Tag Archives: nighttime parenting

Groaning in the cold, dark

I lay in bed and the world around me is silent except for the sounds of life, resting.

A few feet away I hear tiny baby breaths and sighs. Next to me I hear heavy and rythmic husband breaths and sighs. And through the open internal door to the next room I hear toddler breaths and sighs.

We share rooms and a heater between the four of us.

Everyone sleeps but me.

Moments later baby stirs. I lay still, barely breathing, hoping he will not wake.

He rolls over. Back asleep.

I sigh with relief just as he stirs again, this time waking with an abrupt cry.

It sounds angry.

After eight months I wonder when he will ever sleep through the night. Except for a few nights he regularly wakes up all throughout the night. Sometimes every two hours, leaving me with four or five or sometimes six hours of sleep, usually broken into several chunks.

I groan and move, not wanting to face the cold night air.

No one said parenting would be easy.

I pull him into bed with me and nurse, nurse, nurse. Wondering how long I can continue on interrupted sleep (and insomnia in between).

I remember that mothers all over the world and all throughout time have done as I’m doing.

Strength.

The days are long but the years are short so I don’t want to waste this time being anxious about the dark hours.

And yet I’m so tired. So, so tired.

I remind myself that this time last year I was about to find out that his life might not be what we thought or expected. And now him being here with us, just like he is – healthy, perfect – is a miracle. Surely I can find the grace for one more night.

And perhaps tomorrow night too.

But my goodness, I’m so tired.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you cope with less-than-ideal seasons of sleep?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby?

I’ve sometimes wondered…

Do I love my babies too much?

Do I hold them too much?

Do I think about them too much?

Do I talk about them too much?

Do I dream about them too much?

Do I look at them too much?

How much is “too much”?

But then I think about God –  The way he looks at me, thinks of me (so many thoughts), pursues me. The way he loves me.

I’m pretty sure I’m always on his mind.

I’m pretty sure that I’m his favorite.

I’m pretty sure that his heart wells up with pride as he talks about me whenever given the chance.

(Sort-of like he does with you, too.)

And if my role as a parent is to reflect the heart of God to my children…

Then perhaps there’s no such thing as loving and hugging and holding and thinking and dreaming and kissing and snuggling and caring and nurturing too much.

After all, my “too much” is woefully less than His “enough”.

I’m so glad He holds and hugs my children with me.

Our love, together, is complete. (And it’s soooo not too much.)

STOP.

 

Q for you: You know, I really do try to not write about parenting or motherhood too much on this wee blog since that’s what the other one is for… But sometimes I just can’t help myself. When I took that photo today it made my heart well up with this I-love-my-baby-so-much-I-don’t-want-to-even-put-him-down-when-he’s-sleeping kind of warm fuzzies. And even now, at midnight, after he’s been up several times already tonight with teething pain… I think to myself: I’ll never be able to hold him and comfort him and nurture him “too much”. Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby? Not a child, a baby? (Clearly, I do not but you are free to disagree.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Thoughts on nighttime parenting and being hypocritical

Lately I’ve been feeling like I have a newborn again.

Judah is now over four months old, and only a couple of weeks ago he was sleeping through the night fairly consistently. (We’re talking from 7pm to 6 or 7am. Wow. It was grand while it lasted.)

But the problem with babies sleeping through the night, is that once they do… you expect them to continue.

And now (the last week or two) he’s been up several times a night.

Could be teething, could be a growth spurt, could be a developmental leap, could be a number of thngs or all of hte above.

Who knows.

Whatever it is, it’s making me tired!

And when it’s hte middle of hte night and I’m dead-tired, I usually respond in a with a groan and my thoughts in a haze. I mechanically get up and feed him and go through the motions of what I’m “supposed” to do.

But then I think about it in the morning and realize that how I parent him at night is reflective of how I parent him in general.

And I don’t want to be a parent that just goes thorugh the motions… even if that is just at night. (Isn’t that being hypocritical? Ugh.)

You see, when I come to God, there is no time that’s inconvenient. No time that I bother him. No time that he’s put out by my coming (or questioning or whatever-ing).

And I want to parent my children like God parents me.

So I think about judah, awake int eh night…

Am I inconvenienced? Am I bothered? Am I grumpy about it?

Often, the answer is “yes”.

But I don’t want to be.

I want to be a parent to him like God is to me.

(Sacrificial, generous, grace-giving, expecting hte best.)

So I’m working on changing my attitude, changing my perspective… my nighttime perspective.

It’s not easy, but I know it’s right.

And right is better than easy.

STOP.

Q for you: If you are a parent, have you thought much about your nighttime parenting? Does it represent you well? Or are you a different parent during the night than you are during the day?

Love,
A

p.s. Just for the record, I went a little over time today! Like… maybe a minute. (Keepin’ it real, folks. Keepin’ it real.)

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.