Friday, January 22, 2010


Having two children is harder than I expected it would be. That being said, I didn't really think about what it would be like. Instead I focused on the fact that we were parents already. We had already ushered one little person into this world, through infancy, past toddler-hood and into the preschool years with some success. I didn't focus on the fact that I would be doing that all over again, but this time with a 2 1/2 year old hanging on me (both figuratively and literally at times).

Thankfully Madeline finally seems to be adjusting to life as a big sister. Her negative attention getting behaviors seem to be on the decline and she is a total riot. She makes a laugh a million times a day.

The challenges we face now revolve mostly around Lydia's sleep schedule. I hate to complain. She sleeps, just not on the schedule I want. I know there are parents, some of my very close friends included, that would love to have a baby who sleeps for four hour stretches at night. I only wish she started her night about two hours earlier. A lucky complaint to have I guess.

Which leads me to the reason I started this post in the first place.

I find myself wishing for things that I know I will miss once they are gone. Tonight, as I was rocking Lydia to sleep, I thought to myself, 'I wish she would just go to bed.' I am tired. I am stressed from a long day week three months. Sleep is a rare commodity around here. I do just want to go to bed. But if Lydia could just put herself to bed do you know what that would mean?

That would mean I would miss her smell as I rocked her at night and kissed the crown of her head. I would miss the feeling of her body weight completely relaxed, warm against my chest. I would miss the sound of her breath and the coos she makes as she is falling asleep. I would miss these moments with her as a baby.

It is hard to see the positive when she is fighting sleep and crying at the top of her lungs. Tonight as I rocked her in my arms, it hit me. I can't wish these moments away. If I do, I will regret it when my children are all grown up and I no longer have a baby to rock to sleep.

I do know how lucky I am to have my daughters. So very, very lucky.

All that being said, I have spent the last two and a half hours trying to get Lydia to sleep. Just before I lay her down in her crib I take a deep breath. The worry that she would wake the moment I lay her down makes my heart race, almost like a panic. I hold my breath as I lay her down, slowly remove my hands, quietly walk out of her room and down the hall. It isn't until I cross the threshold of our bedroom down the hall that I exhale. Then I wait, listening for what's next. If I'm lucky, really lucky, I get to go to sleep myself. It is going to take a lot of will not to keep wishing these days away.

I will keep trying. I know they are worth my effort.



Bridget said...

Wish away...these sleepless nights will be replaced by more sleepless won't get to sleep when they are teenagers either!*

*I don't mean to be a downer...I'm just sayin'

Gina said...

What a beautiful, honest post. The sleepless nights are the one thing I am dreading about baby #2.

Michelle said...

It's okay to wish that she would sleep...because Bridget is right...sleepless nights are in your future. Every time she gets a cold, has a bad dream, etc you will be right back to long snuggly nights where you wonder how little sleep you can actually function on. :) The good news is you can appreciate those nights more when you are not so sleep deprived.

Jen said...

You have a good attitude about it... but don't beat yourself up for wishing away the unpleasant stuff. It will make you a sympathetic ear when the girls have babies of their own!

This was beautiful to read, by the way.

Molly said...

Oh... now I miss my babies. It brought it all back... rocking my little bundles while they settled in, breathing slows, eyelids close... beautiful! It too shall pass, and too quickly at that. You are an honest and wise momma. I love you, even though you grew up.

Sara D. said...

There were moments with my first, when I would CRY and nervously pace our bedroom as soon as I got her to bed without a peep--out of fear and knowledge that she was going to wake up again. Even three hours seemed too short, it made me crazy. Sleep is a tough issue--I don't know many people who can live happily on 3-4 uninterrupted hours at a time...hang in there!