Sleep, a theme from Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
“Does she sleep through the night?” this is one of the first questions all parents get when they have babies. At first you nervously giggle and look around. “um.. no..not quite” that question sticks with you. Later that night as you’re awake feeding and changing a baby for the 100th time that night you wonder if all the other babies are sleeping yet (they aren’t) Should yours be? Are you failing at parenting already? What if they never sleep through the night? What if you never sleep through the night? These questions start to haunt you.
Of course us been there/done that moms don’t seem worried when it comes to second plus babies. Why? Because we know. We know there will come a time when they’ll sleep through the night. When they won’t wake and look for you. Even later on when they won’t want just one more story or cuddle. When they happily go up to bed on their own. That one day you’ll read them their last bedtime story, or that it will be the last night they hop in your bed for a cuddle, or the last time they wake in the night reaching for you. Only the kicker is you won’t know it’s the last time, so you won’t know to take it all in to memory. No matter how many kids you have it just hits you one day that it’s been a while since your little has woken up looking for you. And it makes you a little sad. (Yes, really)
Last week when we were all sick Lady Girl crawled in our bed. It’s been a long time since I’ve found her there. I got to stroke her hair while she slept and it was bittersweet. I missed having her crawl into our bed, knowing I’d wake up at 2am and she’d be there, no matter when or where she fell asleep the night before. Little Miss was also up more often than normal. While she was sick she had zero appetite, so of course she was nursing like a newborn, which means she wanted to nurse almost all night (one night I saw every hour on the clock) at the time I was so done. I needed sleep that wasn’t constantly broken up. But now that she’s back to her normal routine and not waking up as often for night nursing I find I’m missing it again.
I don’t want to be that mom. The one telling you to enjoy it in the moment because you’ll miss it, because I know that in the moment of sleeplessness it’s really hard to enjoy it. It’s really hard to remember that one day you will miss it. You have every single right to dislike it in the moment. I just want you to know that as much as you don’t think there’s an end in sight, there is one there somewhere. And it will hit you hard when it happens.