My Off Switch Is Broken

I can’t unplug, switch to off or silence the constant chatter in my brain, and it’s ridiculously exhausting.
09/06/2017 03:36 pm ET Updated Sep 06, 2017

For the first time in a long time, I managed to get a one-hour massage for myself and some quiet time with no kids to worry about. It basically came to the point of necessity, because I pulled my back, and I was in quite a bit of pain, and we moms always wait until we can barely function before taking care of ourselves. But that’s another post for another day.

As I laid there, in a silent room with no interruptions, waiting for the masseuse to come in, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and tried to relax, but my brain started going a mile a minute.

Crap... I forgot to get the dish soap at Target... Oh and the darn laundry detergent. Why do I always forget that stuff? I left the laundry in the washing machine again, so I’ll need to rewash that when I get home. Did I wash Jackson’s gymnastics uniform? I don’t even know where it is. Did someone just text me, or was that an email? I never answered those couple of emails last night. I should do that right now since I remembered it… No! Can you try to relax? Turn your phone off. But first I’ll just make myself a few notes so I don’t forget all of this. Oh yeah, I need to remember to pick up the teacher appreciation gifts too, and the birthday gift for this weekend. Maybe I could run into Target for 20 minutes before I pick up the kids… Maybe…T hat could work… Who am I kidding? I am not getting in and out of Target in 20 minutes, but I could make it to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner.

This is something that happens every time I have a moment to be still. It’s even worse at night when I am trying to go to sleep… the to-do list, the text I didn’t return, the emails that need answering, the appointments I need to make, the grocery list, etc. It’s a constant cycle of thoughts. I manage to stop one, and the next one comes rolling in. And sometimes they roll right over into my dreams, and I have ridiculous nightmares about laundry attacking me, detectives investigating cases of missing cell phones and emails that sprouted legs and ran away (and yes, these are actual dreams I have had). It makes me understand other people’s need for a nightly bottle of wine or a sleeping pill just to quiet their minds long enough to get to sleep. It’s why I often find the need to occupy myself with pointless things such as Candy Crush or reality TV. I actually want the fuzzy TV screen in my brain, just white noise, or even a mindless tune… Well, maybe not, because then I end up with an awful song my kids listen to that I can’t get out of my head.

I can’t unplug, switch to off or silence the constant chatter in my brain, and it’s ridiculously exhausting. Is it just me? Is it a result of being a multitasking mom, or is it just the way every woman’s brain functions? Are men really capable of making their minds go completely blank, because I have heard that’s a thing? Or could it be a product of today’s access to everything at all times? My mother once said she doesn’t remember having to worry about so much. I honestly don’t know if it’s something that all mothers have always suffered from or are today’s moms just trying to do too much… trying too hard to be this image of the perfect mom we have conjured up in our heads? These are the questions that go through my mind right along with my to-do list.

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