My daughter woke up at 5 a.m. from a bad dream this morning. Nothing like hearing your child cry out for you to snap you instantaneously awake. After a few minutes of momma love and back rubs, she dozed back off. I was now awake and wired from the adrenaline spike. I tried sneaking out twice to use the restroom. Having a coconut sized baby kicking your bladder means you just always have to go. Both times she started to wake and called for me. So there I sat next to her. I knew I’d never be able to fall back asleep. So I pondered as I always do in those quiet hours.
These are moments pre-parenthood I feared. “How will I function on little sleep?” “How will I ever do anything if I’m always needed?” I still ask myself these questions. Multiple times a week actually. Especially now with a second baby on the way, new questions arise as well. “How will I ever find balance between both children?” “Will my daughter feel abandoned or like I love her less?” “What do I do when both of them need me simultaneously!” “Can I actually do this?” “Who let me procreate again!!??”
Frustration and overwhelm are real and valid emotions felt in motherhood and I feel them often. But then, usually right when I need it, I’m given the gift of a moment of clarity. A “God wink” as I like to call these moments.
A moment where the frustration fades away, even if just briefly. The unconditional love I have for this little human outshines my tiredness, frustration and momentary desires. I’m reminded what a gift it is to be able to steward this child. What a blessing. To be able to sit and stare in wonder at her still slightly, chubby cheeks. To feel her chest rising and falling under my hand as it fills with her sweet breath. To be her source of comfort. I hope that never changes. I pray as she grows and her independence blossoms, when her world is scary and crumbling, I’ll always be her source of comfort. When she needs comfort at 5 a.m. I’ll still be the one she calls for.
It can be so very difficult to not get swept up in the day to day of mommyhood and balancing all the roles we play inside and outside of the home. We may ask ourselves if we are making a difference for our children. “Am I teaching them to be loving, wholesome, individuals?” “I snapped at her earlier when I should have reacted more calmly, does she feel unloved now?” When we can’t see the fruits of our labor immediately we can quickly get trapped in the doubt spirals. Let me share another “God wink”.
Yesterday evening I took a rare shower while my daughter was still awake. Typically I wait until she’s in bed for the night. Seeing her distracted with my husband I jumped at the opportunity. When I was done with my shower and getting dressed, I heard the dreaded knock and “Momma open the door!” My first thought, “I can’t even get a quick shower in without interruption!” I probably paired this with an eye roll and sigh as well. I told my daughter to wait one minute while I put my clothes on.
When I opened the door she was standing there with a tissue in hand waiting to wipe my nose. She had heard me sneeze and was adamant about making sure my nose was clean. My heart just melted. What a pure and precious heart she has. So yes momma, they are learning from you.
You will never be perfect. Your children will never be perfect. But, when we keep showing up for them, regardless of the hour on the clock, they will know in their souls they are loved and cherished. When we apologize for snapping or yelling when we could have handled a situation better they will learn how to forgive and apologize. All we can do is pray for guidance, grace and keep loving our children through all our flaws. We can pray for God to place peace on our hearts and bask in the beauty of our children when our bodies are exhausted, yet we are pulling ourselves out of bed one more time in the quiet dawn hours.