Leigh Leigh Van Der Horst

Literally 'up all hours'

written by Leigh Van Der Horst

  1. #sleep
  2. #working parent
  3. #illness
  4. #sick
  5. #tired
  6. #mother
  7. #vomit
  8. #all-nighter
  9. #australia
  10. #parenthood

Mamas: you know those days when you have been at your 'other' job, the one that actually pays well, and you are dog tired and watching the clock, literally willing bedtime to hurry up? Well, that was me yesterday. So tired. In the throes of school holidays, children everywhere being cared for, running around like mad after work making sure that dinner will be on the table before midnight...? Yep, one of those days indeed. Well, often when we have these days, they are followed by 'one of THOSE nights'!

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Dinner was made. It was eaten at a reasonable time. Children were even bathed. Bedtime arrived and the house was quiet. Deep breath. Then it began, the start of the all-nighter. And I'm not referring to the 'party all night' variety...

I adore my children but when my eyes close and I reach that much desired deep sleep, I really wish to remain in said deep sleep! Not the case last night. "Mum, I have a tummy ache," one child chirped. "Huh?" I managed to mutter. "I feel sick in the tummy..." he confirmed. 'Noooooooooooooooooooooo' said my head. "Oh, hun, do you think you'll be ok?" I responded. Well, the vomit that immediately followed pretty much set the tone for the evening. Sigh.

We camped in the lounge room, far from the other sleeping (lucky buggers) family members and we just got on with it. Dozing in between vomits. Bowls being cleaned. Face washers being refreshed, water offered, mints to suck on... And repeat. Over and over and over. My heart does break for them when they are sick.

I hate seeing my children upset but delirium sets in when this activity continues for far too long, and you realise that you have been awake for a dangerous number of hours! The routine of washing the bowl became quite a confused one. I would stand at the sink trying so hard to remember why on earth I was standing there. Doorways seemed to get smaller as I would manage to bang into each one, each time. That damn lego on the floor that I managed to dodge for the first few hours just seemed to find its way under my foot eventually!

The final vomit came at 5:20am. HOORAY! I looked at my phone and realised that my 3-year-old would be awake by 6am. URGH! That feeling of dread set in, knowing that my day was about to start, even though technically it didn't end. There would be no opportunity to catch up on sleep, it would just be one foot in front of the other until I watched the clock tick over at the end of the day, wine in hand, to the bedtime I so desperately longed for yesterday...

Leigh & Ollie

I love being a mum. I value my role and wouldn't change anything for the world, but oh my, when faced with those moments, I am reminded that parents are outstanding at their roles. We often have no idea what is ahead but somehow we just pull it off and make it all work.

Never have I worked so hard at anything. And tonight I tucked my little man in bed, so pleased that he had recovered during the day, and confident in the fact that he would have a blissful night's sleep, as will I...right? Fingers and toes crossed!

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