Let’s Hear it for Dad

The title sounds almost like a sponsored father’s day post, doesn’t it? This post is not brought to you by Hallmark. Instead, it’s brought to you by a tired mom (ahem, me).

Last night started off really strangely. At 10:45 I heard Hailey screaming which has never happened before. I jumped out of bed and ran to her, where I found her to be incredibly upset… asking incessantly for a piece of paper so she could draw a princess. Huh?  Something here told me that she wasn’t quite fully awake so I held her and told her everything was ok. Eventually she calmed down and curled back up in bed. I had just crept back into our bed when I heard her scream again. I was shaken up and googling night terrors on my phone as David hopped up to go to her. He took her to the potty then settled her down. In hushed whispers I asked what the heck was that? as we drifted back to sleep.

Then a mere 3 hours after that, more screaming. This time from our littlest.

See, I’ve created a bad habit the past few weeks of nursing Kaitlyn whenever she wakes up. It started off around 5:00 am, which was an ok time for me to get up anyway, so I gave into it. It’s not that big of a deal I told myself. It was a quick 15 minutes, then I’d get a jumpstart on my day. But now it’s turning into all different times of night and she hasn’t really been hungry during those times. She’ll nurse lazily, then I’d take forever to go back to sleep.

So call it cruel if you must, but last night when I heard her, the desperate-for-a-full-night’s-sleep side of me decided to let her fuss for a little bit. She needed to learn to self-soothe, right? Hailey was sleeping straight through without a peep at this age. It’s better for Kaitlyn. You know, all those things tired mothers tell themselves.

Well, spoiler alert, she didn’t settle herself down and instead worked herself up, which, again, being tired and nonsensical, brought me to tears. Do I go to her now? Does that teach her just to cry longer? She won’t let me hold her without nursing so… should I just ‘hold strong?’ Someone just tell me what to do. And more tears.

David, bless him, sat up and told me ‘I got her.’ And he did. He changed her, bounced her until she fell asleep, then put her back in the crib.

…Spoiler alert, she woke back up shortly thereafter and started screaming again so I went in, nursed her and viola, lazy nursing and back to sleep so clearly I haven’t solved any bad habits yet, but that’s not the point.

Every sensible side of me now, after an ever so fulfilling 3.5 hours of sleep, tells me I was being ridiculous. David has a full day of work today and now is going on the same 3.5 hours of sleep that I am, as once 4:00 am hit he decided he was up and started on work rather than try to snooze for another hour before his alarm went off.

And trust me, I’ve already beat myself up and told myself everything I fear you are thinking- children aren’t supposed to be convenient. Drink some coffee and deal with it like everyone else. Babies cry for a reason; are you heartless? You’re being dramatic. Be grateful that a little less sleep than usual is your biggest problem right now. You’ll miss those middle of the night snuggles one day. Trust me, I know I will, but right now we’ve all been running on fumes and I desperately just wanted one full night of sleep.

Mom guilt is the worst.

These are the times that don’t look so shiny on the blog, but they happen. I’m not proud of my middle of the night meltdown. I don’t like that I let my sweet baby cry for a bit. I don’t enjoy shouting it out there that I can’t function on less than 8 hours of sleep. And I certainly I don’t want to spark a diatribe on sleep habits. But I tell you this whiny sob story with a purpose… to attest that picking a man to marry that is a good dad and a true partner in parenthood is invaluable.

David doesn’t make me begrudgingly poke at him until he gets up. He embraces being a dad and the inconvenience and sleeplessness that comes with it at times. He supports me even when I’m overtired and illogical. And I am so grateful for him.

So there’s my very public love letter to David, which is sure to embarrass him.

But just to make sure it does, check out this sweet picture… aww…

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And with that, I’m off to make some tea, put on my big girl panties and get on with the day. Now where is that under-eye concealer…

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