You know how it feels when you’re in the middle of a parenting difficulty, and you look around you and all you see is hopelessness? Like nothing will ever change? Like the future is just a mirror image of the past?
For all that drama I just explained, let me tell you something : we had a breakthrough.
Ok, here’s some backstory. Micah was born perfect and healthy. I can’t complain there. He was such a joy to us from the moment he was born. But about two weeks in, Davy and I realized a harsh, harsh reality. Micah was one of those babies who Did. Not. Sleep. There wasn’t a reason – his needs were met, he wasn’t sick, and we did everything in our sleepless power to create routine and simulate womb sounds and be consistent. This was the child who, at five months, wouldn’t nap unless he was laying on top of me, and who dropped his naps completely at 2. This is the child who, at six months, still woke up an average of seven times a night. This was the child who never slept through the night until he was two years old and didn’t make that a habit until shortly after he turned three. I remember waking up from sleeping a solid five hours one night and feeling like a new woman.
Well, about three months ago Micah stopped climbing in our bed every night. Now he usually stands at our bedside and whispers loudly, “dad! Can you hold my hand?” Or “dad! Can you sing me a song?” To which Davy usually responds with the first three-ish lines of Jesus Loves the Little Children.
Ok, now back to our breakthrough. Last night Micah slept over at Davy’s sister’s house. He’s had sleepovers with Grammy, which is amazing, but she is, at his own admission, his favorite person in the world. So I was pretty unsure about how my sleepless wonder would do at Aunt Nana’s. Turns out, he did beautifully. Slept all night and didn’t even cry.
I know this post won’t strike a chord in everyone. But I wanted to write it and dedicate our wonderful sleeping breakthrough to those tired mamas who hear their baby wake again and wonder if it’ll ever end.
To you, exhausted mommy, who woke up when you were already halfway to your crying baby’s room,
To you, sleepless mommy, who’s baby won’t stay asleep after you lay them down, no matter how long you’ve rocked them,
To you, tired mommy, who nurses and changes and burps your baby and finally gets them to sleep again, only to realize another feeding should already be in 20 minutes,
To you, squished/punched/kicked/beaten mommy, who can’t seem to find alone time, even in your own bed,
To you, every mommy, who is simply worn out,
This, too, shall pass. Keep doing what your instincts as that precious baby’s mom tell you to do. It is so hard, but you are doing wonderfully.The love you pour into your individual child will come back as your reward.
I couldn’t help but see that vast valley of sleeplessness narrow as I told Micah when he got home how much I missed him. He hesitated and then said, “I missed you too, Mom, but I really had such a fun time away.”
Celebrate the small victories. They’re so worth it.