On my heart today are those mommas in the middle-of-the night-feeding stage. The mommas with heavy eyes during the day because they’ve been pulled from their bed by a baby who hungers for milk and comfort. The mommas who long for days children become more self-sufficient.
When I found myself in the midst of hearing crying babies at one o’clock in the morning, all I wanted was to pull my blanket over my head. Maybe if I ignored them they would fall asleep. But they needed me. They needed a new diaper, and all they wanted was to curl up in my arms and nurse. I wanted to deny them of that? Talk about feeling like a bad mom.
When my oldest began sleeping through the night, I was thrilled. I was getting a full night’s sleep. I could function more during the day. Things were getting back to normal. But when she didn’t feel well and needed my comfort in the middle of the night, I remember rocking her in the darkness of her room.
The neighbor’s outdoor light crept in through the window, providing a dimness that was calm. As we rocked back and forth, I felt blessed to spend that moment with her. The house was quiet. My husband was asleep. It was just the two of us. The stillness of the moment filled my heart with joy, and I actually missed those middle of the night feedings we left behind months and months ago.
Did I just think that to myself?
So when baby number two came along, I decided I was going to use that time wisely. I was going to appreciate it more because I knew it would be gone in the blink of an eye.
I found those hours to be great for praying. I prayed for my daughter: for her future, for her health, for our relationship. I lifted her up to God and asked him to use her for incredible things.
God met me in those middle of the night feedings, and I was able to see how precious they were. God is meeting you in those wee hours of the morning, too. Can you feel him?
Take heart, mommas. This stage is not going to last forever. But while you’re in it, I hope you will begin to change the lens through which you look. Yes, sleep is a beautiful thing, and sometimes we long for it so strongly because it’s out of our reach. But know that you are blessed to have this time with your child.
No one else can provide your comfort.
No one else gets to have these moments with her, moments you’ll hopefully begin to treasure.
God can use this time to strengthen your prayer life. God can use this time to build a connection with your child that will last a lifetime. God can use this time to change your life. He can and he will if you allow him.
When your eyes are heavy and you feel like you’re going to stop functioning if you don’t get sleep sometime soon, take comfort in the fact that you are fulfilling God’s plan. You are providing something to your child that no one else can give. And in the midst of that, praying for your child is going to bless her (and you) in ways you can’t even imagine.
I don’t know what my girls’ lives hold, but I know God is holding them.
God is also doing a great work in each of our lives.
He is there.
Invite him into that dimly lit room at one in the morning. As your child fills up on milk, allow yourself to be filled by God’s presence.
Not sure what to pray? I have been encouraged by the Proverbs 31 Ministry, and Lysa TerKeurst, the president of that ministry, has written a wonderful post: “10 Prayers for Your Daughter” (at the bottom of her post is also a link for prayers to pray for your son).
May these words bless and encourage you as you walk your journey of motherhood.