I’ve been having a week where I am a lot busier than usual. Add to that a sick kid, and sleep for me has been fleeting lately. Honestly, I’ve been feeling sort of whiny about that fact, because I very much enjoy sleep.

Then I thought about just what it means to be a mom who has had very little sleep. I thought about all of you moms out there reading MomLife Today who have babies and young children that are in serious need of a sound night’s sleep.

I remember those days well.

I was one of those mothers who used to smirk when I would hear someone talk about colic—I figured that was just a flimsy excuse for someone who didn’t know how to properly take care of a baby. That was a smirk I lived to regret.

Joining the sleepless parents club

My son was born a month early, but was healthy and able to go home from the hospital two days after he was born. From the time I got him home, sleep was a longed for, but seldom acquired commodity—for him and me. 

He cried … and cried … and cried. I was beside myself trying to bring comfort to this son of mine who balled his little fists as he wailed for hours.

One day, my husband shared with me a little-known fact that he thought I might find interesting.

“Did you know that King Henry VIII used to have his subjects wake him every 15 minutes because he knew that not getting a good night’s sleep would make him meaner and better able to wreak havoc on his kingdom?”

Of course this information was met by me with a cold hard stare and the question, “Are you trying to tell me something here, Dear?” (I wondered if he made that up just to prove a point.)

When my son was a newborn I learned all about 15 minutes of sleep, and I was getting only about four of those a night. In the long run all I could do was hold my son, rock him, sing to him, and love him through the colic he experienced the first 5 1/2 months of his life. It was excruciating for him and me.

Some encouragement for tired moms

To all you moms out there with crying babies, whining toddlers, and children not interested in sleeping at all—hang in there and love your babies through those rough nights.

I want to encourage you that the rewards gained through the selfless love of a mother are relationship and a bonding experience that lasts into their teen years. (Maybe longer, but that’s all I can speak to … so far.)

Some things never change. Last week my 16-year-old daughter woke up at 4:00 a.m., really sick and I woke up to, “Mom, can I get in bed with you guys?” So for the next two days and nights, I got little sleep as I played nursemaid and helped get her back to wellness.

As I’ve thought about last week’s sleepless nights, it made me thankful for the sleepless nights I’ve spent in years past, and thankful that my daughter wanted to come crawl in bed with me when she was sick.

It made me realize that God has a purpose in a mother’s selflessness—when a child needs help, that child will come to a mom who has proven herself dependable.

All the many hours of lost sleep have been worth it. A sleepless mom is a mom who is loving her children well and opening herself up to a lifetime of hearing, “Mom …?”

It reaffirmed my belief that selflessness toward my children is necessary in not just their physical needs, but in their emotional and spiritual growth needs as well, especially as they get older.

I am convinced anew that I need to pour into my children’s lives so that they will come to me at 4:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. to ask for my help in any life circumstance. My role is to help, love and point them towards the One who loves them most of all!

Psalm 62:1-2

Bible verses for a tired mom

If you’re a mom who is currently in the throes of long days and sleepless nights, here is some encouragement and hope straight from the Word of God that might help.

2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Philippians 4:12-13: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Psalm 62:1-2: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Hang in there moms. It really is worth every sleepless night … really!

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One Comment

  1. What a wonderful article. Until becoming a mother, I never understood what "mama" meant. Now it is the sweetest and best feeling word that flows through my ears. My little girls, ages 3 & 4, hear me telling them that they can always come to "mama" with absolutely any kind of problem or issue. What an honor to be the first one called for when your child is feeling under the weather.