I’ve been experiencing an odd phenomenon lately. The past week or so, I feel like I’ve been walking around in a haze.

I feel… tired? I think? My body feels heavy and things don’t feel real. It is sort of a detached lack of energy, where I feel like I’m witnessing my life from the outside, and I have to force myself back into my body to participate.

I have anxiety for unpredictable events, not feeling equipped to adapt in the moment while I’m this hazy. Big outings or activities feel like climbing Mt. Everest, but even basic things like cooking dinner, doing dishes, or climbing the stairs to change a diaper make me feel totally pooped. The anticipation of the work is just as exhausting as the actual carrying-out of the duties.

I just want someone else to step in and do it all for a minute so I can… sit.

This feeling has made me feel less capable as a mother, and less comfortable being on my own with the kids. Not because I feel they are in any danger in my care, but because I have to work so much harder to stay on top of things while I’m in this fog.

I do it, but it is often the bare minimum, and it tires me out a little more than usual. I want to give my life (and my kids/husband!) more than the bare minimum, and not being able to feels pretty rotten.

It’s an unpleasant feeling, being somewhat detached from my life. It feels like symptoms of burnout, and I’ve gone into a kind of self-preservation mode.

I think an honest break would do the trick, but lately, even my “breaks” have felt taxing because of Ellen’s separation anxiety. It’s not that I haven’t gotten away (I have! Lots!), it’s that the anxiety button is constantly in the “on” position because I have so much going on in general. But specifically, I know that Ellen is in misery when I’m not there.

The breaks almost make me feel worse. The combined pressure of the never-ending to-do list and being Ellen’s everything is so heavy. I need the time away to get my mind right, but all the time away I’ve been getting has been guilt-ridden and excruciating. The breaks haven’t had the desired effect.

I don’t feel depressed. Not even sad, really. Just… foggy. Burnt out. Exhausted.

Maybe Ellen will get over her separation issues soon so one of my should-be-rejuvenating breaks will actually help me reset my mind and clear the haze.

Until then? I will keep it up. Because that’s what you do when the tiny people depend on you.