They say the number 7 is special. This guy calls it magical. God calls it holy. I call it INVIGORATING! You see, after 10 1/2 long, exhausting, sleep deprived months, Miss Squeals A Lot has decided to sleep through the night. For the last 7 nights she has slept from about 10pm until 8am. WHAT?! I know, it’s insane. Just 8 nights ago, I had accepted the fact that she was insistent on waking up an average of 2.758 times every night and I was coming to grips with the idea that this may be my life for the next 17 years. I was feeling grumpy, lunatic-ish, disheveled, blessed, needed and loved all at the same time…. but Oh. So. Tired. Can you feel me?
You should know that I have a deep love for sleep. It is among my favorite things. The Stud recently pointed out that it is often my physical source of comfort. After spending hours upon hours feeding people, picking up toys, changing diapers, and breaking up sibling disputes I just want to climb into my giant bed with my mountain of pillows and drift off to Mommy Wonderland… even if it is only 11am! Most of us moms don’t get to experience such wonderment in the early years of motherhood, but I hold on to the hope that one day those luxuries will return!
So 7 days ago I got a glimpse of uninterrupted sleep. My independent little girl decided to try out sleeping a whole night – all on her own accord. She somehow knew that while I love seeing her adorable little self at any hour, a rendezvous in the daylight would be just as precious… maybe even more! Of course, being cut from my cloth, she found the beauty in a good nights sleep. She was refreshed and ready to rock and roll that morning. And an added bonus – I had the gift of showering and brushing my teeth before getting her up, so ‘stinky mommy’ got the day off. Talk about feeling like a new woman – for both of us!
If you’ve ever had a child who didn’t sleep well, you know what I’m talking about. If you STILL have a child who doesn’t sleep well, you may want to punch me in the face. Please keep reading and know that you are not alone! While I have had 7 glorious nights with a sleeping beauty, it has been a long time coming. Cutie Pie has only been sleeping (consistently) through the night since December. She still wakes up once or twice a week crying for me. That’s 2 1/2 years of restless nights people. Two and a half years! The beauty in that is that there were times that I thought I may actually lose my mind and die from exhaustion – but I didn’t. There were nights when I cried like a baby because I couldn’t get the actual baby to stop crying. There were days where I fell asleep sitting up – in the middle of a conversation – because I had absolutely no ability to keep my eyeballs open. There were many nights where I fell asleep in the rocker and had a stiff neck for days to follow. There were nights where I put the diaper on backwards and once where I even forgot to put a fresh diaper on Cutie Pie! I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
All of those sleepless nights led me here. I’m still alive and most of my mental abilities are intact. AND mixed in with all the less appealing moments were the precious snuggles and coos, the sweet faces looking back at me in the moonlight, the extra prayers and quiet time with God, the quiet and peaceful bonding time that drew my girls and I closer. Mixed in with the enemies desire to exhaust and distract, were the beautiful blessings of God’s grace and love. I find that I have to caution myself from hoping for what’s to come in the future so I don’t miss out on what’s happening in the present. While I have longed for good sleep, I know that the day will come when my sweet snuggle babies will be throwing me a kiss (fingers crossed) and taking themselves to bed- a bed time song and story in the rocking chair will no longer be their hearts desire. I know that those tender moments in the quiet moonlight will one day vanish, and I’ll be grateful for the refreshed feeling of rest, but I will be sad to only have memories to cling to.
Hang in there Momma. Your day will come. Until then, enjoy the midnight moments with your wee one. Catch naps whenever you can. Ask for help when you need it. One day, your baby will be all grown up and sleeping through the night and you’ll be the one running in to check on them and sneak a quick snuggle.
Some Wise words from other Mommas: