We don’t have many of these nights left. These nights where I desperately want you to just. stay. asleep. These nights where your eyes pop wide open the second I set you in your crib.

The thought of being done with these nights forever is simultaneously relieving and heartbreaking.

We’ve been up together since 3 a.m. and I’m exhausted, but the only way you’ll sleep is in my arms.

So here I sit in your nursery that I spent months preparing. I think back to when I carefully painted each star on your walls, eagerly anticipating your arrival, making sure everything would be perfect for you.

Then, I daydreamed about what it would be like when you were here, and now, here we are. I know time goes fast because that somehow feels like a lifetime ago and just yesterday all at the same time.

Stars surround us, white noise permeates the room, and I can smell the lotion we rubbed into your skin before you went to bed. There’s a soft glow on your peaceful face from the night light, and all is right in the world.

Your dad tries to help, but you only want to sleep in my arms, so he brings me a coffee and goes back to bed. We’ll trade off later, and he’ll let me get a nap in while he plays with you.

So here I sit, tired and frustrated, yet head over heels in love with you, and I can’t deny your longing for the comfort of your mother’s arms. Right now, it’s just you and me in the stillness of the night. Nobody else is here, and nothing else matters. We’re enveloped in the peace and quiet of the early morning.

These nights are trying, but I don’t have many of them left.

All too soon, you’ll be out of your crib and into a big girl bed. You’ll be begging me to let you sleep over at your best friend’s house.

Maybe some nights when you’re a teenager, you’ll walk into my room with groggy eyes and ask to sleep in my bed. I’ll think back fondly to these nights that I held you, and I’ll get one last taste of snuggling my sweet baby.

They say the years fly by, so I know it won’t be long until you’ll be walking out of my door forever, never to snuggle up with me in the middle of the night again.

So tonight, I’ll cherish every precious moment that I get to hold you because we don’t have many of these nights left.

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Alicia Betz

Alicia is a freelance writer and former teacher. She specializes in parenting, education, and pets. She has a bachelor's and master's in education and also runs a freelance writing business. You can usually find her hiking, working out, going to the movies, or writing with a napping toddler on her lap.