Just as I suspected would happen, mum got the date of her operation through yesterday - the first day I was here in Holland with the kids. I was due to go back on Saturday evening with them, but she's going to be operated on on Monday, and I wasn't quite sure I would make it back on time. And even if I had taken them back myself, the travelling would wear me out so much that you would have been able to put me in a hospital bed too on Monday... So now J. is coming over on Saturday and is using my ticket for Saturday night to take the kids back to Britain, and I can stay on in Holland.
Mum's now getting quite ill, although I'm not sure part of it may be nerves - we met up with one of the nurses from the ward she'll be staying on, and had lots of info about her operation, which is more complex than either of us had anticipated.
In the meantime I'm also trying to deal with a very upset and anxious I. who's not coping well at all - I'm not sure I am coping well with her either!