The alarm went off this morning and you rolled over and hit snooze. No doubt you have kids to drag out of bed for high school, work to do and errands to run. You pulled the covers up and got seven more minutes of uninterrupted sleep until it went off again. But do you remember your previous alarm clock? It was a little voice calling out for Mommy in the middle of the night. It was a crying baby, longing for your arms to soothe her sore teeth. Do you remember how hard that was and how badly you wanted a full night's sleep? Well how do you feel about it now?
Those sweet voices have been replaced with opinionated (strong willed, I'm sure) young adults who have grown into independent, well-adjusted people. You love them just as much and have a new kind of fun and challenges, but do you remember those long nights? Let me remind you. You were miserable. You would drag yourself out of bed multiple times a night, and grudgingly soothe one, or sometimes both, needy toddlers. Most nights, you would get one to go back to sleep and just as you were drifting back to sleep yourself, the other would cry out for you. And then the night was spent playing a cruel form of keep away where your kids were the players and your bed was the ball.
But let me remind you of something else. Although, I have a feeling you may still remember. Your baby boy loved to read stories at night. He would always ask for just one more, and you would usually give in. He wanted you to lie next to him while he fell asleep and he was even happier if you held his sweet little hand. When he would call out for you in the middle of the night, as soon as you walked into his room, you could see him relax. The way he would roll over and put his arm around his stuffed Giraffe would at times bring tears to your eyes. He needed you to fall asleep, bottom line - he needed you.
Your precious baby girl needed you too. She had her stages of great sleep, but mostly she liked to be held and snuggled. She would always reach her stuffed Kitty out to you so you could kiss it goodnight too. When you would try and lay her back down in her crib, she would reach out for you with tears in her eyes and it broke your heart to walk away. When you would start singing "Goodnight Sweetheart" to her, her body would melt into yours and she would instinctively close her eyes. She always wanted to be part of the action rather than sleeping, but if she had to be asleep, she wanted to be close to you.
So you may now be more well-rested and you may even be drinking less coffee (I doubt it), but do you miss those moments? Going through everyday life on little sleep is no joke and most days you felt like a zombie. But, you were needed in a way that you will never will be again. I'm sure being the mom to these two amazing kids is still incredibly rewarding, but I bet you miss those sleepless nights. And I bet you miss them more than just a little. Think back on them with a smile, and maybe a tear, but without regret or anger. You may have missed out on hours of sleep, but you gained so much more. You have memories of holding little hands, drying tearful eyes and snuggling with the babies you prayed for, for so long. And maybe if you're lucky, tonight during that restful night sleep, you may just dream of those days and realize it wasn't so bad after all.