Well just when you think you’ve got this whole motherhood thing figured out for like, a real hot second, your baby’s radar sounds and they throw you for another loop.
Little J man wasn’t a good sleeper since the very beginning. “Sleep when he sleeps” they said. “Oh he’ll fall asleep in the car, all babies love that” they said. “Enjoy your time now while he’ll sleep anywhere” they said. Well THEY don’t know my baby. I would have never thought sleep would be one of the biggest struggles I would encounter. Sure, I knew life with a newborn would be sleepless, but I didn’t know it would lead to so much emotional and physical exhaustion to the near point of mental break down. We’re talking put me in a padded room type exhaustion at times. My husband would fully agree that lack of sleep does not agree with me. It’s also come to reveal a part of me I need to work on. Patience.
I’ve always been a night owl as long as I can remember. I was always the last one awake at every sleepover. In fact, in the entire 5 years we’ve been married I’ve fallen asleep maybe 5 times before Logan. But who’s counting. It’s hard to compete with someone who can fall asleep sitting up. Anyway, back to the point. I honestly thought the whole sleep deprivation thing wouldn’t hit me so hard because I’m used to going to bed late and not sleeping very well. WRONG. Oh so very, very wrong my friends.
James for one would never sleep unswaddled. Like most newborns, he needed to be swaddled to sleep, but he fought it like a ninja since day one. They need to make baby straight jackets. Just kidding, that would be wrong. But seriously. He never fell asleep on his back basically ever. He woke up everytime he was put down. He never slept soundly even when he was sleeping, he grunted, snorted, squealed, and made many non-newborn like sounds. He never slept in the car, or his carseat for that matter. Even when he fell asleep a tiny noise would wake him up. Then he started waking every hour in the night. I’m telling ya, this kid would not sleep. Still doesn’t like to, but he’s better, MUCH better.
The reason I’m writing about sleep is because J Man had me up with him from 3-5:30am. I went to bed close to midnight after feeding him, pumping, and showering. Woke up with him at 3 and he basically wanted to have an early morning party sesh, but I was like, “uh, no son, totally not cool lets go back to bed” and he was like “no mom, you’re boring, who needs sleep?” So there you have it. I was heading back to bed at 5:30 when I couldn’t ignore the lump in my boob any longer and knew I needed to pump. So pumped I did, goodbye sleep, see you in like 19 hours. I’m going to be dreaming of my rendezvous with my pillow all day (but probably not until like midnight, again).
Being up last night just brought me to realize how far we’ve come since those first days and weeks. J man is only 5 months, but I have to give him credit. He likes sleep a (little) more now. We’ve had a regression, so we aren’t sleeping through the night most nights anymore. But, we’ve come a loooooong way from being up every hour and I’m a lot more sane than I used to be (at least I’d like to think). The hardest part about motherhood and being a parent is to have absolutely no clue what you’re doing. I used to hear people say that before having a kid. I thought, well how could you not know? All a baby needs is food, a clean diaper, to be held, and they just sleep when they want to sleep. HAH. Hear that? That’s me laughing at my pre-kid self.
Not knowing what to do is the hardest. Sure I know he needs to eat but when he’s eaten and still awake at night after I’ve changed his diaper and tried to soothe him by patting him, or rocking him, even feeding him again, then how do you know what to do? Is he not feeling well? Does his stomach hurt? Does he have gas? Could it be his teeth? Is he teething right now? Is he too hot? Is he too cold? Did he not nap enough or did he nap too little? Is he really still hungry? But he can’t be! Do I need to just let him cry? Maybe. Maybe he needs to learn it’s sleep time and he needs to go back to sleep because everything else isn’t working. Am I a bad mom for letting him cry? Is he going to hate me? What if I’m ruining him for life? He’s going to grow up to have abandonment issues? Should I just turn the lights on and play with him? No, we need it to be dark because he needs to know it’s still bed time. I’m so tired, I hear him but I just want 5 more minutes! But should I be rocking him because he’s only this little once and I should be enjoying it? Who enjoys no sleep?! But I’m so tired….maybe he’s hungry?
That. That is what it is like to be a mother who doesn’t know what she’s doing. That’s me! I’d like to think I do, but really, none of us do. So those Instagram moms out there with your perfectly baked muffins, gourmet dinners, clean, cutesy, craftiness…I’m just over here like, #cerealfordinner? I have one kid. ONE. And I have dishes in the sink, pots and pans on the stove from dinner last night. I mean, there are days I get everything done and feel like supermom, and then there are nights and days like today where it’s just #survivalyall, and I know every mom can relate to that!
On a positive note, I got to drink hot coffee this morning while reading my Bible.
Now I get to go see this cute face as he wakes up.
I’ll leave you with some scripture that spoke to my heart this morning.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves if the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
We wake up and choose who to serve. Give way to sin or obedience to Christ? The latter of the two is much more difficult, but much more rewarding!
Happy Thursday y’all!