Breaking My Sense of Entitlement

Today’s post is going to be short. No graphics (your heartfelt tears of anguish will go to good use as novel fodder).

Why? Winter Jam on Friday into Saturday, major house cleaning afterward in a mad scramble because the little was with her grandparents, the all-day at church typical Sunday, and the no-sleep that ensued that night and Monday because said little has a cold (T_T poor baby). I HAZ TIREDNESS.

And originally I was going to post about Winterjam; upload pics and videos! But then WordPress was all like, Hold up–you need premium for video. Ma.Ji.De. (Seriously?!)

So, redirect.

I have this terrible habit of thinking things should go this or that way because I want and/or (think I) need it to. Prime example: Sunday night, Astrid goes down for the night and doesn’t eat much. At this point I wasn’t sure why, but I did know her lack of willingness to eat then meant she’d be up around 10-10:30, and, sure enough, she was. And normally, she eats and goes back to sleep after chatting for a bit. Not that night!

No, you see, she couldn’t be bothered with loving sleep (all mothers deeply cherish sleep, so this is a tragic conflict of interest*). Which meant I could not love sleep. And, the barely functioning, somehow still rational part of me that wasn’t a zombie when she continued to wake at horrific intervals and then woke for good around 2am, thought I should be grateful. She is a precious gift. I have the privilege of being a mom. My child is alive.

Because it is indeed a privilege.

I’d read a lot of articles saying where the author would say things like ‘I’d give anything just to have my baby back to hold and cuddle, even if it meant I never slept a wink’ or ‘Those of you lucky enough to have your children with you today, cherish them and (major paraphrase here) don’t be so uptight about getting sleep’. And I know a couple who has experienced that terrible loss…and when I consider them in my rational moments, I’m quite disgusted with myself.

*Over-generalization? I’m ok with that right now. Not you? You’re weird and must function on adrenaline and caffeine and darkness. Which is totally fine. But I need sleep, so…our friendship just may be doomed. Cheesecake?

But sleep. Is. Necessary.

And when she woke at 2am, I wanted sleep…not a crying child who kept trying to crawl and get up in her pack n play. I ignored her. Then, when she was not phased by my efforts, I raised my voice. Cue escalation until I reluctantly (and quite angrily) got out of bed yet again to feed her because what else in the world could possibly be her problem(?!).

Ah.

She has a cold/drainage/mucus. She can’t breathe well. She’s frustrated and tired because she can’t suck on her paci because she wouldn’t be able to breathe at all.

Man, after realizing this and seeing her suffer in the aftermath (nose suckers, saline spray, tissues, and medicine of any kind are enemies), I felt awful. And then I realized something else, something worth pondering when I asked myself why God allowed all of this to happen at this moment when I so desperately needed sleep: my sense of entitlement is egregious.

Yes, I do need sleep. Everyone needs sleep! But my daughter’s need and well-being matter more. I, in believing everything was fine, was belligerent because it wasn’t to Astrid and it should have been. Things weren’t going the way I (thought I) needed them to; I needed sleep!! What I didn’t realize until later was that Astrid’s need to, you know, breathe (mom fail x500) trumped my need to sleep.

Your situations probably differ wildly from the above example…but just may have the same root of entitlement.

Life is a gift. The ability to speak, to dance, to write–and yes, even to not sleep to take care of another–is a gift. If we don’t start cherishing it, we just may lose it. Then again, if we have failed to take stock of the beauty of what’s before us, maybe, in a sense, we already have.

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