First published on Selfish Mother
Strands of toilet roll scatter the area around you, paw patrol is on its 5th loop and there’s a whiney noise coming from the other end of the sofa.
That’s the toddler, the one who’s been up 3 nights in a row with a hacking cough and a snotty nose.
She’s been up 3 nights in a row sneezing and insists you say ‘bless you’ after every single one, even the 3am ones.
You’ve not slept for those 3 nights and you’re pissed that your hubby seems to be getting all the sleep, so this time, you send him to bed with the snotty toddler instead. Now all you can hear are his snores in between her coughs, and it sounds like a dysfunctional metal band without any real tune. The vocals coming through as the occasional whimper from the toddler.
You know tomorrow’s going to be much of the same. After all, it’s winter and everyone knows toddlers are renowned germ carriers, spreading them like Chinese whispers amongst their little friends, occasionally passing them on to their parents too.
You wish, as the snotty toddler kicks you in the back for the millionth time, that she’d just go sleep. For the love of god, go to fucking sleep.
Tomorrow is going to be worse actually, not the same as you’d first thought. Worse because, you’ll be on your 4th day without sleep by then. Whilst you curl yourself around your baby wishing them to sleep you also take in a deep breath, breathe in their scent, and remind yourself that one day they mightn’t need you to stroke their hair when they feel unwell, they might start to like sleeping in their own bed instead of yours, and that’s when you accept, even with their bogeys under your fingernails, that sleepless nights are, for all intents and purposes, actually magical moments that you may not look back on with total fondness, but you’ll look back on nonetheless. Nothing lasts forever. Hang in there Mama’s.