I just knew if I asked my husband to start cleaning the kitchen at night to ease my work load during our daughter's bedtime routine, he would be angry thinking I was trying to convince him to do my least favorite chore. I expected this so intensely that it took me over an hour to get the nerve to even start the conversation, and my body was shaking in anticipation. The memory of my counselor's encouraging face kept me from slinking to bed early in shame.
Boy, was I ever shocked when he laughed and said that if he tackled the kitchen or took over bath time with the girls would help me stress less and make the night smoother, he was willing to do so. Never had I known such relief!
The psychological and related fields call the internal predictions of ones emotional state Affective Forecasting. Humans tend to have an exaggerated affective forecasting thought process. I would like to speculate that moms do it best! How often do you expect the worst, and then chide yourself later for the stress you caused yourself? What situations tend to create these conditions for you? By seeing the patterns, you can train your mind to think more positively, and ultimately, ease the stress in your life and for your family. After all, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"