While editing Raising the Well-Adjusted Child: A Parent’s Manual, I had the pleasure of reliving so many wonderful memories from raising my children. Some memories made me smile and feel very warm inside. Others made me remember the feeling of trudging through mud and being stuck. Like the night when both of the girls were sick and vomiting, while my husband slept through it all. I’ll spare you the gorey details, but I am sure you’ll be able to fill in the blanks.
To make a long story short, I heard one daughter, so I got up to help her. I got her settled back in bed in clean sheets. Then came the chain reaction. My other daughter started; I got her back to bed and changed her sheets. Then, back and forth they went. When I grabbed the two-year-old again, I carried her to the hall bathroom. Well, we did not make it in time, so the hallway got a good dose of you know what. I thought to myself, “How could they have so much in their little bodies?” Yep, my husband was still sleeping in our bedroom at the other end of the house. In his defense, I thought I could handle it, but that did not happen. I remember running through the house covered in vomit and crying. Waking my husband, not kindly at all, I said, “Get up! I need help!” He was stunned and confused but got out of bed to help me. He has always been a great help when needed. Finally, I had someone to help me clean up the mess! When the kids were bathed and in clean jammies, my husband and I each took a child and sat up all night waiting for them to get some sleep. It was sheer exhaustion for all four of us.
That night was horrible at the time, but I can look back and laugh about it now. It was like a scene from a sitcom. I think to myself, “Why didn’t I just bring a bucket with me? Why did I keep the girls in their rooms? Why didn’t I wake my husband earlier?” Why? Why? Why? At the time, I just couldn’t even think straight. It was the middle of the night, and I was exhausted and overwhelmed. There were so many simple solutions, but when you are trudging through mud, your perspective can get a bit murky. And let’s get serious – parenting is exhausting sometimes.
What I have learned: It is going to be okay. You will get through nights like these. It seems like an eternity, but, thank goodness, they don’t happen often.