Dear Midnight Mama


midnight mamaHey Mama,

It is late – LATE – and here you are, awake.  These wee hours are the lonely ones of motherhood.  It feels like no one notices.  It feels like you’re alone.  The loneliness, the quiet, you can feel it. It can be so heavy.

But you’re not alone.  You’re SO FAR from alone. There are mamas everywhere who are up at right this minute for a whole host of reasons.

And these hours? These dark hours where all is quiet and you’re cultivating some impressive bags under your eyes? These are the hours where you matter most. Because this is the tough stuff of motherhood. This is where you show your grit. This is where you show your love.

Are you up with a new baby? It probably feels like you’ve fed that sweet little one non-stop since the moment they entered this world.  You’re tired. You’re tired in a brand new way you’ve either never imagined or completely forgot since the last time you had an infant.  You’re begging that sweet love to please sleep once you’re done feeding her. You’re burping and diapering and rocking and shushing. You’re exhausted. But you’re doing it anyway.

That is love.

Are you standing at your kitchen counter preparing meals for this week? No one notices the prep work you do to make those crazy weekday evenings run smoother. Your kids don’t see the time you spend preparing those after school snacks. Your husband doesn’t know how much thought has gone into every meal.  It can feel so thankless, but you do it anyway.

That is love.

Are you up soothing a big kid back to sleep? I know you’ve sung that song so many times you feel like you might lose your gosh darn mind.  But right now, it’s needed again. Because nobody can soothe a bad dream quite like you.

That is love.

Are you up and dealing with some of the “yuck” of motherhood? Nothing quite like cleaning up someone else’s bodily fluids when you’re barely able to keep your eyes open. But nothing gets you out of bed faster knowing that one of your babies (big or small) needs you in the wee hours. You are needed, so needed, in these hours.

That is love.

Are you wide awake because you’re powering through the last weeks of your pregnancy? Insomnia is such a cruel third trimester addition, isn’t it? You can’t get comfortable, and even if you find that magical pillow arrangement that allows some degree of comfort…you probably will have to break out of it to go to the bathroom. Again. You’re working so hard creating a precious new life, even when no one is seeing it in the middle of the night.

That is love.

You might be awake because eventually that to do list becomes a MUST DO list.  Because as much as people say that laundry & dishes can wait…sometimes you run out of clean forks and you’re just plain tired of staring at the pile of clothes on the couch. I know this is the stuff of life that can leave you weary – but you’re doing it for your family, don’t forget that.

That is love.

Maybe, and hopefully, you’re awake because you’re doing something for yourself.  These quiet night hours can be wonderful sometimes.  The house is quiet, and you can actually enjoy being alone. Maybe you’re writing, or painting, or catching up on a trashy reality TV show, whatever it is — it is GOOD to do something for yourself.  You have to care for yourself in order to care for your family.  Keep yourself a priority, mama. It matters.

And that is love.



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