Reprieve, Right There
By the time my son was three months old, I was so tired that I began to cry every time my son woke me up in the early morning. I thought to myself, “This is the 50th day I have not slept for more than 3 hours at a time. How am I ever going to make it?” Then twenty more days passed, same thing. I would wake up most mornings crying and then spend large parts of the day drowning in despair thinking: “I’m never going to get the sleep I need, this is now the 85th day in a row. . . “
One day, I noticed something. I was standing at the kitchen sink, and I realized I felt tired; but not as tired as I felt when I first woke up. I then began to notice a pattern in the coming days. I was tired for the first half hour after waking up, but then it lifted, just enough to feel like a bit of grace. It was just enough for me to get through most days.
Rather than dragging myself out of bed exhausted each morning, I just stayed in bed snuggling with my boy until my body was ready to move. It became a sweet time for us both and it has become our custom. Three years later, we still cuddle upon awakening, for a good twenty minutes most mornings; we read or talk. It has become our way of connecting before we venture out into the day as well as honoring my body and the time it needs to get started.
I wasn’t as tired as the story I was telling myself. That is when I realized how helpful it is to stay in the present moment with my son, whenever I can. If I start quantifying the many unfair and unrelenting parts of parenting, I might miss the grace that is sometimes right in front of me.
© 2018 Heather Self