How One Mom Found A Way To Enjoy Sleepless Nights

Throughout this last year I’ve been very open about my struggles with motherhood. I’ve spoken about my issues with breastfeeding, my need to let my pre-mom self go and my experience with postpartum depression. I’ve spoken about the hard parts, while also highlighting the good that came out of them.

But in these last two months, a new shift has happened in my motherhood journey.

It’s gotten easier.

My eleven month old daughter has started crying less and laughing more. She’s started sleeping through the night and in turn so have I. She’s started entertaining herself, holding her own bottle and wanting to feed herself solids rather than me spoon feed her.

In short, she’s started needing me less.

When I was five months postpartum a mother of two said to me “Soak up your baby, everyday she is growing further and further away from you.” Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, helping me to realize that my baby was growing older by the day.

As a new mom I was just trying to get through the days, forgetting that these were moments I someday would miss. After that conversation, I started to look at my time with my daughter Annabell differently. When she woke up in the middle of the night to feed, I would hold her a little longer when she was done. I would close my eyes and feel my arms around her. I would feel her heart beat on my chest, her warm body asleep and heavy on mine. I would nuzzle my nose into her neck and take in her baby smell.

I would if just for a moment, soak her baby-self in.

This made getting up in the middle of the night something to look forward to. It changed the whole way I looked at this time in my life. It was no longer about me trying to survive new motherhood, but rather about not missing out on her babyhood.

Fast forward six months and as I mentioned, Annabell no longer wakes up in the middle of the night. She no longer lingers in my arms after feeding. She no longer needs me as much as she did just a few months ago.

Just as that woman said, she’s moved a step further away from me.

But with this new transition I take with me the memory of those nights. And now I make new moments in time. For example, when I see her sitting in front of me playing and she turns around just to make sure I’m still there and flashes me a smile or when I hide from her and see her head peak around the corner with that “I’ve got you face”, I think “remember this.”

I can’t change the fact that she is growing, I can’t make time stand still but I can promise to enjoy the current as it flows. I can find the newness of each age and I can be fully present with that.

I can, everyday, find moments to just simply love her.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS