Unnecessary Stresses

The dark circles under my eyes reveal the stress that I try so hard to conceal during the daylight hours.

 

Sadly, no amount of concealer can erase night after night of lost sleep.

 

I wish I could blame teething, nighttime fears, or bedwetting.  But this time, it’s all me.

 

By day I am bright eyed and energized, but when darkness falls the stress creeps in.

 

By night, the worries expand in size and prevent uninterrupted sleep.

 

The to-do list multiplies by the second.

 

The inbox suddenly overflows with messages left unanswered.

 

The dread of my husband’s very long summer away weighs heavily on my mind.  Not because I can’t do it alone.  I most certainly can.  But right now, I just don’t want to.

 

I read until my eyes tire.

 

I label my worries to get them out and think in gratitude as I drift off.

 

But inevitably, 4am arrives and I wake with a start.

 

Did I ever RSVP to that evite?

 

Did I pick up the medicine from sweet girl’s preschool?

 

Did I get that present in the mail?  Because that, I will hear about.  That has to be on time…

 

Do I have enough milk for one more day?

 

Should I tell the kids today?  Is it time to prepare them for a summer without Daddy?

 

Have I been a good enough mother this week?

 

Have I been a good enough wife?

 

Just like that, 4 becomes 6 and the kids will soon rise.  I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes for just a few moments more…

 

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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of “The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World” (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and the forthcoming “No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls” (Penguin Random House, 2018)