will be simpler and quicker than all that. I wish I could be more helpful Belinda but I am thinking of you and hope things improve soon. Teresa xx

Hi from one Belinda to another! Isn’t it awful when MS stops you being Super-woman? So sorry to hear about your problems. I don’t think for one moment that your daughter hates you. She’s just frustrated, as you are, with the whole situation. Magazine problem pages tell people to write down their angry feelings somewhere, and then tear them up. You just happened to find something written in the heat of the moment. She probably hates everything and everybody at the moment. I do, and for similar reasons. I live with my brother who has serious heart problems and, understandably panicks the whole time, which in turn, gives me migraines and/or starts my MS symptoms off, not knowing if I should be calling an ambulance or not. He has just come out of hospital again and there is nobody else but me to cope. Managed OK on my own while he was away and have carers coming in three times a week, but am now getting SO tired, mentally and physically that I’m fast losing patience with Bro’s panics. MS-free, I would willingly look after him as we have no other family, but with MS it is becoming impossible, without making symptoms worse, so I really do understand. You are not a crap mum and I am not a crap sister. We just can’t cope with extra worries. Hope things improve for you. Love, Belinda.x

Thank you Alison, Teresa and Belinda. I know really that I am not a crap mum and I know that my daughter is just letting off steam. But it is so hard sometimes when we just want to do the best by our kids and having MS shortchanges them.

It really is a family illness. :frowning:

I’ll bounce back. I think recovering from the pneumonoa has left me so exhausted that I am struggling to find my usual cheer and bounce at present but I am sure it will come back as my health improves.

Thank you for your understanding and kindness, it helps, believe me.

B xx

Never was a truer word spoken ‘it really is a family illness’. The ripples spread out from the centre and keep going, don’t they? Teresa xx

Your daughter is being difficult at the moment because she feels as guilty because she knows she’s adding to your problems and her lashing out at you is only natural, nearest and dearest and all that. Because you feel so ill at the moment you aren’t coping with it very well, on a better day you would have read it as a ‘I hate you’ childish retort. Childrens comments like that hurt but we know that they are never said with real meaning unlike if an adult said it with real venom. Look at it this way, thank goodness you are there for her to unload on rather than her turning it inwards and say, self-harming. Also she’s at that age when the old hormones are jumping up and down. It just shows that you ARE a good mum by being the proverbial ‘punchbag’ for all the bad things which she feels are happening to her at this time. I’ll bet it was a terrifying time for her when you were in hospital. What she does hate is all the things you are both having to endure.

I hope your health soon starts to improve and you feel much better. You will then look back on these last few black months and think thank god thats over and done with and hopefully realise how fantastically well you dealt with it.


Hi belinda, youve had/got all this rubbish going on and yet you managed a few wonderful replies to our sister, who is facing the most difficult time in her life (anon). Youve completely opened yourself to her and all of us now know how hard a battle you`ve fought.

This current health problem will pass. Your daughters broken bones will heal. She knows what a wonderful mum you are.......of course she never meant any of those hurtful words. Shes a teenager.the world revolves round teenagers, doesn`t it?

much love Pollx

belinda-you humble me.your strength is amazing-i refer to inner/mental. you will pass to a better place-life is changing all the time-u will shine again as brightly as i know u can.

the other replies are brill-i trust u hear then loud and clear.

be kind to yourself-i was told this by a friend last week,wise words.

ellie x

Thank you everyone for your kindness and wise words. It is so hard to keep things in perspective when I am as exhausted as I am but reading all your replies has helped me to do this so thank you all.

B xx

We are all here for you