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HomeBlogMommy DazeLife in the middle of the night — Mommy Daze

Life in the middle of the night — Mommy Daze

I wake up suddenly and see him sitting in the doorway of our bedroom — messy red hair, train pajamas bunched up around his knees, circles under his eyes.

He must have coughed or made some noise to wake me up. I’m not sure how long he’s been sitting there. I look at the clock. It’s a little after 1 a.m. Of course it is. It’s always in that 1 o’clock hour that something happens. Tonight it’s a nose bleed. Last night it was pink lotion for his itchy poison ivy. The night before it was covers that needed tucking in. Always in that late night hour.

MiddleOfTheNightI fondly remember when other things would happen in the 1 o’clock hour of my life. Perhaps it was staring at a blank computer screen willing the words of a final paper to magically type themselves. Perhaps it was last call with friends in downtown Annapolis. Perhaps it was sitting on the hood of my car, talking about music, movies and life with my future husband. Back then, the 1 o’clock hour was a time to be wrapping up a fun night, knowing there was no alarm to wake you, and even if there was, you’d make it through the day with cups of coffee, energy drinks and pure youth-fueled energy.

Oh how those late nights have changed! I’ve spent the 1 o’clock hour in new ways since becoming a parent. I’ve stared at those numbers on my clock as I lay uncomfortably in my bed, fighting heart burn and back aches in my third trimesters. My amazing husband has satisfied my pregnant cravings with ice cream, oatmeal cream pies and peanut butter jelly sandwiches in that 1 o’clock hour. I’ve walked the halls of a hospital, breathing through contractions. I’ve cradled my one-hour-old newborn in my arms, feeling his heart beat against mine. I’ve paced my bedroom, rocked in my glider and bounced on my bed in that hour, shushing my fussy baby boys to sleep.

Oh so many 1 o’clock hours I’ve spent nursing, or pumping, or making bottles. I’ve sat next to cribs and toddler beds, holding tiny hands as they learn to put themselves to sleep. I’ve shooed away monsters and calmed fears in that late hour. I’ve laid in bed, the house quiet, my family asleep, rehashing the day’s events and wondering what tomorrow will bring.

It’s not just me. So many things seem to happen after that midnight witching hour. I have many friends whose babies have arrived in that hour. I recently had a dear friend take her last breath in that 1 o’clock hour before leaving this world. Why is that?

Sometimes I think it’s because in that dark, tiresome hour, we are at our weakest most vulnerable state, in need of a power and strength not our own to make it through. I’ve leaned the most on my strong husband, close friends and ever present creator, in that 1 o’clock hour. Though at the time it was hard, sometimes hopeless, those 1 o’clock hours have made me a stronger person, a better mom, and so I am grateful for them.

And I know that one day as my children grow, more challenges will come in those late nights, and with each one I will continue to grow. Be more tired the next day? Of course. But that’s what coffee is for.

Click here to read more Mommy Daze.

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Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 3-year-old James and 1-year-old Luke.

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