This is real motherhood — a toddlers sleepless night

This is real motherhood. I know I’ve been posting “picture perfect” family photos lately on Instagram. But this is real, this is raw.

This was two nights ago. Milk, snot and tears (both of ours) stains on my pj’s. I had fallen asleep after 12 trying to keep up with chores, and then Finn woke up at 12.50 am in a terror. Tim works 24 hours and wasn’t here to help. Nothing worked, rocking him in his chair, looking out the window at cars, taking him in bed with me. He did quiet down at the latter but kept rolling and rolling and climbing on me and we both couldn’t sleep. This went on for a while.

Then, I attempted to put him back in his own room because that’s where he sleeps best: he screamed like he was having a panick attack. I went back; my mommy heart can’t take that. It was 4.30 am now. I cried out to him almost in tears; “Mommy needs sleep too baby, Finnie needs sleep, we both need sleep.” He instantly stopped and reached his tiny arms out to me. I picked him up, he’s never hugged me that tight. And there they were, the tears. Mine this time.

Okay, back to our bed it is. Promise you will go to sleep then baby? *Nods* We get back into our room, he instantly points at the tv. “No baby, it’s not time for tv it’s sleepy time.” More cries. At this point I’ve had 40 minutes of sleep and it’s 5 am. I have no help. “Baby you want boobie?” He nods, and then crawls all over me for 20 minutes going back and forth, as a 21 month old nursing toddler does. I lay there, his soother in my mouth so he can’t throw it and I’ll have to turn the light on and go searching. I’m barely hanging on, but I take a picture, Because I know: one day I might miss these nights.

And then, he takes the soother and rolls over and falls asleep. I pull him close to me and sniff his hair. My miracle baby. You’re only this little once, I think. And then, I fall into a deep sleep holding my whole world.

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