The Importance of Nighttime Snuggles.

My husband is forever telling me that I need to be tougher with my daughter. That I need to ignore her cries more often. That I shouldn’t race up the stairs every time she  shrieks in the night.

He means well. He’s trying to save me from night after night of interrupted sleep—and the black circles and foggy thoughts that accompany them.

But while the exhausted, can’t-I-just-sleep-for-12-hours working mom in me would love to roll over and put the pillow over her head, the Mommy in me can’t do it.

Why? Well because as much as I love my sleep, those nighttime snuggles often do my heart good.

In those moments, the feisty, independent toddler who wants to do everything for herself is gone. In her place is the sweet little baby I once knew, who just wants to be close to her mama.

When I pick her up, her tear stained face relaxes and her stiff body goes limp. Her hand—far less chubby than it used to be—fists in my hair. She burrows down until she can hear my heartbeat and  closes her eyes with a sigh, safe in the knowledge that her Mommy is there.

In those moments, my body regains the rocking rhythm of those first months, swaying side to side in time with her breath. Something in me releases, a tension I didn’t know I was holding disappearing. I see the shadow of her newborn self in her momentarily still features, and I am transported back in time.

I am Mommy. She is my baby. The real world has yet to separate us. I can give her everything she needs, be everything she needs, if only for that small moment in time.

No amount of sleep is worth more than that.

18 Comments on The Importance of Nighttime Snuggles.

  1. Jenny
    May 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you for that! You have me choked up!

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 4, 2011 at 9:05 am (5 years ago)

      Gotta get sappy every once in a while…

      Reply
  2. Rebecca
    May 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm (5 years ago)

    If my kids were that peaceful when they sleep, I probably wouldn’t mind nighttime snuggles but mine are FITFUL sleepers. They toss and turn and kick their legs and flap their arms and make moaning, groaning sounds and talk. It’s all I can do just to stay in the same HOUSE as them they make so much noise when they sleep

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 4, 2011 at 9:04 am (5 years ago)

      Snort. I understand. She can be quite the flapper. She actually seems to like to smack my face…to make sure I’m still there, I think.

      Reply
  3. Amanda C
    May 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm (5 years ago)

    I do the same thing at night, mostly because Brian usually sleeps right through either of the boys’ crying or screaming. And, because Julian’s exclusively breastfed, I’m the one who needs to get up and feed him, anyway. Despite that, there are some evenings where I actually enjoy sitting in the rocker, feeding him. It gives me time to think. If I’m not TOO tired, that’s when my great ideas come to me…nestled with my baby in my arms. :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 4, 2011 at 9:04 am (5 years ago)

      I remember those times! Of course, usually I was too tired the next morning to remember what they were…

      Reply
  4. E
    May 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm (5 years ago)

    I was at the pediatrician the other day and was discussing how I put kiddo down to sleep and how I can start transitioning to a big girl bed. When I told her that I laynin bed with her until she nods off, she said ” well, you don’t want to kee doing that when the second baby comes! ” and I was all…um…yeah, I kinda do!

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 4, 2011 at 9:03 am (5 years ago)

      It’s probably a good idea… Mommy and Bea time is going to be important. In other news, you’re transitioning to a big girl bed? I’m afraid to do that. I guess you have to, though…

      Reply
  5. Erin
    May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

    Oh… That was goooood. Def. a tear jerker. As always brilliantly crafted and poetically perfect.

    and…the reason I having another Monkey:)

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 6, 2011 at 8:35 am (5 years ago)

      Congratulations on the upcoming Monkey! You’re a brave woman. I don’t think I could do 4.

      Reply
  6. Jaime {James & Jax}
    May 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm (5 years ago)

    I completely relate to you on this! As my son gets older, I think I appreciate the nighttime snuggles even more because I know they won’t last forever.

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 6, 2011 at 8:34 am (5 years ago)

      Nope. Before long, they won’t want any hugs at all!

      Reply
  7. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    May 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm (5 years ago)

    I so know what you mean. You can sleep when she’s older.

    Altho, sleep IS nice now, too. 😉

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 6, 2011 at 8:34 am (5 years ago)

      Agreed. I’m hoping to get to sleep until 9 a.m. as my Mother’s Day present. We’ll see…

      Reply
  8. BalancingMama (Julie)
    May 5, 2011 at 7:15 am (5 years ago)

    Too sweet. I have a good sleeper, but she has a night here & there when she wakes up scared. In the darkness of her room, at 2 or 3 a.m., she looks like a baby again. I kind if like having her snuggled into her soft foam mattress pad on our bedroom floor. I like having her close like that. Once in a while it’s just what I need.

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 6, 2011 at 8:33 am (5 years ago)

      Every once in a while is the key phrase there. Mostly, I like to sleep.

      Reply
  9. Alli n Son
    May 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Even though I’m at home with my son I can totally relate to this. In the middle of the night when I’m the only one who can calm him, we share a moment that isn’t possibly during the day.

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 9, 2011 at 11:48 am (5 years ago)

      It’s a good thing those moments can be so nice – otherwise I’d never get my butt out of bed.

      Reply

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