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.
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.