To The Mama Who Was Up All Night

To The Mama Who Was Up All Night

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Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

Dear Mama,

I see you. Last night, I was you. Between a newborn and a toddler, sleep is a rarity these days. However, last night was one of those nights. The ones where the baby was up for four hours, cluster feeding and then as soon as I tiptoed back up the hallway to crawl back in bed, the toddler started crying. I grunted and walked back down the hallway to refill his milk and try to talk him into going back to sleep.

This morning, they were both up before I really wanted to be. I crawled out of bed and tended to the two little ones who needed me the most. I’ll admit: my attitude wasn’t the best. I was exhausted, frustrated and just grumpy all around. It was one of those mornings. The toddler spilled 3 oz of breastmilk (which let’s face it, IS worth crying over). The baby was crying. The dogs were barking. I was at my wits end and utterly exhausted.

I think we can all admit: we’ve been there. I wish I could say that I handled it with grace and patience, but I didn’t. I snapped at the toddler and let my exhaustion get the best of me. 

So, dear mama, I want you to know that you’re not alone. When the days seem endless (and it’s only 8 am). When the nights are long and just as you drift off to sleep, you hear the cry of a little one that needs you. When you’ve had it up to here and you can’t wait for your husband to walk through the door so you can have an extra set of hands to help. You’re not alone.

I know this motherhood thing can be one of the loneliest places to be. Even though you have little ones clinging to you and you would give anything to go to the bathroom in peace, it can still get really lonely. You long for an adult conversation. You can’t remember the last time you put on makeup or washed your hair. These are the trenches and I’m right there with you, right now.

But, that’s the thing about these days and years. I’m told that they fly by and we’ll miss them soon enough. I’m told that things do get better and eventually, the babies do sleep through the night. Even though our toddler is only 2, I can see glimpses of that myself. He doesn’t need me as much as he used to. I can barely believe he was ever as small as his sister is. These days are long, but they are fading quickly and while part of me longs for a full night’s sleep, part of me wishes that they would need me like this forever.

I’m not telling you to enjoy every moment, because I know that I sure don’t. Some of these moments are just plain hard and crappy. But, mama, I am telling you that it’s ok to take a deep breath. It’s ok to be exhausted. It’s ok to ask for grace and it’s ok to not always be the greatest mother in the world. You are the best mama for these babies and they will remember that mama tried, even when she was exhausted.

Love, Another Exhausted Mama

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