Let me start by saying that I'll have two posts today and two more tomorrow. I know it's a little overkill, but I have some things on my heart that I really want to share.
If you all have been following my blog for long you know that sweet Eli isn't the sweetest sleeper! We have a few good nights, a few great nights and a few terrible nights. Then the cycle repeats. Each time I think it's the last round and we'll finally be over the hurdle. Each time I wrong.
I should say that Eli slept though the night at 10 weeks and did so until I started working full time which was around nine months of age for him. From there everything went down hill and FAST.
People told me that once he started eating solid foods he would sleep...WRONG!!
Once he turns one a light bulb will click and he'll sleep...Wrong!! (in retrospect this is funny)
Then it was, once he gets over the ear infection he'll sleep...WRONG!!
When he starts walking he'll be so tired he'll sleep...WRONG!!
And finally, when he starts his allergy medicine he will sleep....WRONG!!
And so the cycle continue. We have done everything from crying it out, to rocking, to sound machines to night lights. Nothing seems to work. I have spoken with our pediatrician and a sleep therapist and after keeping detailed notes including our routine, foods and activities, we have all come to the conclusion that he is JUST A BAD SLEEPER!
Maternal instinct tells me two this. 1. He still has trouble with allergies and 2. He misses his momma. I'm not there when he wakes up in the morning and I don't see him until after nap-time, so I think he feels secure knowing I'm there.
Anyway, the dreaded cycle began again last night and I've been up since 3:00 this morning. As I have for the past 19 months, I did a lot of praying during the wee hours of this morning. I prayed for Eli to sleep, I prayed for my future babies to sleep, I prayed for God to give Eric and I endurance until we finally get some rest. I prayed for a new perspective and a fresh approach. I just prayed.
Normally I go into deep depression when Eli doesn't sleep. But not this time. Because God spoke to me in a new light last night. Actually, it's something he's said many times before that I have never really listened to until now. It's this. "You don't have to do it all."
Isn't that crazy? I don't?! I don't have to be the top rated morning show host in the south. I don't have to be mother of the year. I don't have to have the cleanest house in Bowling Green or the hottest body...ha! Instead, he says "whatever you do, do it for my glory!"
My instead of being a gym rat there are days I'll have to settle for a walk. Instead of weekly cleaning (I'm a neat freak) I may have to clean as I go. Instead of this all/nothing mentality, I'm getting used to doing the best I can and leaving the rest to work itself out.
My house needs cleaned. I haven't been to the gym since Friday. I have a stack of clothes to iron that have been sitting on my dryer since September. No, you eyes aren't burry, I typed September. I didn't realize it had been that long until I went to get some shorts and found them in the basket...sad day!
So, I am going home when I leave work...to sleep! I'm going to pile up in the bed and not feel guilty about the mess around me or about not making it to the gym or about leaving Eli at daycare. Because I know that to keep serving my family, to keep things running at work, and to keep my sanity, I need sleep.
This afternoon when I pick Eli up we'll head to the park, go for a walk and maybe get some things done around the house. If that doesn't happen, there's always tomorrow.
I guess I'm writing this because I want all the mommas out there who are struggling to know that you are not alone. It's ok to be stressed and exhausted. It's ok to have laundry piled to the ceiling and a little post pregnancy flab. Because this season will pass.
One morning we'll sleep in and wake up to a clean/organized empty house and wonder when we traded toys for designer furniture.
One day well have plenty of time to hit the gym because we won't be driving a carpool. And while we're on our second mile, we'll wonder why we ever let fleeting beauty bother us.
One day we'll go out to eat and smile at the momma wiping up a mess. In that moment we'll smiley kindly to let her know we understand while all the while wondering where those days have gone.
One day we'll get in our full-size Sudan and drive to meet friends while wondering when we traded in our mini-vans, car seats, and play-dates for charity work and silent auctions.
One day we'll be sitting in a pew watching our "little one" commit to forever. And we'll think, "how did those happen? How did that precious baby who never slept turn into a man? Did I teach him everything he'll need? Does he know I love him? Will he always take my love with him?
When that time comes I won't remember the sleepless nights, the mounts of laundry or the unmade beds. What I'll remember are sweet smiles, the little league games, and the "mommy, I love you"s.
If there is ever anything I don't want to look back on and regret, it's the journey of motherhood. So for now, I'm overlooking my desire for perfection to rejuvenate my body, and spirit so that I can be the best momma possible for my little boy.
Will you ladies join me?