At 2:38 AM this morning, I emerged from my daughter’s room. It was the 4th time I had made the trek in and out.
Though my husband wasn’t feeling well, I collapsed next to him and begged for his mercy and that he take a turn should our toddler still not be settled. Sure enough 10 minutes later she cried out for me and he put on his glasses and trudged to her room. I heard her crying become louder as she demanded I come to her and snuggle. She has been sick for a majority of the last month, and while she is feeling much better, she has developed the habit of night waking and wanting her mama.
We all joke about downing gallons of coffee. We make light of “mom brain” and frazzled nerves. We chuckle about our grey hair and bags under our eyes. We all rationalize that the seasons of no sleep are fairly short in the big picture.
But as I pen this at 4am on this blustery Tuesday morning, after another night of very little rest, I implore each of us to remember. Sleep deprivation really isn’t that funny. It may be a rite of passage for all parents, but it doesn’t mean we should be without empathy and concern for those in the throes of it.
I have been blessed by friends who have been there for me in this hard season of parenting. We joke about it, but we also pray over one another, offer support and ideas, and even offer to lighten one another’s loads through providing a meal and offering transportation to kids. The “help” that comes when one has a newborn is an essential part of who we should be, but we ought never put those actions by the wayside as children grow older.
To all of you in the trenches with us, it’s true that sometimes they just won’t sleep. It’s true that sleep deprivation will likely be a part of raising up your little people. But it’s also true that I care about your rest and health. I care that you face the sunrise some days wondering how you will survive the day. And, I will do my part to never forget how it feels to be so fully and exhaustedly worn down by the challenges of this life.
Lord hear our prayers, for peace and rest tonight.