My son is 5 months and still wakes up every 2 hours during the night.
How many other moms are just shrugging their shoulders and saying, yeah, same here. This is just part of the mom role. We wake and sleep on baby's schedule. We keep our eyes open with mug after mug of coffee and try not to wish away these days of enjoying our sweet babes while they are little. Sometimes that is hard because sleep is always a better fuel for getting thru the day then coffee. Sleep helps with brain fog and anxiety. Sleep helps with cycles and routines. Sleep is God's gift of refreshment. It can be hard not to long for the coming months to fast forward to the time when baby sleeps thru the night. It can be hard to really embrace the here and now with this little one. But if we can, it is such a gift. I am amazed that despite my lack of sleep, I have felt no bitterness towards my son. I love that he loves to snuggle! Every time he settles and calms when I pick him up, it strengthens my resolve to love him in the way that he needs love most, even if it is 5 times during the night!
My husband and I talk often about our little nugget's waking/sleep schedule. We try to figure out if there are ways we can help him sleep better at night. But in the end it all boils down to the unchangeable fact that when he wakes up, in his mind what he needs more then sleep, is to be held. As soon as we hold him he settles. That is a gift, I know! (I know many babies do not settle, we had one that would cry almost 20 minutes, nothing we did helped, it was terrible.) We continue to work at getting our littlest one on a sleep schedule, but at the same time we decided if snuggles is what he needs, then by God's grace, we can give snuggles and nurture, and do it with love.
I recently just finished reading, for the 4th time, "Loving the little years, Motherhood in the Trenches" by Rachel Jankovic. It was such a good reminder of the importance of this stage and encouraging as well. I know that by snuggling my babes when they call, it teaches them trust. It strengthens their ability to bond. And I am helping them learn to cope and regulate themselves. As they grow, trust and the ability to bond and self regulate, are HUGE. It is a gift to be able to offer that, but it's really easy to loose sight of it's importance. Especially if you are loving more then just one child at a time.
Currently at my house we home-school our two oldest, and there are 6 kids all together. Crazy, right? Since bringing our youngest home, life has looked different. I'm almost always a bit sleepy, a bit closer to the edge of frustration, and a bit closer to overwhelm. We've had to change somethings up. Like we now have a helper coming in every morning to help with household chores or school. I am only one person, and at times due to lack of sleep I don't even feel like a fully functioning person! It has been such a blessing to have help come in. It lifts a load off of me and I am able to be more relaxed and love my children with more energy then if I was trying to do it all on my own. I know not every mom can get help, I wish she could.
If you are at a place in your life to offer help to a busy mom, do it! You can take a meal, or a gift card to Subway, meet up at the park and chase after the toddlers for her, buy her a cup of coffee, sweep her floors, wash her dishes, offer to babysit so she can run errands, and most importantly pray for her! I have been so blessed by all the people who have and are praying for our family. I have been able to adjust to the sleepless nights and am amazed at how well I am able to function without good sleep. I feel many days that I am not functioning on my own strength but rather being carried by the prayers of friends and family.
Sleepless Mom, I raise my cup of coffee to you. And I remind you and myself that we are in a season and it will not last! And I challenge us sleepy moms to push thru the fatigue and love our children well, because that does have lasting impact. My prayer is that it would be good!
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I am a Lancaster Pa lifestyle baby photographer capture organic emotions in the everyday living because the days are long but the years fly.