Working The Night Shift

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Silly me. I thought that as my infants became toddlers became preschoolers they wouldn’t need me in the middle of the night anymore. Oh how wrong I was.

A few months ago my two year old called out to me in the middle of the night.
Mom, Mom, Mom.
Yes sweetheart, what do you need?
Mom, I have drool on my face!
Sweetheart, just wipe it on your covers and go back to bed. It’s not a big deal.

And then I wiped her chin with my hand and wiped it on her comforter. Cut me a break, it was 2 a.m. and I was half asleep. But then she says Mom, it’s kind of a lot of drool. 

So I force myself to wake up a little more, take a deep breath and OH NO. Not drool. Vomit. That I just wiped off with my hand and smeared on her comforter. Sigh. Here we go again. Strip the sheets. Strip the kid. Into the bath. Into the washing machine. Get the clean sheets out of the closet. Make the bed. Attempt to settle the wild two year old down. Back to bed. Wake up the husband so we can figure out who will care for the sick child the next day. I can work from home, so it’s usually me. Back to sleep, only to have to wake up two hours later to get the older daughter ready for school and get myself logged into work.

And it feels like it’s been downhill every night since then. There’s been stomach bugs, bad dreams, colds, fevers and more requests for midnight snuggles and nights in our bed than I can count. There’s been begging and pleading and threatening. Please please, just stay in your bed all night long. You know it’s a rough situation when you’re telling them to please just stay in their beds until the sun comes up. Dawn, that’s all I need, just to sleep until dawn. Please!

I know this is a phase and that with the winter months come coughs and colds. But mama just needs a good night sleep. And do I go to bed early to prep for what will inevitably be a rough night? NO. I am a glutton for punishment. I just really want to hang out with my husband and binge watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

And do they ever go to dad in the middle of the night? Do any kids go to dad in the middle of the night? Maybe it’s because I sleep closest to the door, but I’m 99% sure that has nothing to do with it. My husband is great, often jumping out of bed to get them back to bed, but rarely will they accept him. And it might be the wrong approach, but we do just about anything we can to avoid middle of the night tantrums that could wake up the other kid. So they get what they want. Mama.

I stopped tracking my sleep on my Fitbit several months ago. It was just too depressing. But with a recent upgrade, it now tracks sleep automatically. I’m so afraid to look. So here’s to the upcoming holiday vacation. My husband and I are looking forward to having help from family, sleeping in as much as the kids will allow, taking a much needed break from our day jobs and maybe even napping a bit.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Whoever coined the term “Sleep Like a Baby” probably didn’t have one.

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