Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Kind of Mom Are You?

My great-grandmother, Janet Matilda Johnson Ott, was legendary in her abilities in midwifery and taking care of the sick. She spent countless nights away from her large family and bishop/husband delivering babies and helping others.

I, on the other hand, am not a good "middle-of-the-night mother." I cannot bear being awakened in the night. In fact, I have a personality change if awakened suddenly in the night. Think grizzly and hibernation. It's that bad. And I'm not really conscious, so it's difficult to control. So bad that Micah often seeks Heidi's comfort in the night for nightmares because she's nice. Like her dad.

Last night, Baby A had more digestive issues. 2 am he woke up screaming and filthy. Brad, of course, is still recovering from surgery, so I couldn't burden him in his drug-induced stupor, because, really, what could he do? So I handled the situation alone--stripped the bed, bathed the child, hoped he didn't wake anyone else up (Hyrum was half-awake, but not fully conscious). And I did not do well, I might add. How can I become more Christlike and long-suffering in the middle of the night? I can't even find it within myself to be polite, let alone kind and nice.

After helping him for fifteen minutes, I crawled back in bed, and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't get back to sleep. I've been fighting Ben's same cold for three weeks, and I can't seem to kick it. Came back with a vengeance last night. As I lay there, coughing up my left lung and feeling so sorry for myself that I was missing valuable sleep, I came to a conclusion. I need to change this flaw. I have many young children left at home, so I'm going to be up in the night for many years to come. It helps no one and it hurts feelings. I want to channel my inner Grandma Ott. How do I find it? How do you handle midnight trials?


  1. When you find the answer, pass it along to me.

  2. I believe that the answer is giving your husband back scratches and cookies.

  3. I am one who really needs and craves sleep, however I go to bed so late or early depending on how you look at it that I am often still awake when problems might arise. There are times when I can be not so nice when I am awakened but the thought that I can still go back to sleep makes me happy. I am also not real awake when I do things so that helps my mood. There are times when it's my turn to pray or even read and I have no recollection of doing either. I can also pretend I am awake on the phone, carry on a conversation and go back to sleep never knowing about it. It is hard when I am told things I should remember or if I commit to things..... you see if you were the person I was on the phone with you would never know I was still asleep and talking to you. Naps helped me when my kids were little. For me not just them.

  4. I am not a good mom after 8pm... so I am with you sister!!!

  5. How I wish I had words of wisdom for you. I got nothin'.
    Do thoughts and prayers count? Because I can offer lots of those!
    Thinking of you.

    Randomness....what ever happened with the deodorant?

  6. I'm not the greatest middle of the night mom, either. I could do it when I had babies, and had to get up every 3 hours to nurse, but now I think I'm too old, and I NEEEED my sleep. And then after getting up to take care of someone, I have a hard time getting back to sleep, and then I get angry about it, too. I guess it's just something we have to push through. Good luck.

  7. My kids ALWAYS go to Dads side of the bed - he (tho asleep during all tasks) is much. much nicer than me in the middle of the night!

    One time we had cousins sleep over and one was throwing up and Logan woke up my Brother in Law Dave instead of me to clean it up!!

    What does that say about Me?

  8. I'm the one on our parenting team who wakes up easily in the night, but my husband always had a hard time. I think it's just what it is, Jen. You're either a deep sleeper or you're not, and no one likes being awakened out of a deep sleep, especially for poop duty.

    Sounds to me like you are giving it the best you can, and that may have to be good enough. Hey, you're putting him back to bed clean, right? And that counts for a lot, in my book! (His too, I bet...)


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