The other night my son fell asleep while nursing in my lap at his normal time. I followed suit a few hours later, about 11:00pm, with the help of my hubby who gently attempted to transfer my lil Bulldog from my lap, to his chest, and finally to his sidecar crib. Only this night was different. Lil Bulldog was restless and stirred at every attempt at “hug and roll” (sorry for the Friends reference).
By the time I brushed my teeth and crawled into bed, he was all but awake. I nursed, sang, nursed, patted, and nursed while he fussed, climbed, and bit me!
Eventually, my husband gave it a go. He bounced, walked, and rocked for an hour, but to no avail.
I felt my temper rising as he, exhausted, climbed back into bed and passed Lil Bulldog back to me. I again nursed, patted, and sang through gritted teeth while he climbed over my head sticking his toe in my ear and pulling my hair.
Around 1 am, I snapped. I got out of bed and locked myself in the bathroom, telling myself “He’s only one. He wants to play. He doesn’t mean to enrage every cell in my sleep deprived body.” I counted to 10 and resolved to just give up on sleeping and let him play.
I abandoned my bathroom safe-haven and took my lil Bulldog to the living room to “play it out”.
As we played in the peaceful moonlit room, I realized that this was the 1st time I could remember playing one on one with my son (a heartbreaking moment that provided me with resolve and energy to survive the next few hours). There are so many distractions during the daylight hours…cooking, cleaning, breastfeeding, phone calls, email, breastfeeding, dance class, tea parties, tv, breastfeeding, blogging, jealous sister tantrums, errands, appointments, Facebook, breastfeeding, laundry, Candy Crush Saga…breastfeeding.
Sure, we get a lot of quality time together nursing, but there is a difference between snuggle giggles and “look what it can do!” giggles.
In the moonlight, my son had 100% of my attention. We played ball, trucks, swords, race around the sofa, and roaring tigers. Was I tired? Yes, but I am grateful for our playtime and for my realization.
As I finally nursed him to sleep around 3 am, I kissed his sweet little forehead and promised to remember and cherish our night of play.
A piece of that night still sticks with me and whispers in my ear to steal those rare moments with both of my kids. It’s not easy. I’m exhausted, but very few mama deaths are attributed to lack of sleep (admissions to the looney bin are a different story). I try to remember that these moments are fleeting and someday my sleepless nights will be due to giggling sleepovers and waiting for my kids to sneak in after curfew. I want to soak up as much moonlight as I can while they are still small…and that gives me the will to push through my haze…that and coffee, lots of coffee!
So thank you my sweet lil Bulldog for the sleepless nights and for reminding me how precious our time really is. I love you.
How do you keep yourself going when motherhood burns your candle at both ends?