As a parent, it’s amazing how quickly you learn the sounds your kiddos make. The sound that requires you to run across the room or just sit back and see how it all plays out. You quickly learn a hurt/pain cry from a whiny one. Even which tone of “mommy” or “daddy” needs your immediate attention. When it comes to sounds in the middle of the night, I think all parents can agree no sound is a positive one.
Last night, Tyler had another rough night of teething pains. The poor guy just doesn’t handle it well. I woke up at 2am to the sound of him moaning through the audio monitor (not a rush-in-the-room moan) and proceeded to check him on the video monitor. I knew the night would go one of two ways: either he would fall back asleep or make the sound that meant he couldn’t do it on his own. He made that sound around 3am.
The rest of the night went from cuddling to back rubbing to several failed attempts to get him back in the crib so he could get some sound sleep. Eventually, I gave up and brought him to bed with me (which became quite exciting for him as you can imagine) but I needed to lay horizontal while comforting him since we were approaching 4:30am at that point.
Nights like these can make someone spiral into sleep-deprived darkness. I started to do that – Jon had literally just left four hours before to catch a red-eye out east for work, I have felt a cold coming on since yesterday and to top it off, I am still recovering from PRK surgery that I had done last week. My eyes felt like sand and I quickly realized I should have put in drops before going into his room. Boo hoo, right? When you’re sleep-deprived, anything and everything turns into a crisis.
I couldn’t go down this spiral. I have before and it’s not fun. I decided to stop myself and instead sit in the dark room, cuddle my boy and list out the things I’m thankful for in that moment. It took some time to come out from the darkness but it ended up being so therapeutic for me. So, here’s what I came up with.
“At this moment, I’m thankful for…
*… Mila being such a sound sleeper.” She ended up sleeping through all the cries and sounds outside her door.
*… my mom being in town.” She tried to help me take shifts in comforting Tyler but he only wanted Mama. It was a comfort knowing if Mila did wake up, I had an extra set of hands to help her.
*… the fact that Tyler doesn’t snore.” If we are going to sleep together, it’s nice that it’s quiet and peaceful.
*… getting PRK surgery.” I didn’t have to rummage for my glasses or run into a room blind. I can actually see things without them which is still a surreal feeling to me.
*… the fact that Tyler actually found comfort with me and my cuddles.” He eventually fell asleep in bed with me cuddling me tight and gripping my fingers. These kiddos are only going to be little for so long, right? I’ll take the cuddles when I can get them.
*… having kids to cuddle and comfort.” There are so many people who wish they could have nights like these. While sleep deprivation is no fun in the short run, raising kiddos definitely has its long term rewards.
And just like that, a sleepless night started to turn into something more positive. I kept thinking of the good in my life, embraced the cuddles and finger grips from my sweet boy, rubbed his back and forehead (his favorite) while he dozed off and decided not to worry about the fact I could be starting a “new” sleeping habit.
I’m tired at the writing of this post (and probably should be napping now) but instead feel surprisingly rejuvenated with this mindset. Enough to share with you in case you find yourself hearing “that sound” in the middle of the night leading up to events that could take you down that spiral. Don’t let it drag you into the darkness. Okay, now it’s nap time.