So much is required of parents to get through the day, from readying children in the morning to feeding them meals and snacks, and then preparing them for sleep at night. In between, add in tantrums, illnesses, homework, chores, work, personal lives, and other responsibilities, and parenting feels, in a word, exhausting. But at what point is exhaustion caused by more than daily parenting demands?
There are two key factors in determining that, says Dr. Amy Huebschmann, a primary care physician and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Center for Women’s Health Research. “The first thing is, when your feelings of fatigue have no clear explanation, and the second reason is when fatigue levels are making it difficult to function in your everyday life,” she says. “For example, if you find yourself becoming fatigued despite getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night and without any significant life stressors, then it is appropriate to go see your doctor to see if there is a medical diagnosis to explain your fatigue.”
“If you have fatigue that’s out of the ordinary and you’re not feeling right, definitely go and get checked,” says Dr. Amy Johnson, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UCHealth in Longmont. “It’s critical to go in and rule out important things before you decide if (fatigue is) caused by lifestyle choices.”