Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Midnight Musings: Mom-ing in the Dark

In the night, when my daughter is awake for hours, snuggling with me, or kicking me, or asking for blankets she already has, I wrestle with what's bothering me.

A year or so into parenting a child who does not sleep, I had to make a choice  I could sit and be annoyed, counting down the hours until I was supposed to get up and function at work.  or...

Last year, I taught a high-strung group of students, my mom died, and I learned a lot.  Working through my grief, struggling to find a way to calm down my students, I discovered meditation and mindfulness.  I calmed my students' minds, and I calmed my own.  

Soon, the middle of the night became about thinking and not about worrying.

In just such a thoughtful night, I started to unravel my children's personalities, started to analyze how different they are as humans, how unique, and how my relationship with each child has to, by necessity, be different.

I mom by the seat of my pants and always seem surprised when results differ from expectations (sadly, this is true outside of my parenting life, as well). I had very clear expectations of what dressing my son would be like, but by age three, it was QUITE clear that as a big fat NOPE

My daughter, who often suffers from second-child syndrome (we continue to think she's tiny because she's so much smaller than her giant brother was at that age), is developing into a tiny princess fashionista.  She love tutus and leggings and, duh, cowgirl boots (okay, we DID see that one coming).  She's solid in her opinions. She always wants to "DO IT MYSELF."  

During the quiet moments of the night, I learn to accept the curve balls, the differences. I come to terms with the fact that my son wants to cuddle and be cozy all night and my daughter wants to play with Magnatiles (also all night...).

I talk myself through the challenges. Boy Child may not want to participate in wrestling (he did get on the mat to listen to instructions). The Girl may still have more nights of not sleeping.  

And then my daughter rolls over, nestles in under my chin, and all I can do is kiss her forehead and sigh into sleep.

Maybe the middle of the night is the best time of the day. And maybe that's the most important thought I can have.

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