We all know motherhood is hard. It’s demanding and tiresome and all-consuming. And, it starts right away with middle-of-the-night feedings as soon as your baby is born. Once you have that new babe in your arms, life (and sleep) as you knew it will never be the same. I mean, it’s all good, but it’s all different, and a lot more interrupted.
My kids are 5 and 7 and have been sleeping through the night for awhile now. Sure, I get the occasional “I had a bad dream”, “I just need a snuggle” wakings at 3am, but overall, I’m back to kissing them goodnight and then not seeing them until I get to kiss them good morning.
Last night, however, I realized that my sleepless nights are changing. My baby girl went on her first sleepover (cue judgement, I realize this may seem young to some, but she was literally one block away). She’s my five-year-old firecracker and she had a sleepover planned for weeks and weeks (aaaaages. if you ask her) with three of her besties from kindergarten. I like to let my kids soar, so away she went.
As we walked down to her sleepover, her with her suitcase and stuffies, me with her pillow and blankets, I thought “I wonder how many times we will do this? I wonder how often they’ll organize super fun, silly sleepovers and be giddy with excitement?”. I felt a little nostalgic and super excited for my baby girl. She’s growing up. Sure, a lot of it is uncomfortable and terrible…but this stuff…well, it’s just fun.
That night, as I went to bed, I realized I should keep my phone on tonight (I usually put it to flight mode) in case something happened in the middle of the night and she needed me to come get her. It hit me then…my sleepless nights are changing. What used to be middle of the night feedings or diaper changes are now middle of the night phone-checking and worrying that everything is okay. I was up every hour checking my phone to make sure there wasn’t a text waiting for me. Every hour.
I guess this is what everyone means when they say once they grow out of something they get into something else that will cause you to worry. It’s all part of growing up and being a mother, and motherhood is certainly a job that never quits. When you have your baby you really, truly, won’t sleep until they leave the house. And, I bet once they leave, it’ll be so quiet you won’t be able to sleep then either.
So my sleepless nights have changed. I’m 100% positive it will just get more stressful as my kiddos hit their teen and young adult lives, but it’s still an interesting transition. It’s something I’m choosing to celebrate because it means she’s becoming independent, stretching her wings and taking leaps with courage, confidence and a whole lot of humour. And well, that’s worth all the sleepless nights in the world.
So Mamas out there dreaming of the day we are actually allowed to have coffee through IV, I stand with you, no matter what age your kids are, sleep is interrupted and some nights are entirely too sleepless. So, grab your coffee, grab a shoulder to lean on and let’s band together in sleepless solidarity. Because honestly, would you have it any other way?