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How do you show hold-me-close love to a baby who keeps waking you up in the middle of the night? This the question I have been pondering.
It all started a few weeks ago when I decided that I needed to read more books. So I took a trip to the library and picked up the book What Every CHILD Needs by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall. I took it home and eagerly began to read. But despite the authors expressed intentions of not causing mommy guilt, I got a good case of it. I put the book down and left it.
Two weeks later, I picked it back up. This time, the book started to make sense. I was so excited. Then my daughter kept waking my up during the night. And I began question everything I had read.
The chapter had been about hold-me-close love. Hold-me-close love is the love that gives children security and develops trust. As its name implies, this type of love involves a lot of snuggles from mom. It also includes time and eye contact.
As I was reading, I thought of my son and was like, “I got this hold-me-close love stuff down. This is stuff I already do.”
Then, one night, my daughter kept waking me up. I was furious. After many months of disjointed sleep, she has finally started sleeping through the night. So why was she waking up? All hold-me-close love went out the door. In its place was a tired, angry bear.
That morning, when I was a tiny bit more awake, I felt guilty for my anger. And I began to ask myself some questions. How was I to show hold-me-close love to a screaming baby who won’t go back to sleep without assistance? How do I keep my sleep-deprived temper from flaring up when my children wake me up?
It is easy to show hold-me-close love to a child who runs to you scared or who as scraped a knee. It is also easy to show love when your child is being sweet and charming. But stealing your sleep?
I wish I had the answers to these questions, but I don’t. All I know is that I need to keep relying on God for my strength.