Jolted awake at 2 (or 3 or 4) am.
There is no baby crying
No toddler is at the side of my bed, staring me awake
There is no feverish child, looking for comfort
No teen is arriving home too late, trying to quietly creep to a bedroom,
The phone is silent; there is no emergency afar
This is a new stage
A warm wave washes over me, a reminder that the baby-making days are done
No regrets come with this reminder, just occasional melancholy
I miss the baby snuggles, the soft pats, seeing those “lightbulb” moments of toddlerhood
Like most parents, I wish I had played more, listened more, been fully present more
But active parenting is now in my past
Now that I am awake, the brain has been turned on
Tomorrow I have to remember to do X, Y and Z. Why didn’t I write that down?
How does anyone survive night after night of broken sleep?
Do other people simply fake being awake and functional?
Will the bags under my eyes ever go away?
Will I ever sleep through the night again? Have I asked this question before?
This is a phase that no one talks about, except to make jokes – Why?
Because all women go through it and we feel the need to “just suck it up?”
Because our lives have been blessed, so we can’t complain?
Because it means we truly have reached the other side?
Because it’s “impolite” and we might make others uncomfortable?
Why do we care what others think?
There is no good reason
This is a completely natural process
Why do we go through this alone?
We should talk about it more
Pass me a cold drink and a fan
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