Not sleeping much is hard on the body. It's even harder on the mind.
Every night as I climb into bed, I have a moment of insanity where I allow myself to think, "What if tonight's the night? What if, by some crazy chance, he just miraculously starts sleeping through the night? I'll fall asleep now, la la la, and when I awaken, I'll stretch and yawn and say, My that felt good! And I'll look at the clock and - whatdya know?! - it will be 7am."
I think that same exact thought every single night. Sometimes I say it out loud to Adam and he'll laugh and say, "Yep. That'd be awesome."
And, every single night, I hear him cry within 30 minutes of that thought. I sigh, my wish dashed to pieces. And then I hear him cry again a few hours later. And again a few hours after that.
"Nope," I think. "Didn't happen tonight....oh well, what else can I do but just keep pushing forward?" So I groggily get out of bed and take care of my far-too-happy-for-morning baby, his gummy, open smile just daring me not to smile back at him. I always do, and, for the moment, my tiredness is forgotten. If I can, I'll take a morning nap with him. If not, I just zombie my way through the day, until night comes again.
Just like I thought my body would be completely healed by 6 weeks, I thought I'd be sleeping by 6 months. Neither of them happened, and the only solution I've found is time.
I was talking to someone else in a similar situation with their baby. She said something along the lines of: "It's like morning sickness all over again. I'm just waiting for it to pass. I wish I was enjoying this time more but it's hard."
She's right; it is really hard. Every age and stage comes with it's own joys and challenges, and it doesn't really get easier (well, it does get easier than the first 4 weeks with a newborn. Nothing is quite like that) but it just gets different.
Awhile ago, a friend shared this article with me. It's written by a mom of three (four?) kids, and she starts the article off by talking about the little old ladies at the store who always tell us Moms to enjoy every minute of this time, because it just goes by so fast! The author writes that thinking that way just gives her anxiety, it makes her feel like maybe she's doing something wrong if she's not enjoying every second of parenthood. Instead, she likes to cherish her Kairos moments.
She says there are two different types of time: Chronos, which is the time we live in, "the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in." Then there is Kairos time, the metaphysical time outside of this world...it's God's time - "Those magical moments where time stands still." These are the moments she cherishes.
I loved this article because, it's true, people expect Moms to be happy 100% of the time, to live in each moment, to soak up every memory. Well, the truth is, I don't want to remember every second of Axton's life. I don't want to remember the hours he's screamed, the tears he's shed, the tears I've shed, the countless hours of sleep lost to the night. I don't think it's fair that I'm expected to enjoy the hard stuff. Sure, I'll get through the hard stuff, but don't expect me to like it.
An older gentlemen asked me how parenthood was treating me - he asked what everyone else expects to be true: "Are you just loving every minute?" I was honest with him, because I have that type of relationship with him.
"You know," I said, "I don't love every minute." He raised his eyebrows at me and I continued, "I absolutely, one-hundred percent, with every fiber of my being, LOVE the many, many lovable things about parenting." I paused, letting that soak in. I shrugged my shoulders and looked right in his eyes, "And I don't the things that aren't." He pressed his lips together and nodded his head slowly. "I think that's fair," I said, and he agreed.
There is nothing in this universe that will ever compare to being a parent, and I cherish the opportunity I have to be one. I often reflect on Chronos and Kairos, and if I've been living in too much Chronos time, then I try to stop everything and really look at my son (this typically happens when he's sleeping). Kairos balances things out for me.
Today I had a Kairos moment - one that seemed a little more sacred than normal. In fact, it wasn't just that I was living in Kairos time, God's time, I was actually hearing God' voice. I was rocking Axton to sleep for his nap, and I had just started singing Silent Night. I ran my fingers over his nose and cheeks and stared into his eyes, and my mind drifted to a time in the future - a time when Axton would be singing Silent Night to me. Perhaps it was a school concert, and his dad and I were in the audience. We, of course, were so proud of him, the goofy blonde-haired boy singing up on stage. Thinking about Axton as an elementary-aged boy......Right then, I got so emotional I had to stop singing. And that's when I heard a voice in my mind telling me, "There is so much more joy to come from him. Be patient with him right now, you will see."
I needed to hear that, and God knew I did. He knows I am tired, He knows I am trying to do my best. Axton already brings us so much joy, and I needed the reminder that the joy I feel now will only continue to grow as he does. He will bring so much more light and love into my life than I could ever have thought possible - so I just need to be patient through these sacrifices I'm making now. They are small and insignificant compared to the happiness he does and will bring to me.
2 years ago