22 January 2014

03|52



After a long, sleepless night in November, I made a joke on my Facebook that chronic sleep deprivation and mom guilt would be the death of me. And that statement might still hold true, but what a friend of mine said in response has stuck with me since then. She made a good point about the importance of self-care, and then she said,

"What would it be like to wake up every day to a mom who was totally happy?"

I think sleep deprivation has be the single hardest thing for me in the this whole mom-gig. I have never been drunk, but I imagine it feels a lot like I do when I am tired. I am sloppy and whiney and clumsy. My muscles are stiff and my bones feel arthritic. My eyelids feel like they are one-thousand pounds. I am basically useless. I will rock Ana with desperation. My eyes closed begging the heavens for just a little sleep. Or a lot of sleep, if we're being honest.

I had somewhat acclimated to this chronic fatigue, but then she learned to sleep through the night. Recently, though, she forgot how to sleep again when her teeth decided to grow. 

So, here I am again. 

Tired.

I have made a point to remember the words of my friend this go-around, though. I make it a priority to take care of myself, too.



Almost every morning lately, after nights of seeing just about every hour on the clock, I wake up with the sun and my girl. She is talking to herself in her crib. I greet her through the slits of my puffy eyes, and she smiles wildy; so thrilled to see me again. As if we hadn't just spent the night with one another. I open the blinds to let the sun pour in, and we say hello to the baby in the mirror. Then, we nurse. Afterward, I put her in her high chair with a few toys in front of her. Sometimes a cold washcloth for her sore gums. I put a record in the turntable or start spotify to play while I cook myself breakfast - an attempt to make myself feel more human. I make an egg with fried tomatoes and fresh avocado, usually. She fixates on the colored toys, working hard to grasp them and pull them into her mouth. One by one. Curling her toes as she focuses. Tossing each toy on the floor after she is done with them. Sometimes throwing them with vigor. I study the notches in her elbows and knuckles, and laugh at her fluffy mohawk, and the way her eyes cross when she brings her toys closer to her face. I sing along to the music for her. I feel her gaze on me, and I look back at her and spin and dance on the kitchen tile, despite my exhaustion. I give her a good, obnoxious show because I know she loves it. Her mouth always falls open into a massive oval smile. The one that makes her look identical to her father. And I tell her I love her a million and one times.

We eat, and play, and clean together until it is time for her to nap. I rock her with just as much desperation, but instead of closing my eyes, I look into hers, and I talk to her. I rub my nose against her nose, and kiss her forehead until she drifts off. 

And then I nap, too. 




I cannot say I do not struggle with the sleeplessness, still, but I am really trying. I want to greet each day with that same enthusiasm she greets me with after being up in the night. I want to start her mornings (and mine too) with optimism and joy.

I want her to wake up every day to a mom who is totally happy. 

So here I will be, trying day by day, to be just that. Even if it kills me.

19 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. I'm almost 18 weeks pregnant with my first but very long awaited and prayed for baby and sometimes I still get nervous about the hard moments ahead. Thanks for the post. I'm going to write that quote down somewhere so I can remember it when I really need it (especially in about 25 weeks time!)

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  2. Mmmm. I remember those days of being SO tired with the heavy eyelids and desperate feelings. *hug* It's so hard. My boys are six and four now and I've been getting full night sleeps for a couple years! It's much better. Does that make you feel any better? I hope so. I know it's a long time to wait. Just have courage and enjoy those baby nursing cuddles as much as you can. I do miss that. :)

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  3. She is adorable! I will pray that God gives you the strength to get through these sleepless nights <3

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  4. I read your post last night before I headed in for bed. This morning I woke up thinking about your friends response:
    "What would it be like to wake up every day to a mom who was totally happy?"

    I too am going to try to start our days off with a little dance and giggle. There have been so many times I have been just extremely exhausted and feel so crabby. But when you sit back and think about it... Starting off your day with someone who is a crab apple is not really the best feeling in the world.

    So here is to happy mornings!!

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  5. Wow, what a powerful post. I wish I could say that I woke up each morning totally happy. It looks like I have a new goal to set for the year! Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  6. So beautiful and true! Tired is a state of being for us now, but there's only so many mornings and days and nights when they'll let you rock them and nuzzle their noses! I try to remind myself of that often :) I love reading your words and seeing your beautiful pictures!

    rockysmodernlife@blogspot.com

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  7. This kills me. I've never thought about it like that. My son wakes up so bright and happy and I wonder how he does it. How he wakes up so rested after screaming a few times during the night. You've made me wonder how I too can wake up with the same enthusiasm, and the only idea I've got is mind over matter. I've got to ignore the aching in my gut that begs for more sleep and just strap a smile to my face and force myself to pop out of bed. It will be a fake smile at first, and then after a while I have faith it will become a genuine smile, that I will one day truly wake up just as happy as my boy.

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  8. Such a beautiful girl. My daughter was two months old yesterday and I was just thinking earlier about how I would describe the tiredness to someone. When I think of the 2am feeds and changes it is such a haze. I could never attempt to do something new whilst in that state, the beauty of changing nappies or breastfeeding at this time is that I know what to do so that I can do it whilst half asleep.

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  9. Totally needed to read this today...I`m a momma of two under two and the sleep thing is getting me good...So loved this...
    t @ Happy Soul Project

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  10. beautiful post, my son is nearly 10 now, its been a long time since i struggled through nights of little to no sleep. its when they smile and laugh that makes you realise that sleepless nights are worth it :)

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  11. I love the way you wrote this. I often feel the same way when waking up with my daughter but it is true that they are so happy to see us in the morning that we should meet their enthusiasm :)

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  12. thank you thank you thank you. I have three kids. my youngest is almost 8 months and has yet to sleep through the night. Admittedly, I have not been the happiest mommy on the block for quite some time. We all do what we can to make it through each day. Perhaps my efforts ought to be a little more concerted.

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  13. This is such a great read (I'm reading this after one of my newborn's worst night sleeping in record. It's so important to remember they aren't doing it to be vindictive.

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  14. This was a beautiful entry. You're little one is beautiful and I can see that you're a wonderful mother.

    http://faithpregnancyandfamily.blogspot.com/

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  15. I'm expecting my first baby due this July and have found your words about motherhood to be so beautiful and challenging. It's good to see the balance in your writing---that even though motherhood is incredibly hard, it's also incredibly beautiful. --Kari

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  16. Sleep deprivation has definitely been the hardest part of motherhood for me. Some people (like my boyfriend) cope better with little or broken sleep. I, unfortunately am not one of those. A lovely post. :)

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  17. I wish I had half the talent you do with words. I feel like this too but lack the ability to say it so beautifully.

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  18. I highly recommend a Baltic amber necklace for teething.

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