Becoming a mother is an awesome experience, yet trying to settle your new baby down to sleep is not always so awesome. While some babies fall asleep easily, others seem to refuse to settle down unless nestled in Mom’s arms.
The problem: Mom’s arms are usually needed for ten other things at that very moment, which can make taking time to hold baby feel like an unnecessary indulgence.
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But what if taking that time is exactly what we’re meant to do? Blogger Kate Thornalley -aka Mrs. Mombastic- recently shared her thoughts on the matter in a Facebook post that is clearly resonating with fellow moms, earning over 22K shares in just one day.
You know the sweet moment when your baby falls asleep against your chest? While it’s endearing, it’s often accompanied with that nagging feeling of knowing there are so many chores & tasks waiting, and sometimes even guilt for neglecting them as you SIT STILL.
Thornalley knows just that feeling; as her daughter fell asleep in her arms, she details how her mind immediately wandered to the dirty dishes in her sink and the countless chores that needed tending.
And we all do that, don’t we? As moms, we’re accustomed to multi-tasking. While we adore the moments of holding our babies close, we know there’s endless work to be done.
And that’s precisely her point. Here, in her own words, is her revelation:
But what if, just say, WHAT IF this is how it is supposed to be?
Sure, it makes sense that babies would love to snuggle up against their mothers; they typically crave that connection. But Kate hit on a thought-provoking realization that perhaps this time is not only for baby, but for Mom as well:
what if that is also meant to work out for the mother to rest too. It’s meant to be for OUR benefit.
Perhaps baby’s choice to snuggle down in your arms isn’t solely for his/her benefit alone. The need for your child to settle down peacefully against you might be signaling a benefit for you as well!
To sit back for just a moment, and forget about everything else going on in life. To take in the beauty of our children, and rest.
Rest. It’s a simple term, but a complicated reality for mothers. Mothers of newborns seldom feel truly rested while adapting to the sleep deprivation that comes with early motherhood.
And mothers of more than one child are painfully aware that the demands that caring for a newborn while juggling the needs of other children can make rest elusive if not seemingly impossible.
But Kate Thornalley’s point is both poignant and wise. We’re so used to the hustle of the daily grind that sometimes we neglect to give ourselves permission to slow down- even when we know we’re might be missing something special.
When I initially read those words, I was instinctively skeptical. I thought of the countless things that I’m responsible for on any given day, and how impractical this perspective could seem to some.
But it’s clear that Thornalley understands the busyness of life:
And there are always a million things that need to be done before the day is over.
Yet, it’s those little moments that make all of the busyness worth it. The moments when you not only connect with the tiny human you’re working so hard for, but you also give yourself the gift of rest because you deserve it, for working so hard.
It doesn’t come naturally for some of us. We cherish our tiny babies, but our minds are often swamped with everything else that is left undone. We chase a never-ending “To Do” list instead of allowing ourselves guilt-free time with out little one, even for just a moment.
PERHAPS OUR BABIES AND CHILDREN NEEDING US TO BE STILL WITH THEM IS NATURE’S WAY OF TELLING US TO SLOW DOWN FOR JUST A MOMENT.
Kate Thornalley message is powerful in it’s simplicity. Rest. You baby needs that time with you, and YOU need that time, too. It’s obvious by the massive social media response to her words that other moms are savoring her message, too.