It is crazy how our baby fights sleep. At night, naps during the day, just sleep in general. He does not want to miss a thing and wants to talk and play and be awake all the time.
Obviously, we are exhausted.
He is overtired too, but will never admit it. Just when I think he’s sleeping well at night (even with constantly nursing) and taking decent naps, he boycotts it all. Everything is a toy: the sound machine, pacifier, the boob.
Last night was one of those terrible nights. Terrible for us, not him! He is almost always happy in the middle of the night. Usually, I can nurse him back to sleep in my arms. Not as of lately.
So he woke up around 5:00 am and stayed awake for about 40 minutes, then continued to wake up until 7:45 when I gave up. Lucca grabbed my face and put his hands in my mouth. Adorable, yes, but when I’m exhausted, not the greatest. We got up and did our normal morning routine, and I noticed he was almost immediately ready for a nap.
He ate a little and fell asleep. I already planned on taking a long walk because he always falls asleep in the stroller, every single time. Everything was ready to go, so I snuck out to take Lizzie potty. Lucca woke up in my arms smiling (like, “oh, I did it! I took a nap!”) and Lizzie refused to get into the yard and pee. I was so frustrated. He slept for 5 minutes, had pooped all over the changing table, Lizzie was doing her own thing, and I hadn’t had my coffee yet.
Our ride to the park wasn’t terribly traumatic, like it can be, and transitioned him to the stroller. Off we went. Beautiful morning, but I was still super grumpy. My coffee was in the car, I barely had any, and I was tired of being tired.
We started walking, and Lucca played with his pacifier instead of using it to fall asleep. Most times, he will fall asleep within 10 minutes. Not today. Of course, I thought. While he was refusing to give into his fatigue, I was becoming increasingly angry…
My sensitive skin has not gotten any better since we moved away from Nashville. In fact, I haven’t shaved my legs in who knows how long because they are covered in rashes. Should I find part-time work and enroll Lucca in daycare even though I absolutely dread that idea? My back hurts from “sleeping” in weird positions. Why won’t my child sleep? Why does he even want to spend time with me when I get so pissed? My husband works full-time so I feel alone, a lot. Even when someone comes over to help, it honestly isn’t much help. Should I hire a babysitter? Maybe I really should work part-time?
While all this nonsense was going on in my head, Lucca started to cry, refusing his pacifier. I got him out of the stroller and carried him on one side and pushed the stroller with the other. People passed and casually said, “Goodmorning.” I cracked a little smile and thought, OH IS IT A GOOD MORNING?! Once we found a bench, I breastfed the baby thinking maybe that was causing his aversion to sleep. He ate a tiny bit then wanted to be busy again. I strapped him in the stroller, put his paci in, and briskly continued this walk. The whole reason we went on the walk was for him to sleep and me to relax. Neither had happened.
He finally fell asleep. 45 minutes into this venture. I looked off the track and saw a baby deer. I stopped and got so excited. The baby deer looked up at me, and there we were. Acknowledging each other for just a moment. She went back to eating, and I continued pushing my sleeping baby.
Seeing her gave me perspective. A peaceful glimpse into my hectic morning. As I went on walking, I kept looking back to see the deer again. Maybe I would see her mommy too! For the next 20 minutes, I did not see her. And I came to an epiphany. Or a few…
Amidst the chaos, there is peace. My mind was racing, and seeing the baby deer pulled me into a serene space. Amidst the self-doubt, there is strength. I am and can be a capable mother, and it’s okay to be imperfect. All these moments and feelings are fleeting. The baby will get back to sleeping better, and so will we. I am grateful to have a baby. A happy, smiling, healthy baby boy who unconditionally loves me. He forgives my shortcomings immediately. No matter how imperfect I am, he just wants me to hold him, to love him, and to always be with him.
A lot of my frustration is due to fatigue. Sleep will come back, but these moments with my baby never will. I have to remind myself, slow down and be here now. The deer came and went, and so will all my emotions. Gratitude is SO important, especially in these moments when I spiral and lose perspective.
Thank you, little bambi, for reining me back into a heart of gratitude.