This morning, for the first time in a very long time, I woke up at 9:30 a.m. I went to bed fairly early, did not have any nightly visitors, did not have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, was not awakened by my dear husband's wicked snoring episodes.
I laid my head down on the pillow, snuggled into the plush mattress and closed my eyes. Nature and the exhaustion I have been feeling for a while now took care of the rest.
And my perspective this morning? Bright. Alert. Maybe even positive and optimistic.
After a night of rest, things seem clear, unobstructed.
Much of motherhood is this way. We work, we mother, we nurture, we cook and clean, organize and hug, wipe counters, butts and noses. But rarely, do we rest. Rarely, we succumb to the intoxicating elixir of sleep; wholly, intentionally, decisively.
Although our bodies certainly appreciate the replenishing, our minds desperately need it as well. All too often, we are foggy brained. We cannot remember tasks that must be completed, grocery lists, birthdays, anniversaries, meetings for spouses or parent teacher organizations. We are short tempered and just plain grouchy. Not at all the mothers we anticipated being when we were expecting our firstborns.
No one tells you that you will be this tired, most of the time. Sure, you hear, "you'd better sleep all you can now." But, you know you cannot bank sleep like you are socking away a small amount for a fabulous pair of shoes. There is no storing up to use for later.
But there are moments that seem to magically restore us. Your baby's first smile (even if it is gas induced), the first time you hear "Mama," when you get a love letter from your spouse, a small whispered thank you when you have been understanding and reflective instead of angry and reactive to a misbehaving child.
And we are capable of renewing ourselves, if we choose to. Mothers are people too. We need to be silly, unleashed, unrestricted at times. We do more with less on a daily basis. Think of the rewards when we do more with more. More time, more energy, more imagination. The possibilities are endless.
This morning, my sons were in a little bit of shock that I had slept so late. My two older boys can recognize when I am operating at a minimum. They encourage me to just sit and read, or catnap, if I can. Joshua does not. He is still too young to realize how much he requires of me physically. Yet, he has a compassionate heart. "Sowee mommy," when he has clumsily stepped on my toes, when he has spilled something.
That heartfelt apology goes a long way for this tired mom. Perhaps not as much as a good stretch of uninterrupted slumber, but enough to get me through the rest of the day.