April 26, 2013

Motherhood and Sleep

I had a good chuckle the other day reading this piece about new mothers and sleep.
It brought me back to the days when Kenadie was a colicky infant who never slept.  I was so tired and so frustrated.  I read so many books and tried so many different methods to get her to sleep better.  Eventually we settled into a decent sleep schedule that worked for us, and then Lila was born and the pattern repeated itself (minus the colic).   
I used to tell myself that once the newborn stage was over and I could just get my babies sleeping through the night that I would once again regain my glorious 8 hour stretches of uninterrupted sleep.
However, as I have grown into motherhood I have come to realize something: while babies eventually do sleep for longer than 2 hour intervals, a mother never really does get her "pre-kids sleep" back.  
Even though my kids are pretty good sleepers, I'm usually getting up once, twice, or four times a night: Kenadie needs to go to the bathroom, Lila wakes up screaming from a night terror, one or both of the girls are sick, one or both of the girls want a drink of water.  
Last night it was a combination of soothing Lila's bad dreams and frequently applying drops to Kenadie's swollen and crusty pink eyes.  
I think I got a combination of 45 minutes of sleep between 4-8am when I finally pulled my bones out of bed for the morning.

I have come to accept what most moms of every age and stage in motherhood have told me: If you aren't up with a newborn, a teething baby, or a sick child, then you're probably up worrying about your teenager and her schoolwork/activities/friends/choices/etc.
You just don't sleep until they're grown and out of the house.
And you know what?
I have become okay with that.
I have (for the most part) let go of my frustration over getting up at night with my girls.
Because they are so precious and are already growing up way too fast.
Did I not just bring Lila home from the hospital a few months ago and now she's almost two??
And I can only imagine that life's speed will only keep accelerating at an exponential rate.
Not to mention this tear-jerker-of-a-video I saw the other day:

What a wonderful time of life the child-rearing years are.
I miss my sleep.  I really, really do.
 But I have a hunch that I will one day really miss being able to comfort my sick/scared/thirsty children in the middle of the night,
the kind of comfort that only a mommy can give.

After a long night applying drops to Kenadie's eyes, I finally crashed for 20 minutes before Garrett woke me up taking this picture. :)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...