interrupted naptime: a new mom’s prayer

3-month-old baby sleeps softly in his crib, a pea in a pod swaddled all snug, surrounded by little spit up spots, milk stains…dirty socks, burpies, and onsies sprinkle the ground around the crib, disheveled reminders of his sweet life.

I sit now at my laptop, unshowered and wearing yesterday’s baggy shirt that’s easy for nursing while hubby naps upstairs. I took the night feeding, and he got up in the dark morning hours to give baby his spit-up medicine before his breakfast.

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The cat who knocked my water over this morning sleeps underneath the Christmas tree, and I finally have a moment to exhale before an hour is up. My last blood thinner injection sits on the counter, and I can’t believe it’s my last one – a token of mine, boy’s, and hubby’s victory over a traumatic labor.

How can so much beauty and so much mess live side-by-side? The baby I’ve dreamed of for years now lays in his crib, yet for some reason I’m irked that the house isn’t orderly, that life isn’t orderly…I dwell on the laundry piles, on the spout of frustration I feel when a nap is shortened by that perfect little squeal…

Why do I insist on counting the hours of sleep I get, wishing baby would sleep through the night, instead of letting our days happen simply as they do?

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Photo by Joseph Wood

I tear up, realizing boy won’t be swaddled forever. That tiny, warm, soft bundle of blanket and blue eyes and milk on the chin will most likely be out of the swaddle in a matter of weeks, and yet I find myself trying to fit him into vain wishes for a neatly segmented day.

Perhaps rather than holding my breath, closing one eye and waiting for my “free time” to expire with the coos and squeals I’ve grown to love more than I knew a heart could…perhaps instead, I could accept the season we’re in – baby, hubby, and me – and even embrace the constantly “interrupted” day.

Maybe the interruptions aren’t really today’s interruptions – maybe they’re today’s gifts.

Baby cries for me because he loves me and knows I’ll comfort him, nourish him, enjoy him.

Baby wakes up in the night because he’s hungry still, a healthy, growing baby. I’m the only one who will ever know the glow of the night-light and the warmth of his cheek on my chest underneath twinkling stars outside.

Laundry waits because Hubby got it started for me, a servant husband who puts his family first.

Lord, help us new moms to accept the season we’re in – the season You’ve given us. The world doesn’t often value these days of diapers and pajamas, but You do. Bless us with eyes to see the holy work we’re doing, and bless us with Your heart for our babies, Your heart for our husbands, and Your heart for ourselves. Give us Your grace, wisdom, and mercy to accept, embrace, and thrive in this new, unseen-but-seen-by-You season we’re in. May we value our babies and homes as the “meat,” as the grand gifts of our days, rather than interruptions in our schedules. Remind us that there is a season for everything under the sun, and that this season is a beautiful, royal one indeed, crowned by Your love for us.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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