With successful nights of consecutive sleep anywhere between 8-10 hours, Carter decided to spice things up and not take to his sleep schedule last night. After his middle of the night feeding, Andrew insisted on having extra cuddles with Carter, before I laid him back down in his sleeper. How can I be mad at this interruption of “the schedule” when I get to witness an act of love between father and son?
No, I’m not mad.
But when Carter woke again at 3am and I forgot why I was a-ok with the whole interrupted sleep schedule thing…
With heavy eyes, I searched frantically for his paci, turned on the soothing music from his Sleep Sheep, and rocked him in his Rock N Play. But all these sleeping aids that worked on previous nights, definitely weren’t working now and letting him cry it out proved to be painful after the first 5 mins. Desperation has kicked in.
So against the guidelines of the books, I picked up my sweet baby boy and pulled him close to me.
Oh, but I’m not mad.
I too, have cried so hard, unable to explain my needs through words and only wanting to be held. Desperate for comfort… for peace. I understand the need for affection and a gentle touch of reassurance.
I get it baby.
And now, I’ve been given these responsibilities as a parent to comfort, discipline but most importantly love and fulfill the needs of a child. And sometimes, I don’t know if I’m doing a good job at it…
But I’m not mad at myself.
I begin whispering “shhhhh everything is ok”, “mama is right here” in his little ears, slowly rocking, bouncing, swaying, anything to ease his frustration. I hear Andrew wrestle with the sheets, he is now up with us. With gentle determination he takes Carter into his arms and he too, delicately reassures him that he is safe, that he is loved.
I watch from the warmth of my bed as they walk out into the living room, the two of them blend into one, the “shhhing” and the crying become rhythmic as they move through the dimly light apartment.
It’s now 3:30am and no, I’m not mad.
I realize that in this hour, Andrew and I are a team. This is marriage. This is why scripture says “two is better than one…” And this peace and understanding can only mean that God is here too, “a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken.”
Oh how we need Him. Every single day. He is the one that soothes us. Our Comforter. Our Father, who reminds us that we are safe. That we are loved. At every hour.
And like a passing of the torch, Carter is back in my arms and Andrew retreats back to the warmth of our bed. I grab a throw blanket, curl up in our big blue recliner and, begin rocking our son once more.
His cries are now whimpers, his whimpers are now coos and then when it almost feels foreign – silence settles us both and he drifts to sleep again, feeling safe… feeling loved.
It’s 4am and no, I’m not mad baby boy, because this is motherhood.