As a young mother I find myself going through moments of showing selfishness to my daughter. Sometimes it comes as a wince before opening up the bedroom door. Other times it is a quick sigh before getting up off the couch. Sometimes it is even picking her up more swiftly than usual. I am not proud of these things. I wish with all my heart that I could be constantly in love with my daughter, putting her always before me and never once, even in the deep night when this 37 week pregnant mother needs rest, rush a cuddle or huff at a cry. But it does happen, and it seems to be a bit more frequent in the night, when I am weary.
This is part of my journal writings last night while sitting in bed. Little W had been crying off and on for over 2 hours, not wanting to sleep. When I would go in, she would stop crying or at least settle down. Then, when I would leave the room, she would cry again violently. This is not a common occurrence but it was not the first time.
“…Back. I think she wants to stay up. She brought me a book to read her and cried when I stayed in her room. She wanted me to go out with her and be awake. I know she is exhausted, I wonder why she does this. I am very tired. I did not get a nap today since we went to see the midwife. While W napped early I took a shower and got things ready- so no nap for me today. Hopefully tomorrow. It is interesting being in these situations. On one hand I am tired and human (selfish) and want to go to sleep- so I could get frustrated and short with her. But also I love her as deeply as I feel a human can love another human and it hurts me every time she cries, warranted or not. My poor reaction will only make us both miserable (and maybe even leave me feeling worse in the end). So I must be careful when I respond. I must see her through love and deny myself over and over- or I will regret it deeply. She has been quiet for a while now. I hope her eyes grew heavy and she can now dream sweet dreams…”
It is harder when we are weary. It is harder to be patient. It is harder to speak softly. It is harder to be gentle. It is harder to love. And we seem to go through seasons where weariness is common. But we can be loving when we are weary. We have to be patient with ourselves, too. We have to lean on the truth and remember that we gave ourselves for our families, and that is a good thing, because we are worshiping God with our servanthood. Every wiped spill, every magnet picked up off the floor, every time we pause to handle a situation with softness instead of frustration. We can do it because God gives us peace when we call on Him- and our actions can reflect His love.