Proof Life Isn’t Always Pretty: From a Sleep-Deprived Not-So-New Mom


It’s like I’ve traveled back in time to the sleep-deprived days of having a newborn. Except my kids are 4 and 2 and I’m not lactating. I’m dealing with a toddler regressing in potty training, so bad I just bought another pack of diapers. And he keeps waking up in the middle of the night. I know this is mainly because he’s moved out of his crib and into a twin bed. Perhaps he wasn’t as ready as I thought he was.

New bed for toddler

(More posts about this awesome room coming soon!)

I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking these past few days. Then finally, last night, I thought I’d catch a break. I could feel it. I put a nightlight in my son’s room. This would help him when he woke up at night. Right?! … Wrong.

He woke up at 11pm, probably because of the light. I rocked him back to sleep and prayed he wouldn’t wake up again until around 6, when it was close to time to get his sister ready for school.

I crashed around 12:30am. I couldn’t stay away and write when my brain felt like mush.

An hour later I was awoken not by my son, but by my daughter, who told me she wasn’t feeling well.
She ran to the bathroom to puke.

I tended to her, and took her into the guest room to sleep with her. Then a couple hours later my son started to cry again.

My daughter didn’t want me to leave, my son didn’t want to be alone and my husband had to go to work in an hour.

I took my daughter’s temperature and it came in at 102.5. She was definitely going to be out for the day. But how does that work when it comes to taking little brother to school? Should she wait in the car? She wouldn’t like that. Would it be ok for her to walk in really quick? Or should be stay home too?

That dilemma combined with the long to-do list I had written up for the day had my head swimming.

I emailed my daughter’s teacher letting her know Lil’ J will be out because she’s sick–Ironically just a day after meeting with the assistant principal for unexcused vacation absences (another post for another day). I just told the woman Lil’ J has great attendance and hasn’t been sick and BOOM! That’s what I get.

How to best help your kids when they're sick.

Thankfully, my awesome husband called in sick to help. So I’ve been holding our daughter’s hair back while she pukes, and he’s been able to get our son where he needs to be, and watch Lil’ J while I get to business.

It’s like I’ve been thrusted back into the trenches with new tiny babies, but really it’s just yucky cold season.

I feel like I say this a lot, so evidently it’s not true… But my kids don’t get sick much. They really don’t. Allergies, yea. A runny nose or cough now and then, yea ok. But down for the count sick? That doesn’t happen too often. But every year, once a year, without fail they catch the dang stomach bug. This was Big T last year.

sick baby boy

Each time I have to refresh my memory about medicine use. Make sure I read the labels and use it properly, with the right dosage and the right dosage dropper tools.

In a sleepy, frantic haste like the one I was in last night, I can totally see how parents could rush to treat their little ones and misread a label, or leave the medicine out.

Before I go take a nap I’m going to leave you with a few more tips in case your little ones get sick this winter and you find yourself up late at night.

  • Always read the Drug Facts label before administering an OTC medicine
  • Never give oral cough/cold medicines to kids under the age of 4
  • Prevention tips to keep reinforcing with your kids: wash your hands, cough into your elbow, stay home when you are sick.
  • It’s important to see a doctor if you have suspected influenza on day 1 or 2, especially if you are considered high risk. The following groups are considered high-risk:
    • Children under 2 years
    • Adults over 65
    • Pregnant women
    • Anyone with complicated/severe illness

cold and flu infographic and tips

You can read more helpful tips here. Keeping these tips refreshed in your mind can help you be prepared when disaster, sickness strikes.

Wish me luck, and pray there’s more sleep in my future (like tonight)!

*This post was brought to you by a sleep-deprived not-so-new-mom in partnership with the CHPA Educational Foundation’s KnowYourOTCs blogging program. All opinions (and typos) are my own.

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  1. Ugh! So the flu bug has hit your house too eh.
    My youngest has been crabby the last couple of days and I couldn’t figure out why and then yesterday morning she woke up with a stuffy nose and today she is coughing.
    UGH! Hope you all get some rest soon…it’s just awful when the little ones are sick.

  2. I hope everyone is feeling better and getting sleep now or at least soon. There are so many people out at work with whatever is taking them down for a full week or so. I pray no one gets it in our house because we have ten people from newborn to 75. It could do some serious harm in our house.

  3. What a rough week you’ve had! I hope everyone is feeling better now! Tummy bugs are the very worst.
    Newborn sleeplessness is tough, but sometimes toddler night waking is worse. I know my body just does NOT react well to surprise lack of sleep. At least with a newborn you are ready for it and expecting it!

  4. Sending hugs to everybody. We are down for the count right now ourselves and on a BUSY week, of course. Thank you for the reminder to be aware of medicine use in these stressful times.

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