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“You need to look at this paperwork,” my mom said to me after I brought home with the kids from school. I had just sat down and my body immediately knotted into a rubber band ball of dense, strained stress.
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One more thing…
My phone rings and it’s the school. I can ID that phone number a mile away now. I swear, even the ringtone hits different, soundwaves that send the hair on my arms to stand. Is it a sick kid, a behavior situation, or an IEP questions? Only one way to find out.
I answer the call and hold my breath. My child fell in the mud and his clothes are cold, wet and filthy. Please come to school with a new set of clothes.
One more thing…
I take self-care seriously and try to do at least one thing for me every day. Exercise or a sober meeting. Journaling or meditation. I know self-care plays an integral role in my sobriety, not to mention my mental health. But the day’s been upended by some small crisis. Suddenly, even my self-care routine becomes a burden. Meditation sounds great but laundry and dinner prep is calling. Also, the remote is broken and we are low on frozen pizza.
One more thing. Or four.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t about frozen pizza or reviewing paperwork. What ultimately sets me off is not the thing itself sending me down the gaping hole of emotional dysregulation. It’s about the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s about the frantic energy of anxious parenting in a “never doing enough” society. It’s the relentless guilt that my child is three hours deep in screen time when the experts say two hours is the max before you’ve completely ruined your kids forever.
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