Do you remember the last time you slept for more than four hours in a row?
As moms, we are often the last ones to go to bed and the first ones to wake up. We’re up at random times through the night to feed and care for our newborns.
And don’t forget about the monsters we need to vanquish under our toddler’s bed and in his closet.
There are also the quiet knocks on our bedroom door from our little girl asking if you can put the blankets back on her bed, and the late-night conversations our teenagers want to have—only at midnight.
And although you want nothing more than to lay your head on your pillow and simply sleep, I promise you’ll sleep again.
You see, the nights are long but the weeks you have with your children go so quickly.
Over time, you’ll find your baby growing and not needing to be fed and burped every five seconds. Your toddler will either ignore the monsters, decide they aren’t real or have his imaginary friend stand guard outside the closet door.
Your teenagers will leave home and your children eventually learn how to take care of themselves.
In short, these moments go so quickly, and you’ll soon find yourself waking up at random times during the night wondering why you can’t go back to sleep.
There have been three things that have helped me during these restless nights of no sleep. I want to share them with you in hopes they’ll help you too.
One thing that has helped me during these difficult nights of constant demands and feeling like I’m living the late-night life of a rockstar (minus the paparazzi – heaven knows no one wants to see my mom hair at 2:17 a.m.), is to quietly hum.
I found when I hum a favorite song while I care for the children, (especially when they’re crying, and I find that my eyes are hurting from being constantly awake), that the music is relaxing and calming to both me and my children.
In turn, the soft songs help me go back to sleep when it’s time for bed again.
I know you want your children to sleep (or to magically have a fairy nanny come and care for them), but when you think about it, you’re the only person in the world your children want. You are their source of comfort, of safety, and of peace.
And you need to remember that you’re doing a great job being your children’s mother.
3. Don’t feel guilty
I remember a time when our youngest was a newborn and I was trying to teach my daughter to read a few basic words. She picked out a book, had us sit on the couch and about three pages of this book my words started slurring and I was out cold.
I woke to my daughter telling her toddler brother, “Mommy really should stop staying up so late at night. I wonder what she does that’s so important.”
There have been more occasions when I’ve fallen asleep randomly on a warm afternoon sitting on the couch while reading a book. If you find yourself doing the same, don’t feel guilty because you’re always doing and giving your best to your family.
Hang in there momma, I promise sleep will come again (and for longer than four hours, too). In the meantime, enjoy these crazy sleep-deprived moments because they go so quickly.