I was sitting in a meeting, waiting for my turn to present, when my phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize, so as long as it wasn’t school or day care, I hit ignore. Moments later the same number called me again, this time leaving a message. The panic set in as I heard my daughter’s teacher saying she fell and hit her head during gym. I called back immediately to learn that aside from a few tears she seemed okay. I asked to speak to her because I wanted to hear for myself that she was coherent. I asked how much it hurt and she said, “Medium.” I wanted to know if she was okay to stay or if she’d like to be picked up. She chose the latter. Without a second thought, I told my coworkers I had to go and made a mad dash for the train.
The entire ride home I conjured up images of the worst case scenario. I mapped out the fastest route to the hospital and was strategizing where I could leave my car when I got to the ER. When I made it to her after-school program my daughter was happily playing a game and I had to wait fifteen minutes for her to finish, which I gladly did. Even though she’s fine the incident left me on edge.
I told my husband our kids are going to be the end of me.
How is it that such little people can cause such big anxiety? I used to be a laid back person, but since having kids I’m constantly stressed. Every night before bed my mind races about my son’s food allergies, my daughter’s undiagnosed asthma, and the potential pitfalls that await them.
I’ve taken measures to try to relax such as having a nice glass of wine. Although when I’m not out socially wine just makes me want to go to sleep. A little too relaxed, perhaps? I recently signed up for Yoga on Wednesday nights but it’s a battle to leave while my kids are getting ready for bed. And once I’m there I start thinking about how I have to clean up for the cleaning lady, who comes on Thursdays (that’s a story for another time) so I’m more stressed out then when I started. I thought I was doomed and considered buying stock in Xanax.
Then I realized my stress reliever was here all along: writing. It’s the one thing that takes me away and when I feel most at peace. I feel better already having written this. And I threw in a glass (or two) of Pinot Grigio for good measure. Cheers!