Erik has hit his first growth spurt. Just two weeks old, he wanted to nurse almost on the hour last night and through the morning. I know there’s a good reason for this; the demand will help increase my supply. But needless to say, I’m a bit groggy today….and sore. My new mama breastfeeding blister was just beginning to heal but after the marathon last night……ouch! And I feel like I was basically robbed of any meaningful sleep. But, of course, it’s up and at ‘em the next morning, no matter what kind of night mama had.
There’s a temptation at times to be resentful of our children when they go through times of great need. As a mother it can feel like there’s a whole lot of “taking” and very little “giving.” It can leave you feeling drained. When I read Sarah’s post over at Life as a Wife, Mummy and Nurse about 3 a.m. feedings, it pricked my conscience a little.
Whether you’re nursing all night or up a lot with sick or teething child, a change in attitude when things get demanding is always helpful. Here are some ways you can redeem those difficult hours and have a brighter morning.
1. Take a moment to thank God for your child. If you are nursing or giving a bottle, look down at that beautiful little face and contemplate His handiwork. If your little one is sick, be glad that you can be there to give comfort and ease pain. (Many suffering children in the world do not have even this.)
2. Say a little prayer. Remember, once daylight comes, it’s almost impossible to find quiet, contemplative time. Carpe diem!
3. Make a list. Might as well jot down some things “to do” today, right?
4. Close your eyes. If you are able to fall asleep, great! If not, you’re still resting. It all counts.
5. Enjoy thinking about your dreams and goals for the future. I know a lot of us do that in the shower, but who knows when the next one will be, and is it likely to be interruption-free?
6. Do housework. I had to include that here because I’m very practical. It might be 3 a.m. but if I am awake to nurse, then usually I get up to go the bathroom as well. A few steps away is the laundry room. Why not throw a load in? One less thing to do at breakfast time. It also means no interruption in the flow of hot water that someone might need for a bath or shower later on.
Do you have some ideas for night time parenting? I’m all ears.
Here’s to good nights….and better mornings!