His cries pierce through my sleep. I slowly open my eyes and peer through the darkness. The clock on my nightstand tells me that its 2AM. I groan as I rise out of bed. I was just up two hours ago. And two hours before that. I just want to sleep.
I’m sitting on the couch with my computer on my lap. I’m trying to get some homework done while Lincoln plays on the floor with his blocks. I’m halfway through writing my paper and he starts to whine. He reaches for me and I sigh as I put my laptop on the coffee table and pick him up.
I’ve been running around all day. So many errands and things to do. I ate a granola bar for breakfast but that was ten hours ago. I skipped lunch and I’m starving. I get home and make myself some dinner. As soon as I sit down to eat, Lincoln realizes he’s hungry too. I nurse him as I stare longingly at my now cold food.
It’s bedtime. I’m so tired since he kept waking up last night. I just want to get to bed early and maybe get a solid four hours. We go through our bed time routine – I wipe him down, change his diaper, put on his PJ’s and sit down. We read his favorite book, Little Blue Truck, and he giggles every time the truck goes Beep! I nurse him and we cuddle and soon he’s fast asleep. Everything went so smooth. I smile. I stand up and put him in his crib. I give him his favorite stuffed animal which he immediately reaches out for. Everything is peaceful. I close his door and start to head to my room, dreaming of fuzzy blankets and waking up with the sun. And then it happens. Before I even reach my bed, he cries. I cry. I. Just. Want. To. Sleep.
This cycle of our days goes on and on. My day is full of constant interruptions, inconveniences, and little needs. It seems that every time I finally get a break, he needs me again. He needs me for everything and that can be too much sometimes. It can be so so draining.
I love my son. Of course I do. I even love that he needs me for everything. I enjoy being the one he comes to for love, for nourishment, for play, and for comfort. I love that he needs me to give him life because he gives me life everyday.
But when you’re drowning in diapers, teeth, drool, and tears, that feeling can be hard to hold onto. So when these little interruptions and inconveniences start to get the better of me, when I feel myself starting to drown, I have to remind myself of what this all really means. When he’s crying in the middle of the night, I remind myself it’s because he needs my love. He needs to be held and reassured that he’s safe in his big empty crib. When he starts whining while I’m trying to write, I remind myself its because he wants me to play with his blocks too. When he always seems to need to eat as soon as I do, I remind myself that he needs me for his dinner. I remind myself that these nursing months are soon going to be coming to an end and I need to cherish these precious moments where it’s just the two of us while I can.
And when the tears start to fall and it seems I can’t take anymore, I remind myself.
I remind myself that when I am drowning – he is my life jacket. And I his. And together, we stay afloat.