This Is A Season - Guest Blogger Annie Lawton
Annie brings to us her blog on the harder side of being a mom and how to look at those long sleepless nights as a blessing. Check out more of annies blog at www.grownupglamour.net
I can count the number of times my 13 month old has slept through the night on one hand.
In his entire little life it's been no more than four.
Four long, precious nights of sleep where I'm still up around the clock, totally baffled, counting his breaths and checking consciousness.
Last night was one of those nights.
For whatever reason he slept eleven and a half beautiful hours.
Let's stop for a second while I take that in.
Okay. Moving on.
I slept six.
With a restless little one in my house and a baby on my bladder, six straight hours of shut eye is a major win.
When he did wake up - bright and early with the roosters - I rushed into his room bright eyed and bushy tailed.
He stretched up his arms and I whisked him out of his crib, wrapped his legs over my belly and carried him into my bed. A place he's spent many uninvited nights.
He rubbed his eyes, grabbed his blankie with one hand and put his other tiny, warm hand on my cheek. Eyes closed, he rolled towards me and went straight back to sleep.
And I just watched him.
Over the last 390 days we've spent alot of time awake while under the moon and the stars.
I've spent a lot of time with dark circles under my eyes. Coffee in my cup. Pacing my hallways. Rolling my eyes at my monitor. Cursing under my breath. Wearing jammies as acceptable attire. Kissing my sweet boy's head. And as exhausted and quite honestly tortured I've been, it's partly been one giant blessing.
I'm in a season of life where sleep is rare. Where some days my patience runs thin. I'm also in a season of life where my little person needs me for only innocent things. As his mom he'll always need me... but he'll never need me like this.
For now, while we're spending too much time together between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., he's safe and he is mine.
Maybe one day when I'm old and frail he'll tuck me under a blankie and once again place his hand on my cheek - but between then and now, they'll be years of tantrums, teenage angst, and unknowns. He'll be needing me for things much more complicated than a rub on the back to get back to sleep.
While I only feel eternally grateful for all those long nights after a six hour block of sleep, I know my boy will continue to grow and have these nights more often - and I know if I miss them after one peaceful rest, I'll miss them more when they never happen again.
So to the parents watching the sunrise with a cold coffee in their cup. To the ones rocking their baby under the glimmer of the moon. Hang in and hang on. It's a season. Some days it's exhausting. Some days it's torture. But as parents we didn't sign up for an easy ride. We signed up to love and to be loved. When your baby smiles at you with that "I'm not going back to sleep" glimmer in their eye at 2 a.m or your toddler jumps into your bed at 5 a.m screaming "MOMMMMYYY" - that's exactly what we are. We're annoyed... but we're so very loved.