Things I Do Well: Fatigue
December 20th, 2009 Comments: 8
Written by: Julie Cole

So this baby of mine has been a chronic bronchiolitis guy. I’ve never had a bad breather so it’s all new and exciting. In fact, I’m just home from a few days in the hospital with him. Throw some pneumonia into the bronchiolitis mix and you’ve got yourself a weekend pass to paediatric paradise. Baby and I have had the pleasure of spending quality time together wrestling ventolin masks and guzzling pediapred.

Being such a chesty baby, both his sleep and mine have been pretty dodgy over the last few months. Baby’s breathing antics paired with the shenanigans of some of his finer siblings has seen my usual 5-6 hours of sleep a night dwindle to the 3-4 hour mark. It’s not much, but we all know that mama steps up to the plate when she has to, and we can’t underestimate the power of a bit of adrenaline.

Last Saturday night Daddy-o announced that I was to go to bed, shut the door and have a night of uninterrupted sleep. He was volunteering for night duty – sleeping elsewhere and ready to respond to each and every night-time disturbance.

Imagine my shock (OK, pretend shock) when at 4:00am Daddy-o comes bursting through the bedroom door. He was all disheveled with red eyes and crazy hair. He looked as though he’d been sleeping in the wilderness for days. Out of his mouth came the words we mamas have often felt but rarely said: “I can’t do it anymore! Help me!”

Uh dude, you know I do this every day, right?

Since I had already had more sleep than I’m used to and was feeling as fresh as a spring morning, I let him off the hook. He settled into bed feeling all defeated and in awe of me.

I’ve got some mama friends who are exceptional at making milk. I’ve got other mama friends who are incredibly skilled at tricking their kids into eating veggies. It would seem my specialty is getting by on very little sleep. It is a talent that serves me better than any musical or artistic genius would. So what are you good at? Can you predict and intercept a toddler fall before it happens? Perhaps you breastfeed, dress a toddler and get ready for work all at the same time? Do you have some ridiculous mama talent that in any other circles would not exactly count as “talent”?

Picture of SIL and business partner, Julie Ellis, teaching me the ropes. She has survived parenting two chesty babies.

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