A working mom

Dear Delilah,

I feel like my life is a wreck. The last 48 hours have nearly made me lose my mind. Your dad left yesterday morning for a work trip. Any military wife will tell you things fall apart once their husbands are away. I also started work yesterday & you went to daycare for your first time. I wish it was your last. I used to spend every waking moment with you, now you spend it with someone else. You used to wake up from your naps & smile so big when you opened your eyes & I was there. Has your smile faded with my presence? Do you miss my warmth while they’re feeding you? I miss yours.. As the day goes on my breasts become full of milk as my body screams to feed you. Someone else now has the privilege of raising you. Remember that once I did more than wake you up in the morning & put you to sleep at night. Once I was a daytime mommy too. I hope they hold you. I hope they love & cherish you. You’re only getting a fourth of the attention you used to receive. I promise you’ll always have my attention when you’re home. I was raised with a stay at home mother. I found comfort knowing she was always there. She was there when I scraped my knee or didn’t feel good. She was there for all life’s big things. Will I see you sit up for the first time? Will I see your first steps? In the blink of an eye I’ve become the busy mom. I used to spent half an hour with you every morning exchanging smiles & giggling. This morning as you cried for me I apologized for having to get ready, having to feed the dogs, pack lunch, & your diaper bag. After work I have to find time to bathe you & myself, feed us both dinner, wash dishes, wash our clothes.. I can’t breathe. Yesterday I held you as you slept. Out of nowhere you began crying & screaming in your sleep. I just held you so tightly against me and cried with you. What are your nightmares made of? I wish so badly that I could starve your fears. I hope you know that I love you more than life itself. I know you’ll soon forget spending everyday together but I’ll never forget. Thank you for loving me & thank you for giving me a new purpose for living. 

The reasons I cosleep.

Dear Delilah,

Everyone has their opinions on every aspects of parenting & they aren’t afraid to shove them down your throat. It seems to me that when it comes to sleeping habits, every mom is different. I figured I’d share a few reasons why cosleeping has been a blessing for us. 

I can feel you breathing.

More than 2,000 babies die of SIDS every year. While you’re laying in your bassinet, crib, swing, etc. I can’t see or hear you breathing. I find myself staring intensely at your chest desperately watching for that rise & fall. Eventually I break & get up to confirm that you indeed are still breathing. When you’re cuddled up next to me I hear you breathing & with my eyes closed I’m able to feel you inhale & exhale. My fear is put to rest. 

I can keep you warm.

You cannot yet regulate your own temperature, I have always done that for you. When you’re sleeping on your own I constantly worry that you’re too cold or too hot. Many times I’ll pick you up & your hands & feet are cold but the rest of your body is warm. When your body is against mine, my body temperature alters to become what you need. If you’re cold, my body will heat up to provide the warmth you need. If you’re hot, my body temperature will drop to cool you down. Our bodies are quite literally made for this.

You’re breastfeeding.

If you’re sleeping on your own & wake up to nurse then I have to sit up, get you out of your bed, grab my nursing pillow, & manage to stay awake while you eat. Then attempt to transition you back to your bed, rocker, etc. without waking you up. YEAH RIGHT. So after about 4 attempts of getting you back to sleep & successfully on your own it has now been 3 hours & I’m miserable & on the verge of tears. OR if we’re cosleeping then I just feed you right there in bed & we both just fall right back to sleep laying down comfortably. 

We actually sleep.

When you sleep on your own, you wake up & realize I’m not there. You cry until I wake up & pick you up. This happens mulitple times throughout the night. When we cosleep, you cry once during the whole night & it’s just to nurse. If you wake up on your own, you fall right back to sleep in the warm comfort of mama’s arms. You sleep better, I sleep better. 

I can enjoy the little things. 

When you sleep alone, everything is harder. I’m losing sleep, my patience is wearing thin, & I wake up aggravated that I’m having to do so much when my body just needs rest. I get frustrated with you for demanding so much of me. I get frustrated with your father for making sleeping through the night look so peaceful. As I’m sitting up, having my nipples torn into & watching your dad sleep through it all, I’m on the brink of insanity. However, when we cosleep & nursing is easier, & we’re getting more rest, I can focus on the beauty of it all. I can feel your warm little body next to mine & appreciate every detail of your sweet little face. I can cuddle up to your father & appreciate how peaceful & beautiful he looks when he is sleeping. Cosleeping is like a snickers bar, & I’m not me when I’m tired. 

I love it.

There will come a time when you’re too cool to cuddle with mom. A time when hanging out in your bedroom with the door shut is your favorite place to be. However, right now you need me. Every piece of you craves the comfort that only I can provide for you, & I’m enjoying every second of it. After all, have you ever heard a mother say “I really wish that I would’ve loved on my kid less.”?

I lived 21 years without you but somehow I need you as much as you need me.