I’ve never had great sleepers, in fact our nights have been in pieces for a long time and we’ve been the glue.
Last night as I was being suspended into sleep the cries began. I was halfway between thinking they were a visitor in my dream, until my subconscious gave me my rude awakening.
So I was up, sighing off my slumber, again.
Desperate, I thought ‘What am I doing wrong?’
I thought about how many other mothers are up with their toddlers still, as I drag myself out of bed, my legs a weary vehicle down the hallway.
I thought about how in a few hours we’ll all be up to start the day, moon still shining as the kids eat their breakfast, my nose in a mug.
I thought of the parents whose heads stay carved into their pillows all night, without the undercurrent of anxiety.
I feel a longing for that as I start to make the auto pilot shushing noises as I round his door.
I thought about how my husband and I curse each other’s creaky bones when we creep around at night, we curse our BONES! How it’s comical but also sad how long we’ve been stitching up tired wounds.
I climb into bed with him preparing for knees in the chest and elbows to the face and think about the people who have asked me “is he still waking in the night?” No longer in the understanding nodding newborn tone.
I wonder if I’m taking the easy way out as I lay there with his little hand on my cheek, his cries subsiding. I watch the landscape of his face in the shadows and listen to his breathing as he drifts off.
So I let the doubt wash off me as I feel a sense of safety too.
I think about not chasing the ‘should’ but rather following my instinct instead.
That the battle only really begins when sleep becomes the only answer.
That separating myself from him would only divide me.
That as mothers we only really come apart when we ignore our intuition.
I don’t have the answers, but I know I won’t regret going to them when they need me.
Neither will you.
Sleep will come, soon, I hope.