By Guest Blogger Catherine Miles

Sleepless nights once consisted of dancing and friendship, intimacy and passion, or maybe even something more mundane like studying for an organic chemistry final.

These days sleepless nights are not a choice but rather a requirement. There’s something that makes a person so much more tired, cranky, aggravated, and just plain ornery when they are deprived from sleep, and it is not on their terms. Your body demands you close your eyes and continue resting, moving through the circadian cadence that you need so badly. But it doesn’t happen that way when you’re a mother.

You cry softly for the third time in the last two hours and I roll on my side praying you can put yourself back down without me. As your whimpering moves into full fledged sobbing, I rouse myself from the warmth of my bed and shuffle into the next room, murmuring the same sweet things I said to get you to close your eyes a mere half hour ago. Your pacifier had fallen through the slots of your crib, you’d rolled onto your back, and tears were streaming down your face. When you see my silhouette your sobbing subsides into soft hiccups as you reach your arms up to be lifted into mine.

I rock you softly in the dark. I sing to you. I rub your back and hold you against me. You suckle the pacifier and gaze up at my face, eyes wide in the darkened room as you strain to see me fully. I try not to let my frustration seep into my voice as I sing to you. I try and relax the tenseness in my body from the fear you’ll never sleep through the night and one day I’ll have to let you cry it out. I send you good vibes and positive thoughts as I attempt to shoo away the desperation that can only stem from night after night of broken sleep and the haunting call of your pitiful cry.

My mantra, is short and sweet. It does wonders to heal my tired soul and weary body. “You’re worth it” I murmur softly into her soft downy hair. “You’ll always be worth it.” And so we rock and sing to you of butterfly kisses and not returning home without you. Eventually you are lulled back into a feeling of safeness and the salt is the only thing left on your cheeks. I rock you a few extra minutes to make sure you’re really asleep, I sing and sing even after I’ve laid you down and begin moving out of the room.

As I gently close the door of your nursery I pray you don’t wake up again, but before I turn away from your room I think to myself “Even if you do, you’re worth it.” And you’ll never hear any different from me.

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