when “sleeping through the night” doesn’t happen.

Nighttime parenting is for character building.

In the quiet, dark hours when children cry and can’t be soothed anger boils. Feet pad down the hallway between rooms where men sleep to rise early for the work day. Their room is across from “Uncle Kasiah’s” and her voice is loud. Fists grip for the third? fourth? time in the night as I enter their room to hold, cover, shush, soothe, cuddle and sing.

Except it doesn’t always work out that way.

Where there should be calm words of soothing, I hiss. “Enough!” “Quiet!” “Stop crying!!”

When no one is looking I fail.

All the show of gentle, calm, consistent parenting gets stared down in the dead of night and I seethe and break.

They take turns for nights on end. The little one teeths, sniffles, has a cold and cannot, will not be shushed. The elder is cold and scared and nothing short of laying between daddy and me will quiet her.

I just want to sleep.

My sin confronts and the mother-guilt soars and my broken self backs down.

Forgive me.

Mommy’s sorry for being angry.

They are so quick to forgive, the little ones.

She hugs my neck and we melt together at small hours in her tiny bed.

I pray for forgiveness, strength, peace and wisdom for mothering.

Each night is a new opportunity, a chance for grace and giving over of self.

When I am weak and He is strong and there’s no one looking and I KNOW I need His love, His wisdom, His compassion.

Nighttime parenting is for the Gospel.

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5 thoughts on “when “sleeping through the night” doesn’t happen.

  1. Fook says:

    mmmmmm….been there. Don’t like to remember. sleeping on the couch while the kid swings in the swing hoping it will sooth her back to sleep….
    I always thought there should be a way to know what other moms were up at that ungodly wee hour of the night – so perhaps we could at least commiserate (cross out that word) “support” each other…..

  2. Darcy says:

    Reading this at 2:35am while feeding… Hope that makes you feel a little better! Hahaha LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
    It’s only the beginning for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. anniegroves says:

    @ Fook- right?!?! perhaps now with texting…
    @ Darcy – hahaha I love it!!! It’s just as exhausting when they are itty bitty, but for me less maddening. I expect a newborn to wake up several times through the night for however many so months. But a three year old?! Grrrr. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to meet Charlene! LOVE YOU!

  4. Jocelyn Lewis says:

    I can relate to those times. I had many of them, especially with my first. It took a turn toward unmanageable when he was 9 months old which required a trip to the doctor because he seemed to have an ear infection. After an exam, and answering many questions about his night-time and napping sleep patterns, my Osteopathic family doctor, suggested that I read “Solve your Child’s Sleep Problems” by a doctor who is an expert in the field. It was a lifesaver, though a bit difficult to implement. It was simple enough, just difficult for a mommy’s hear to go through. After a failed attempt at helping my child get the sleep he needed, Jason and I bucked up and made it happen. It was miraculous. The first night took 3 hours, 2nd – 1, and 3rd – wonderful! I needed my sleep as much as he did! Relief. Anytime he was sick after that, of course I comforted him and held him as much as he needed, then it would only take 15- 20 minutes the first night of health to get him back into his routine. This may not work for you, but I wanted to share anyway. The first few chapters are good information on sleep if nothing else.
    -Jocelyn

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