Eleven months ago, my life changed forever. Gone were the days of staying up late, and watching movies with my husband. No more sleeping through the night either. No more being selfish, and only thinking about my own wants and needs.
Eleven months ago, Jon and I became parents. It has been a crazy emotional rollercoaster filled with a lot of tears, laughs, heart ache, and sleepless nights. I believe at one point my dad said “Sleepless in Provo.”
Jon and I have joked about different parenting ‘milestones.’ They range from getting out first full nights sleep since Jackson, to finally being able to just give Jackson his bottle, and not having to sit and feed him. With each little milestone, Jon and I have celebrated. There are certain milestones that Jon and I forgot about, like the first time you are up all night with a sick child. I remember well my parents being up all night with me while I had the stomach flu, or after surgeries. I think that is something I really took for granted. I always assumed it was their job, they had to. In a sense, it is. Parents are supposed to care for and provide for their children. However, recently my perspective has changed.
Last week, we took Jackson to Salt Lake to go swimming with cousins. The last time we took him swimming he absolutely loved it! He had so much fun, that we thought that he would like to go swimming again. We were definitely wrong on that parg. There is a diving board at that pool, and he was so scared of it. Anytime it made a sound, he would silver and shake, and cry. The pool was a scary place for our little guy. However, when he was swimming and playing with Jon and I, he got some water in his mouth. We didn’t think anything of it. Obviously we should have, because he was throwing up for the next four days.
Our sweet Jackson had the stomach flu for quite a while. He was up for several nights in a row. Jon and I were lucky to get four hours of sleep, only to wake back up the next morning and work an eight hour shift. I stated that my perspective on staying up all night has changed, and it has! I didn’t get up with Jackson because I had to, I got up with him because I wanted to. I wanted to make sure he was okay, to give him any comfort he needed, and to do whatever I could to make his tummy feel better. I found myself wanting to peek in on him more than usual, just to make sure he was okay. Even though Jon, my voice of reason, would always assure me that he was fine.
We aren’t forced to get up with our almost one year old multiple times a night, because sleeping through the night is still a little hard. If Jon and I wanted to, we could let him cry it out. We have tried that method, and in a previous post I detailed how it has worked for us. However, recently he has taken a few steps back when it comes to that. And that is OK! Jon and I may be a little frustrated, but we are happy to get up with him, and to make sure that he is okay, knows that he is safe, and to help him go back to sleep. It isn’t like we are being forced to do something we absolutely hate! We want Jackson to know that he is loved, and that while he isn’t feeling good, or if he had a nightmare, we will be right there to help him.
So no, we don’t have to get up with him. We choose to get up with him. We want to get up with him, especially when he isn’t feeling well. When Jackson is feeling particularly clingy, but we have a million and one things to do, we choose to sit and comfort him, rather than do chores. And we love it. Sure, it is a little frustrating to have a sink full of dishes and not be able to do them, but I will never pass up a chance to snuggle with my boy while he still wants to snuggle.
There are so many parts of being a parent that can be so challenging, and Jon and I are just getting started. I am sure the toddler and teenage years are going to be just peachy! Right now though, I am okay to struggle through the tired tantrums, the exploration, crawling, attempted walking, and more. Because I sure do love my little boy, and he has sure changed mine and my husband’s lives for the better. I still can’t believe he is going to be one in three weeks! Where has the time gone???