Encouragement at 3AM if you’re holding baby in one arm & phone in the other…
3am comes with a wail, and my sleepy brain tells my sleepy body to — just get him up. Not necessarily baby at this point, but get up my husband who’s either sleeping more soundly than anyone in this house has in weeks or faking it pretty good.
Tap, tap, tap… on his shoulder. It’s all I manage to do. Then I whisper “he’s crying; can you get him?”
So I repeat and add in a “please” this time – -“Will you please get him up? He needs a new diaper.”
All because I NEED to have my husband up and moving to get baby, so I can get motivated enough to pull myself up and out of these warm covers into feeding position… once again.
Soon enough, he is up. Husband first, then baby.
I take deep breaths, like the ones you breath during contractions. At least, these are not those. At least, this hard doesn’t require a medical waiver form and dose of heavy medicine.
No, mommy, this is just your tiny son wanting a little snack before sleep is sure to find him again. Yet, you know you’ll need the will power of a champion to muster the energy to just. wake. up. Wake up!!
And it is almost time for the hand off.
Husband is back. Baby is back. It’s either now or never. So start your engines– it’s go time.
And you’re up, and he’s off — baby is hungry and eating, and husband resumes sleeping position next to you both.
“Light.” You say — light, can you please turn on the light? And he does. And you grab your phone and find the feeding tracker and start the timer. You’ve catalogued each meal and clean and dirty diaper for the many 24 hour stretches that came before, so you do it again, more out of habit than needing the help now.
And then you find an escape into a community that comments back, and you’re online and scrolling through updates you’ve already read and reread already.
And you know — you need help. Help to stay awake, help to stay sane, help to stay in a decent mood. You put the phone down.
Lord, help me.
Your prayer turns from a petition to a praise as you watch such a tiny miracle move around in your arms. Lord, how great is your faithfulness!
He is eating, and he is happy, and as you watch him in the reflection of the shining light, you become happy, too.
And just like that. He’s asleep again. You are wide awake and just taking it all in.
And you remind yourself — we did it. Each moment of difficulty that comes our way, we faced it and moved passed it, together. No avoidance, no neglect. Weary or not, we asked for help, and we pressed on together.
And we know this is just practice. Practice for the bigger hardships that are promised to come our way. Practice to face what will be certain to wake us up from the comfortable side of life and force us to call out for help to the only Helper who can light up the darkness and show us the way. A loving Father who reminds us what He did for His children, what He did for us. No greater love.
And your heart is filled with such great, big love.
Your eyes are still heavy, but your burdens are much more light.
Continue the good work, precious parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, as you hold that sweet baby right now, as I do. Your job is such a special one – such an important one. Your Heavenly Father will see to it you make it through. Take refuge in Him this night time, this nap time, this day. Cast all cares on Him — His arms are stretched wide open — as wide as a cross — to embrace your sleeplessness, your frustration, your hard and hug you. Love you.
And you will find rest as your prayers turn back into praise.
Awake to it, sleeper. Arise and be fed; let us be loved on, too.
“This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14