Last night while I relaxed on the couch, half-asleep, cradling an exhausted Little Miss who would not, for anything, sleep for more than two minutes in her own crib, I thought. I thought about being a mother, sleepless nights, not knowing what was going on with my child, and what the next day would be like. I thought about moms and the stories everyone tells about how amazing mothers are – they can do anything! I thought about how Mom can be up all night holding her daughter’s hair out of her face while she throws up the dinner that didn’t agree with her, or soothing a terrified little boy whose nightmares seem all too real, and still be smiling as she places fresh, hot pancakes on the table at 7 a.m.
And, I thought, that’s not me. I can’t do that. I need my sleep, and everyone who knows me knows I get grouchy and impatient, rendering me fairly ineffective when I get less than eight hours of sleep the night before.
So a couple of tears squeezed out of the corners of my eyes as I lay there in the 3 a.m. darkness, willing Little Miss to stop flailing around and simply settle down and fall asleep…again.
What was I thinking? I can’t be a good mom! I’m angry with her when she interrupts my sleep. I’m frustrated that no matter what I do it doesn’t seem to be what she needs. I can’t read her mind or her body language, and I can’t fix her problems. This was a terrible idea and I’m a terrible mom!
The next morning I’m cranky, short-tempered, tired. All I can think about is how I wanted more sleep, and how I’d rather go curl up under my faux-down comforter than forage for breakfast in the kitchen.
And then Husband goes to get Little Miss up so we can head into daycare and work. The sheet lines on her cheeks are adorable and her crazy bed-head hair makes me giggle. Her little brow furrows and she squeaks out a perturbed “Hey!” sound at being awakened before she wanted to be…
But she doesn’t cry. She doesn’t fuss. In fact, she starts talking to us and smiling. Granted, she was a bit spacey on the drive in to daycare and probably took a good three-hour nap this morning, but she wasn’t mad.
It was at this point that I realized that it’s true I’m no supermom. But I can be a good mom, so long as I’m doing my best and trying to see the bright side of every situation.
Of course, that’s a bit easier to realize at 8 a.m. than 3:30 a.m….but I’ll get there. I think.