The reason my husband thinks I don’t fight our youngest, age four, on sleeping in his own bed.
Mommas, I know you struggle, too. At least if you have little ones. Getting them to sleep in their own bed at night. It’s been a long freaking day and now that it’s over, you want nothing more than to crawl into bed and fall asleep because you’re doing it again tomorrow. Those little ones are relentless. They need you. But you need them, too.
Motherhood is a relentless job and there are zero days off. You know removing those little arms from your neck and fighting them into their own bed is the right thing to do. But some of us moms have a “melt button” – the one that gets pushed when your child says ” I wanna cuddle.”” or “I’m scared.” It’s the one that causes surrender and peace because of those little eyes gazing up at you.
Maybe you were or are like I was when I had my first born, now age seven. I read all the books on raising babies. And so I fought him. I fought him on it so hard that he often slept in the hallway, on the floor, because the baby books told me he would be screwed up and sleep with me until he was seventeen if I let him, even just for one night. So I stuck it out. I stuck out the crying, the pleading, and I spent many nights in the rocking chair next to his bed waiting for him to fall asleep. Sometimes it would take hours and I would wake up past midnight, neck aching, still in that rocking chair. The books didn’t tell me that I was raising a human, one with a strong will. But today, he faithfully sleeps in his own bed.
And then the second one came along. And no one told me how hard it would be. I was pretty smug, a pregnant mother, second child on the way. I knew what I was doing. Until I was a mother of two. And then I wondered what the hell I had gotten myself into. And I had no fight left in me for either of these two little boys, who just wanted to snuggle at the end of a long day. For many of the reasons I listed above. But mostly, I’m just tired.
I know many of you feel tired and like giving up in certain areas of your life too. While this is a small, rather benign example in my life. This quote changed things for me, “I was going to quit and then I was reminded who was watching.” We all have those special “someones” in our lives who are watching us. And we have future someones watching us that have yet to be inspired by our stories. For us mommas, it’s our children. But for all of us, it’s those yet to walk our difficult paths. So don’t give up, even when you feel like it. Be tired, snuggle when you have to, and then let your neck ache in the rocking chair a while because success is coming your way. As long as you don’t give up.
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Jillian McMullen, CSOWM, RDN, LD