The “Dark” Side Of Parenting…

 

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I never planned on writing about parenting on my blog, instead I thought everything would be about creativity. Focussing on my little one when she feels unwell automatically means not being creative for a while.

I am fairly new to blogging and the thought of sharing my current experience, and hopefully inspire other parents to deal with these situations with love, only came to me last night. So being sleepless wasn’t so bad after all, I guess.

 

2.10am

She is crying, again.

It’s the 5th night in a row and by now all I want is sleep. I sit up and pull her into my arms, not because I desperately want to, but because I have to… she needs it. I help her blow her nose and gently stroke her back.

I measure her temperature: 39.9°C. She wakes up every 8-10 minutes, crying because her nose is blocked and she can not breathe undisturbed. We had to bring her into our bed, so we wouldn’t have to walk over into her room every time she cries. I sent my husband downstairs, onto the couch, so that he at least will get some sleep. He has to be fit when she gets up in the morning, so I get a chance to rest after that.

 

2.20am

She is still sitting in my arms, crying.

It takes all my love, strength and discipline to not become angry about her crying because of little things. All I want is sleep. The weekly work meeting starts at 8am, I have to get up at 7 and time for rest is getting shorter by the minute. I feel bad for thinking about work while my little one’s body is fighting with a cough,  high temperature and her seemingly ever blocked nose.

 

2.30am

Her body feels heavy against mine, she starts to relax and becomes a little bit calmer. I guess she feels much more exhausted than I.

 

2.40am

She tells me she wants to lay down again, next to me. So I let her out of my arms and we both lay down, me hoping for some restful sleep…

 

2.45am

She wants the light to be turned on, all I want is darkness I can sink into. She wins.

 

3am

I am pulling a sleep mask out and over my eyes. Next to me: soft snoring. Sleep is approaching.

 

3.10

She wakes up and wants to sleep without a blanket. I pull the sleep mask off. She still has a high temperature, but… she wins. I let her sleep without a blanket, for now, waiting with the mask in hand, until I hear her snoring yet again. I cover her small feverish body with a blanket, put the sleep mask over my eyes and pray to the universe for just a little bit of sleep.

 

4am

She wakes up, crying. Her nose is blocked, she coughs. She doesn’t want to be tucked into a blanket and kicks it away. I let her. I plan to wait until she falls asleep again, so I can cover her up. I want to cry.

 

6am

I wake up. It’s very quiet. I look at her. I must have fallen to exhaustion because she still lays there uncovered. I check, her temperature went down.

She wakes up and goes to the toilet. When she wants to wash her hands she starts to cry and calls for me. Of course I get up and over to the bathroom to help her. She doesn’t want to wash her hands on her own. We brush out teeth and she asks me if I will bring her downstairs to her dad. I do so, being happy about getting another hour of sleep before having to get up in the end.

 

6.10am

I hear her coming upstairs, crying…

Soon she stands in front of the bed, still crying. In an unintentional desperate tone of voice I say “Mummy is exhausted and doesn’t have any energy left”. It takes all the love in my heart, all the strength I can gather, to not shout this at her. Instead I pull her into my arms, as I have done so many times during these past 5 nights, help her to blow her nose, stroke her back gently until she is announces she would like to go downstairs again. Of course I carry her when she asks me to, not wanting to wait another minute to close my eyes and give in to sleep. Screw the meeting, I’m not going.

 

7am

Sleep won’t come.

I give up and get my pen and notebook one last time before I get up and ready for work. I feel so drained today and doubt I will get through this day without falling asleep. At exactly 8am I find myself taking part in our weekly Wednesday morning work meeting.

 

I think: tonight it will be me sleeping on the couch. I know it won’t.

 

7pm

For as long as I can remember I dreamt of having a daughter and I knew one day it would become true. In 2010, when we got the diagnose of not being able to conceive naturally the world came tumbling down on me. I felt bad, incomplete. I realised I wasn’t able to do what my body was made for. But there was hope…

In April 2012 my dream came true and I held our miracle baby in my arms, over the moon with happiness, trying to keep the tears of joy all to myself.

We are a very happy family. One reason being us appreciating the beautiful moments, knowing that tough moments will show up every now and then. And deal with them, one step at a time. Being deprived of sleep for several days makes the effort to remember this first moment of holding her necessary though, to being able to show her love first of all, and not anger. She just turned 4 years after all.

 

Of course you could say: well, you wanted a child so here you go. And you would be right.

Lucky for our daughter we are able to show her our love, always, and not react in anger, because she was and is wanted so much.

 

Thinking of other children I have seen, being shouted at for no other reason than tripping over their own feed and falling when trying to catch up with their fast paced mother, or for spilling a drink by accident, breaks my heart. In these moments when they get a crack in their confidence they need loving support, us catching them, making them stronger, not shouting at them in anger because we are stressed or feel unwell. I dare to say I know what I am talking about, in the end of the day I am a working mum.

 

It breaks my heart and inspires me at the same time to think of those parents who are fighting for their child’s health in a long “battle”, or who have even lost their child to an accident or to a disease. They are my true hero’s. What would they give for the chance of showing their child all the love they can give, just one more time, just for a moment.

 

Anything.

 

Would be my guess.

 

And how long will our little ones need us for anyway? Some time from now we will ask ourselves where the time went…

So these are the reasons I decide to enjoy every moment, to pull myself together and to let my beautiful daughter grow up with all the love I can give, even when very sleep deprived because she suffers from temporarily feeling unwell. And in these moments I might even go as far to imagine that we just share a beautiful cuddle and enjoy the close bond between us…

 

Lots of love,

Your Catriz

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