Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have never said those 5 words more since becoming a Mum. When we bought Sophie home from hospital we had a crazy cold snap. At night she would only sleep cuddled up with us. Turned out she was cold. I didn’t question the doctor at Sophie’s 4 month check up that she’d fallen from the 97th percentile to the 50th. 4 weeks later we figured out I was running out of milk.
And on the weekend we had our biggest hindsight moment yet. Our friends had planned an amazing combined 40th at a hall not far from their property in the Upper Hunter. On Saturday was their daughter’s Christening and the party was on Sunday afternoon/night. A great way to spend the long weekend. Or so we thought.
When we received the invite back in March we quickly booked some accommodation, given the limited options in a small town! We booked a 2 bedroom cabin type thing. Done, all organised.
2 days later we received a phone call from the lady who runs the tourist park. (Her husband had taken the booking when I called). She told me, TOLD ME, that she was moving us to a studio cabin so she could accommodate other guests of the party who had 2 children. These people are friends of our’s and I felt put on the spot by the lady. I told her we actually wanted 2 rooms as the baby needed her own room. She said she wouldn’t be able to accommodate our friends if we didn’t change. Clearly she had already made the changes before she called me as hubby’s credit card had only been charged for the smaller room.
Fast forward to last week, and hubby and I started to talk about the accommodation. Stupidly we had just forgetten about it. In hindsight we should have found another alternative back in March. There was no way any of us were going to get any sleep in one tiny little studio cabin. Even though the lady had assured me it was a big room, and we could put the baby aaaaallllll the way down the other end. Nope. This studio was tiny.
We called our friends in Sydney and chatted to them about the situation. They said they would be more than happy to swap back, given their kids are older and no longer need day sleeps and they would go to bed when they went to bed. Unlike Miss Sophie who has 2 days sleeps and goes to bed at 6pm.
So we get there to check in and the lady wouldn’t let us swap. We decide to just suck it up. So we headed off to the Christening and had a lovely afternoon. By 5.45pm Sophie had had enough. We bundle her in the car and headed back to our exceptionally small studio cabin. Of course, she falls asleep in the car, and I hadn’t given her her bottle. In hindsight I should have given her the bottle before we put her in the car. In hindsight I should have taken her pj’s with us and changed her before we put her in the car.
So I get her out of the car and she snuggles in for about 30 seconds then wakes up and wants her bottle. We change her, give her her bottle and put her to bed. But of course she doesn’t go to sleep. Did I mention we were in a tiny tiny studio cabin. So then hubby and I are wondering what the hell we are going to do. We hadn’t had dinner. It was freezing cold and very very dark, making sitting on the little front verandah not an option. So John ducks down to the local takeaway shop and brings back some questionable fish and chips.
While he was gone, Sophie screamed the house down. SCREAMED THE HOUSE DOWN. Overtired, away from her own bed, and in a room with a lamp on where she can still see her Mum and Dad; of course she wasn’t going to go to sleep.
After an hour, at the very early hour of 7.30pm John and I crawled into bed as well so we could turn all the lights off and try to get Sophie to sleep. At 8.30pm she started screaming again. About an hour later she started sneezing. And coughing. Oh yes I forgot to mention that all last week Sophie and I had been sick with colds. We’d had the heater on but stupidly turned it off. In hindsight we should have left it on.
At 2am I checked on Sophie all of 2 steps away because she’d been coughing a lot. She was frozen. So cold I nearly cried. I scooped her up and snuggled her into bed between hubby and I. Half an hour later she was finally warm and toasty and went back to sleep. Hubby started snoring and I of course layed there wide awake watching every little breath that Sophie took. Why were we here? Stuck in this tiny cabin, everyone sniffly and miserable and seriously overtired.
Why didn’t I stand up for us when the lady rang and TOLD me she had changed our accommodation. Why didn’t we just find another alternative. Why didn’t we think things through and just gone up for one night, for the party. In hindsight we were definitely being too ambitious.
Hindsight, hindsight, hindsight.
At 5.45am, the rain pouring down outside, Sophie started stirring and John and I looked at each other and knew what we had to do. We gave her a bottle and some breakfast, had a shower and then hot footed it outta there back home. We called our friends to let them know that sadly we wouldn’t make the party. New parents themselves, they completely understood. We left the cabin key in the key letterbox and phoned the tourist park when we got home, and left a message. They never phoned me back. We lost our second nights accommodation money, but we didn’t care. Getting Sophie home to have some sleep and getting her better was more important.
She slept for 2 hours that morning, 2.5 hours that afternoon and 12 hours that night. Our poor little girl was so ridiculously tired.
If hindsight and motherhood has taught me anything, it’s to be more selfish. Not selfish for me, but selfish for my baby and for my family. I will never again let someone walk all over me when I know deep down that I’m right and we can’t afford to compromise.
At the end of the day John and I are solely responsible for our little girl and we have to do what’s best for her. Even if that means pissing a few people off along the way.
Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing, and I’m sure I’ll utter those little words plenty more times in the years to come, more than I care to think about.