Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist


I just love daylight savings time in Washington, where we enjoy less sleep, the sun wakes my children up too early, and it stays light until the ungodly hour of at least 8:00 pm, making my children think it’s acceptable to stay up past 6:30 pm, which is highly disruptive to me (who wakes up at 4:00 am every day). All this would be an adequate trade-off for oh, I don’t know…SUN or WARMTH… but Washington nope’d all over that.

To add continued insult to considerable injury, my body’s response to this severe sleep deprivation this week has been…insomnia. Although once upon a time worrying and insomnia plagued me daily (nightly), this hasn’t been part of my life much – other than the final months of pregnancy with the twins when I slept an average of 42 minutes a night in two-and-a-half-minute increments. In general, I’m able to stave off worrying by putting things into perspective, trusting God, and meditating enough to get back to that joy/love place. Sometimes I’m not able to do that, largely due to hormones or uncontrollable anxiety, but 98% of the time, I’m good.

But not yesterday or last night.

It was one of those days where I just woke up mad at the world. My entire morning prayer and meditation consisted of me going ‘please don’t let me been too mean to Dreamy and the kids. Please help me remember that no one’s out to get me. Please help me not start fights. Please help me stop wanting to start fights. Please let me win the fight…no, wait…” And then the kids woke up and it was all downhill from there.

For me, great irritation is usually a by-product of great fear (or great estrogen fluctuations) and a fabulous session with my business coach helped me understand that my fear was stemming from a misplaced belief that I needed to completely master the inter-world (i.e. webinars, podcasting and SEO optimization of everything) or all our businesses would self-combust. Immediately. So once we got that out of the way, and I was able to see a future about from food stamps and collecting empty cans on the side of the road for money, I felt much better.

Until night time. After ‘just one more story’ for about half an hour with the boys, and Bisky’s usual nonsense when it comes to going to sleep, I didn’t actually get to lie down until 10:00 pm – 90 minutes past my preferred bed time. Here is what happened after that:

10:30: Go see why kid 1 is crying (don’t know)

10:45: Give kid 2 more water

10:46 and a half: Give kid 1 water as well, and then find the missing blankies

11:00: Accept uninvited guest into bed

11:20: Get kicked, shoved, slapped, and tooted on by unwanted guest.

1:00: Leave bed to go into guest room

1:10: Listen to RIDICULOUSLY loud clock ticking

1:30: Put clock in drawer

1:40:  Take clock out of drawer and put it in the linen closet

2:00: Admit defeat and go back to bed, reclaiming 3 inches of space from unwanted guest.

2:45: Fall asleep

3:30: Wake up when Dreamy’s alarm goes off.

Usually on the rare occasions when I can’t sleep, I just tell myself that God is making an appointment with me because  that’s the only time He can get my attention. We usually have a good talk and I go to sleep peacefully. But last night it was just a repeat cycle of angst:

  • Does #noben need speech therapy?
  • Is it my fault?
  • Should I take Bisky on a road trip?
  • If I do, will the boys need therapy because they’ll think I don’t love them?
  • What if I can’t figure out how to make podcasts?
  • What if I figure it out and no one listens to me?
  • Will my hair ever look nice again?
  • Do I really want Bisky going to school with a) a uniform and b) a uniform whose color is forest green and khaki?
  • Am I up to having a fight about clothes every day for 10 months?
  • Am I a bad mom for letting #stopthataiden get addicted to goldfish?
  • How hard can it be to do your own foils?
  • Do they give discounts if it turns out the whole family needs therapy of one kind or another?
  • How can I get people to buy my webinars?
  • Should I spend more time with the kids?
  • Should I spend less time with the kids?
  • Will anyone want to buy The Grace Group?
  • Will anyone come to my launch party?
  • Where should the launch party be?
  • Should I start a new book?


It probably goes without saying that none of these questions were resolved, but I am happy to say that also none of them seem quite so insurmountable after a good workout and a lot of caffeine. It does help to cancel out the questions with some gratitude, and I do have a lot to be grateful for!

I certainly hope I get more sleep tonight, but just in case I can’t, my plan tonight is to just binge watch season six of Downton Abbey instead of focusing on all that other stuff I can’t change!

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

2 thoughts on “Insomnia Games

  1. Chris says:

    Another great story Carrie. 🙂

    When I am unable to sleep I have various tactics. Sometimes they work…, sometimes not. Depends on my level of stress. Some suggestions for you:

    1. In order to stop obsessive thoughts that go around and around and never end I try counting backwards from 100 to 1, first by multiples of 1s, then by 2s then 3s and so on. Usually this prevents me from being able to think about whatever is stressing me out and eventually I can sleep.
    2. Get up and go for a walk.
    3. I listen to audio-books to help distract me from whatever is stressing me out…, although this sometimes backfires and I end up too interested in the storyline of whatever I am listening to to sleep… You can download audiobooks for free from the public library website (well you can in Canada anyway).
    4. Try an over the counter sleep-aid.

    It is common for children to have speech problems. I recently met a lady with 9 children. Several of them had speech therapy. She said the therapist told her that the vast majority of speech problems will work themselves out on their own by the time your child is 7. 🙂 Don’t stress too much about it.

    1. Thanks:) I’m not really stressing too much about the speech thing…I am now, however, TOTALLY concerned about what I am convinced will prove to be a complete lack of being able to count backwards from 100 in multiples of 3…;)

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