Like many mothers out there, my bladder just isn't what it used to be; most nights, it's safe to bet that I will be making an awkward run (or two) to the bathroom between midnight and 3 am. But the part the interrupts my sleep the most isn't the sudden urge to pee my pants in the middle of my restorative sleep phase. It's not the cold bathroom floor tiles or tripping over my brown labrador camouflaged in the dark at the bottom of the stairs.
It's when all of my worries that I had buried away during the safety of daylight come out to play.
What could be so hard about heading to the bathroom and then tip-toeing back to bed? Well, the problem is when you are sitting there in the dark, not a sound to be heard, it may even be the only time you have been to the toilet alone the whole day, and your mind starts to wander.
Did I cancel that therapy appointment?
I forgot to make that NDIS claim!
I wonder when I will get a call about that wait-list...
I see my son's orthodontic plate sitting on the vanity, disappointed that once again it didn't make it into his mouth before bed and I was too tired to remember to check. For a fleeting moment I wonder if I could go and shove it in his mouth now, but then decide against it; it would need to be tightened anyway.
Why are we not getting the help we need from the school?
I think we are out of the only cereal that will get eaten for breakfast.
Did I lock my car?
My daughter's robe on the back of the door reminds me of her worries before bed; anxious about sitting on the bus the next day at camp. My once calm and confident reply that had soothed her to sleep has now abandoned me, and her fear has become my own. What if she doesn't have anyone to sit with? I don't want her heart to be broken again.
I have to remember to wash that chew necklace tomorrow.
I can't believe our paediatrician retired!
Where did that permission note go?
The sound of my dog shifting from one side to the other in his sleep diverts my attention back to reality; he is equally restless about the significant worries in life - like where to find more bacon.
I get myself back in bed; now wide awake with a million things running through my mind. I set the timer on the fan for 1-hour and anxiously pollute my consciousness with all my concerns over the 3600 seconds until I hear it turn off again.
Clearly my brain can't be trusted to be home alone. Instead, requiring the constant supervision and suppression that comes with the business of daylight hours. Superfluous thoughts aren't able to get a word in edgewise when competing with getting children ready for the day, the stresses of work or the pressure to deliver a healthy, home-cooked dinner in a timely fashion each night.
But that night, sometime between the hours of midnight and 3 am, I'll be hurrying back down that hallway; dodging the labrador obstacle and back to letting the worries creep on in.
When was that electricity bill due?
I wonder if that missed call was from the NDIS reviewer.
Am I doing any of this right?