Middle of the night moments

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“I want my maaaamaaaa!”

I know I rolled over to look at the clock. I don’t remember what time it was. I know it was not the first time last night that she called out. I don’t remember which time it was.

I don’t want to get out of bed. I want to will her back to sleep from where I lay. My mind races to process what time it is and calculate the small amount of sleep I’ll clock tonight. It continues to race and process the effects that this will have on my day tomorrow.

My head hurts.

And then I swing my feet over the edge of the bed. As soon as they find the floor, I’m off. I walk into her room and I forget about sleep and how long tomorrow will feel.

She wants her mama. Her mama she will have.

~~~~~

“Place your baby in their crib while they are still awake.” they say.

“Encourage your baby to fall back to sleep on their own.”

“When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, don’t pick them up.” they warn.

We followed all of the rules. To the extreme. Sleep is so important to all of us, it seemed like the natural thing to do. But, for a while, I felt robot-like. Sleep was a business and nighttime was no-nonsense.

Looking back, I wish I’d spent more time cuddling her. I wish I’d spent more time soothing her on the nights she had trouble sleeping, rather than stressing over the REM time we were all skipping.

So now, I’m making up for lost time before the lost time keeps adding up.

~~~~~

I walk into her room and lift her out of her crib.

“What’s wrong, Baby?”

Her head rests on my shoulder. Her face nuzzles in my hair. She doesn’t answer me. But I know. Nothing is wrong now.

I settle into the big armchair next to her crib. Her head doesn’t move from my shoulder. She rests. I listen to her breath as she settles. She’s not sound asleep, but she’s on her way.

More and more often these days, my job as her mom is to encourage her to do things on her own. So that she’ll learn and be independent and explore. And I love that.

But sometimes, my job is still to soothe and to comfort. I love that too. And I’m so glad I didn’t completely miss out on moments like these.

 

8 Comments

  1. So sweet 🙂 I don’t have kids, but I know there is so much advice about sleep “training” etc, I don’t know how parents figure it all out. Sounds like you are doing best, and listening to your little one to figure it out.

  2. I noticed you stopped by Pink Shoes–thank-you! And this is a very sweet post. My daughter is right on the verge of being able to sleep in a big girl bed and it makes me wonder if I spent enough time enjoying the phase previous–those little moments in the middle of the night are really like nothing else.

    • You’re welcome! I love your blog! And I love your pink shoes story.

      Congrats on the upcoming move to the big girl bed! Funny how in the early days we can’t wait for the middle of the night moments to end but then they become such lovely memories.

  3. Sleep training never worked with my son either. He’s 2 1/2 now and there are still some nights that he calls out for me, but most of the time he sleeps through – although that didn’t really happen until he was 18 months old. Chronic ear infections kinda didn’t help much either. I read the books and online websites, talked to friends and relatives, and then just had to throw all that out the window and do what worked for us. After I did that it was easier since I wasn’t fighting his schedule. Still didn’t get a ton of sleep, but we were all more content while we were awake.

    I actually love the middle of the night cuddles – as long as they don’t happen too often 🙂

    • So sorry to hear about your son’s chronic ear infections. How awful! Different things work for different families – I’m glad you figured out what worked for you.

      And I’m with you on the cuddles – every so often they are lovely but every night would be exhausting!

  4. I can relate with this. My daughter is four mos and I’ve been terrified she will be damaged if I don’t sleep train her now. Like you, I just want to cuddle her as much as I can. Love your blog.

    • Thanks, Jeni!

      The sleep training thing is so tough. Do what feels right though and it all works out. Cuddles can be just as important as sleep!

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