The Days Are Long

When we decided that it was really, officially time for Charlie to sleep in her own room all I could think about was what I was losing. I was losing the closeness of having her in my arms all night. I was losing the ability to just turn my head and see her asleep in her pack in play. I was losing the ability to nurse her through the night without getting out of bed. I was losing a lot and I was so mournful.

At the end of the day I don’t have any regrets. Charlie sleeps better in her room, and selfishly I have some space back. I can now go back to my room at 9:00 while Chief stays up watching whatever. I can watch Downton without complaint. I can put my laundry away without waking my kid up. I can color, or read, or work on the computer. It’s like getting a bit of freedom back.

I also got something new from this change. I appreciate Charlie so much more. She is the most amazing creature. I have been amazed at how easily she has adjusted. I miss her every night when I get into bed-but I also have something amazing to look forward to-her waking up.

I thought I would hate getting up a few times a night, walking into another room, and having to force myself to stay awake until she’s done eating-but I don’t. I haven’t been “awake” for a middle of the night feeding since she was a newborn, back when cosleeping still freaked me out so much that I probably didn’t sleep much at all. But now I get her out of bed and I always say “Cafe Momma is open for business, now seating for our midnight, 2 am, etc, service.” She nurses for a few minutes and falls asleep (this is against the rules of our sleep plan, but I don’t care. It doesn’t seem to be hurting anything). Then I always lift her up and put her head on my chest and just rock with her for a few minutes.

Every night, I rock with her, and I tell her how much she has changed our lives. I try to express how much I love her. I smell her hair and kiss her head a few times. I rub her back, and I rock, rock, rock. It doesn’t matter how tired I am-I never skip this part. We always rock. Maybe just for a minute, maybe for ten. Then I lay her back in bed, she rolls to her side and drifts back into sleep, and I pad my way back into our room where I fall back asleep pretty instantly too, looking forward to our next visit.

She won’t remember this. She will never remember how her nursery filled up with love two times a night, and she won’t remember what the sound of my heart felt like in her ear as she drifted back off, or the scent of the detergent on my nightgown. I wish she would, but she won’t. I will forever though. I will think about it on her wedding day, and when she has her first baby, and as I’m drawing my last breath I pray I have the clarity of mind to remember these moments above all, because they have been the most precious of my life.

I haven’t slept through the night in something like a year and a half now (because no one ever thinks about how you basically stop sleeping when you’re pregnant, thanks bladder), and some days are long. Some days are really long. But Charlie is eight months old now, so while the days are long, I am realizing how very short the years are. Soon, very soon I know this baby girl won’t need me in the night. Our rocking days are numbered, but they are mine for now, and mine alone, and I won’t wish them away.

Because the days are long, but the years? They are so, so short.

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10 thoughts on “The Days Are Long

  1. This is absolutely beautiful, and I had tears in my eyes while reading it. Save this blog for her, so that she knows. Or at least print out this one and tuck it away for her to open on her wedding day, or on the day she has her first baby. Because she should definitely read this one day. ❤

  2. I’m happy to hear that you feel like you’ve gained so much with her moving. I’m sort of secretly dreading the end of co-sleeping/bed-sharing. It kind of hurts my heart when she sleeps in the mamaroo 2 feet away from me instead of in my arms. This makes me feel so much better.

  3. I have not commented for a long time, but always enjoy reading your posts. I have a 16 year old son, 13 year old daughter, 6 year old son and a beautiful 11 week old baby boy. I just had to tell you that yes, the years pass blindingly fast, heartbreakingly fast! My 16 year old is a man. I still remember his skinny legs and luscious lips when he was born as if it was yesterday. It physically hurts to see them grow up. To lose the cuddles and night feeds etc etc is heart wrenching. I feel so blessed at 44 years old to have another chance to soak all this magic baby time in again. I applaud you for “getting it” first time around.. The fleeting moments I too hope I will be able to remember clearly for the rest of my years.

    Heidi

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. This made me all teary. Our middle of the night feeds are much the same. She nurses until she falls asleep (like you said–against the “rules,” but it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything!) and then I just hold her for a bit and kiss her little head. I love those moments. The past week or so, I’ve kept her with me from 4 am on or so just because I missed her too much. I probably shouldn’t, but oh well. This time is so fleeting. They’re growing so fast.

  5. You made me teary-eyed too! The years are far too short! I can’t believe the way M has grown in just over two years…the time really does fly by! Enjoy every moment 🙂

  6. This was so beautifully written. And made me cry. 😭 I love how you wrote that “the days are long but the years are short.” It’s so true. I’m trying so hard to cherish every second with my baby girl. Rocking her. Kissing her. Hugging her. Thank you for this post.

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