Night after night, it’s the same old song and dance. I lie in bed, tired, tossing and turning from side to side. Beside me, my husband (who I swear fell asleep in 30 seconds flat) snores contentedly.

But me? I can’t shut my brain off.

Do we have enough milk for cereal in the morning?
I need to put toilet paper on the shopping list.
Dang it, that bill was due today.

I grab my phone and pull the covers over my head so the light doesn’t wake my husband or the baby. I plug reminders into my calendar and send off a payment.


I note the numbers on the clock before setting my phone down and rolling over. If I fall asleep right now, I’ll still get some decent rest.

But the thoughts . . . they just keep coming.

I was so impatient with the kids today; I need to do better tomorrow.
Diapers. We need more diapers.
Ooh, I can’t forget to throw the t-ball uniform into the wash first thing in the morning so it’s dry by the time we need to leave.

I wiggle down further into my bed, trying to get comfortable and willing my mind to quiet itself.

It doesn’t.

I didn’t eat very healthy today. I sure miss fitting into my favorite pair of jeans.

I grab my phone again and type “clean eating” into Pinterest. Fifteen minutes later I’m armed with fierce determination and a board full of recipes I’ll never make.

I close my eyes and miraculously feel myself drifting to sleep.

Pee. I gotta pee. Thanks, kids, for completely wrecking my bladder.
Pee, flush, wash hands. Back to bed.

The clock has somehow jumped an hour ahead since I first laid down. How is that even possible?

The baby starts to whimper in her sleep. I squeeze my eyes shut tight, hoping she’ll settle back into sleep.

She does, but from across the house I hear the thump of toddler footsteps finding their way to me in the dark. I roll over to see a sleepy-eyed boy with arms outstretched. I swing him into bed and pretend not to mind as he takes over my pillow and leaves me exactly six inches of mattress.

How did I find myself in this season where sleep is so elusive? How did I get so LUCKY to fall into such exhausting and utterly blessed days?

I kiss my son on the forehead and linger long enough to breathe in the scent of his freshly shampooed hair.

With the warmth of his body tucked closely beside me, my eyelids grow heavy, and I finally drift off.

Every night, I vow to go to bed earlier the next. I promise myself more rest. I tell myself I’ll switch up my routine, not be so tired.

But every night, this familiar pattern begins all over again.

A mother’s mind never rests—nor does her heart or soul. It’s a blessing and a curse, really.

This motherhood thing; it’s not for the faint of heart . . . and apparently it’s not for anyone who likes to sleep, either.

This post originally appeared on Bouncing Forward with Casey Huff


You may also like:

A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

This is Why Moms Are So Exhausted

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward