Children, Christianity, Parenthood, Uncategorized

Wake up, You Sleepy Head

sleepI love this picture of Rowan as a tiny baby. He looks so peaceful, asleep in my mom’s living room. Amazing that he could do that with everyone sitting around him, staring at him being adorable just by breathing.

God is always asking me to get out of bed before I feel ready. This has been going on for years, and sometimes I’m very diligent about it, whereas at others I hit snooze or forget to set an alarm in the first place.

But over the last week or so I’ve been getting even more of those messages from Him. At church this week the pastor made a passing comment about rising early, and then later that day I read it somewhere again, not even in connection with God, but with the same message of getting my butt out of the bed before the last possible minute.

Now, I’m an early riser anyway. It’s not as if I’m throwing on a sweatshirt and grabbing the kids a granola bar for the road as we leave for school each morning. I always get up, get ready, put on makeup, make them a good breakfast. Each and every school day. On days off my oldest and I may snuggle a bit, but the little guy generally demands milk, so I’m not sleeping in.

But what does all that sound like? It sounds like me. I get up early so that I can look good. Preparing the kids’ breakfast doesn’t take that long, really. The majority of my morning routine is spent in front of the mirror if I’m really being honest.

So Monday I tried something new. Nothing groundbreaking, but a test-run of sorts. I got up when my husband’s alarm went off at 6am, leaving me about 45 minutes of quiet time before my oldest came running into the room. I didn’t put on makeup or change out of pajamas. In fact, I only brushed my teeth and then got back in bed with my bible and devotional.

But listen, Monday was a GOOD day. I didn’t have any meltdowns or moments of huge stress. I was even able to take the kids to Target, come home and make lunches, and put them down for naps without too much fuss on their part or mine.

Did God give me some kind of epiphany for taking the time to rise and meet him, as I was? Not in any lighting bolt, dramatic fashion. But I think maybe he did in a “gentle whisper” kind of way. This is what your days can be like if you give them to me. This is how you could mother if you allow me to nurture you first.

But guess what? Each day has been more and more of a struggle to grab that time. Monday was easy – I didn’t have to take the kids anywhere. I didn’t have to put on my mask so that humanity wouldn’t freak out over a bare face. But the world tells me I need to cover these dark circles and blonde lashes, so I do it.

Today I read 1 chapter of the bible while nursing my son. Griffin back-talked me after breakfast for one of the very first times, and I didn’t respond as I know I should have.

Would the outcome have looked different if I had gotten up with enough time to start my day with God? I’m not sure. But maybe I need to do more than a 1 day experiment to find out.

 

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Baby, Parenthood, Sleep

Rolling Over…and Over and Over

Griffin has discovered that if he rolls over in his crib he doesn’t have to sleep.

This revelation came last week, and has kept me running upstairs ever since. Taking them two at a time, I reach his nursery in hopes of getting to him before he makes the roll. If I can stop him, he won’t fully wake up and will usually go right back to sleep.

He’s too quick for me, however.

Judging from the grin he gives me when I reach him post-roll, it’s pretty obvious that he is proud of his accomplishment. I’ve tried a few different tactics to prevent this, but usually I’m faced with a wide awake baby and an adorable grin.

Grin

How can I possibly tell that smile that he needs to go back to sleep?

Somehow, I make myself. I’ve implemented The Baby Whisperer’s “Pick Up/Put Down” technique for when he gets tired of being on his back and starts to make a fuss. This is when he wants to go back to sleep but can’t get back onto his tummy. He’s very similar to a little stranded turtle in this way! So, when he starts to cry I go in and pick him up, calm him down, and immediately put him back in his crib. He doesn’t like this one bit, but it’s a sure way to (eventually) get him back to sleep.

This happens in the middle of the night now, as well. Usually just once or twice, but enough to have me climbing those stairs and picking him up, just to put him down again. I’m going to need to invest in a good pair of earplugs because the boy has definitely found his voice. My ears were ringing a few nights ago, after I had continued to pick up/put down, pick up/put down.

He’s starting to understand the concept, though! He doesn’t roll quite as much as he did – at least not in the crib during sleep time. My hope is that he will learn to sleep on his back or side, but it seems he’ll be learning to roll the other way before that day ever comes.

In the meantime we are practicing quite hard during each play time! He thinks it’s a very fun game, but mommy is determined to have him learn, as well!

Eyebrows