i’ve had a few moms of new babies email me recently about the long baby days and nights. i wanted to share what i wrote to these friends. i hope that it encourages someone today.
i think we all have moments throughout the day when we want to pull out our hair. at least i hope i’m not the only one. you’re not doing anything wrong. having a new baby is so wonderful and so hard. i think, especially with your first, it’s such an adjustment. everything that was “normal” is out the window and you have to get used to your new normal. i think it is good to let some small things go. pay attention to your baby and do what’s best for you and him. don’t try to be too “by the book” because sometimes the book is wrong. all 5 of our children are so different and that started from the day they were born. some liked to be held more than others. some liked to eat more often than every 3 hrs. some slept really well and others were up all night. i will say that after having our second and getting used to being outnumbered, adding another baby to the mix wasn’t as overwhelming. of course it’s always an adjustment, but as far as having another child, i was already used to juggling things and so that part wasn’t as hard.
sleep not sleeping:
i know that it is so hard when all you’re getting is interrupted sleep. it really takes a toll on your outlook on life. my sister is still dealing with kids who don’t sleep well so i know that she is right there with you. our 3rd started sleeping through the night when he was 3 1/2. i am not telling you that to scare you, but just to encourage you that you will get through it. i remember crying a lot in the middle of the night with him and feeling so alone. i was basically exhausted all of the time. i couldn’t sleep during the day because our first and second were toddlers. i don’t have any secret to help you get through it except to pray. pray for strength and patience beyond yourself. the only way i got through it was by God’s grace and you will get through it too. i honestly don’t remember a whole lot from when our 3rd and 4th were young. a lot of those years are a blur. i wish i remembered more of their babyhood, but i don’t know that i could have done anything differently as far as my memory. i can tell you that with our 5th i have been more aware of how fleeting the baby days are. i have tried to be more intentional about holding her and being present. that’s not to say that i do a good job of this everyday, but i am trying to live in our now. enjoying each stage of life, and not just with her but with all of our kids. i will tell you what my dad always said to me and my sister, “it’s a season.” it is a season that seems like it will never end. it is a season that seems so difficult that you don’t know if you can make it through one more night. it is a season that will be gone before you know it and you will find yourself wishing to hold your baby and kiss those sweet cheeks again. it is a season that you prayed for when you prayed for another child. the Lord always gives us what we need and there is a purpose in this season of sleepless nights. maybe one day you will be an encourager to another mom who is going through something similar. i am praying for you. for you to feel well rested even when you’re not and also for your baby to start sleeping better very soon. i know that it is not easy and you cannot do it alone. you have the power of Jesus in you and He will hold you up. i believe that’s where He wants us, utterly dependent on Him. i know that this sleep deprived state that you are in is very real and serious. be encouraged that you are not alone. you will get through it. i am cheering for you! you’re a great mom, you’re doing a wonderful job with them and they are blessed to call you mom.
i love this verse and i think it’s a great picture of what we as believers in Christ are to do for each other. :
exodus 17;12 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
we are to be encouragers who come alongside one another to “hold up our hands” when we can’t do it alone.
as for the way i manage everyday it is by nothing of myself, but by the grace of God. everyday. some days i lose my patience with the kids and have to go and apologize for snapping at them. after a day like that i usually feel like a horrible mother and think that our kids are going to grow up and remember me as a “mean ole mama.” i have to remind myself and robert also reminds me that this is not true. i am definitely my own worst critic. i pick apart everything i shouldn’t have done or said and tend to forget all the sweet moments that happened all throughout the day. i’m trying to make a point to not let those sweet moments be forgotten. other days are really good and pleasant with no meltdowns from the kids or from me. either way i (we) need grace. i am my best self because of Jesus and when i mess up i am forgiven and given new mercies each day because of Him too. i have found in this life whether in motherhood, a job, or anything else, we have to depend on Him. many times i believe that The Lord allows us to fail or mess up to remind us of our need for Him. He gently shifts our focus back to Him sometimes, by making sure that we don’t start feeling like we can do it all by ourselves. it’s hard to be thankful for our failures but at the same time I am thankful for the reminder of my need for a Savior.