Selfish Parenting

Confession time here.

This morning at 6:22, after nowhere near enough sleep, I was awakened by Jacob’s distressed cry. The words that came from my mouth were not exactly the sweet and sympathetic kind. Something to the effect of “Uhhhhhhh. JaCUhhhhhhB!”

I did what every good mother would do and went down to care for him, whining inside. I got to the top of the basement stairs and there wasn’t a sound. He’d gone back to sleep. Jacob’s silence was the Holy Spirit’s unmistakeable reproof. “You are so selfish!” So today, fully awake thanks to my complaining attitude, I actually stayed up and gave the first of my time to God instead of waking only in time to fulfill my obligations. Hopefully this means I am going to have a better day.

Yesterday in Bible study the issue of “laying down your life” surfaced. It’s a concept that has been brought to mind often in the last few weeks and I believe it’s every Christian’s calling, and certainly every mother’s calling. The group of us, all of us moms, knows where this applies.

It got me thinking about how I approach Jacob and Sleep. He has not been sleeping as well in the last few weeks as he had been before. I’d gotten accustomed to a lovely, predictable schedule of long, quiet naps. Now there were 20 minute naps and no naps and temper tantrums and all. I know that there are a million reasons this could be happening, and I know part of it is the steady march of Trying to Mesh Two Babies’ Schedules, Daylight Savings, and Holiday House Guests. And I know Mondays are always hard for him because Sundays are usually wrought with sleep-deprivation.

What’s going on in my head when he wakes up after 45 minutes in what should’ve been a 2.5 hour nap is where the confession comes in. It’s not “Oh, poor boy, he’s having trouble sleeping.” It’s “Please go back to sleep. I’m not ready to lay my life down for you.” And when I try to mesh his schedule with the toddler’s, even though I think that’s a fair and reasonable goal for a busy mom to have, I find I’m usually doing it because I am treating them as though they’re getting in the way of what I want to do. So I keep him awake a half hour too long and then complain to myself about my own inconvenience when his nap suffers because he’s too keyed-up from being over-tired to stay asleep properly. And I wonder why there are sleep problems. And I feel like the victim here.

Bad Mommy.

I really have no moralizing to do here. Just making note of the fact that I am a big fat sinner.

The End.

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