A Promise I Made…

Many, many years ago, when we were longing to be parents, 
almost everyone we knew already had children.
We would often hear them complain about
 getting up in the night with their little ones.
I also remember hearing people inquire about
 someone’s newborn, 
“Is he/she a good baby?” 
And the implication would be: 
He/she was “good” if he/she was a sleeper and 
“not-so-good” if he/she was not a sleeper.  
Quite honestly, desperately longing to be a mommy, their complaints just kind of struck me hard.
And complaining has always bugged me.
{Even when I was a little kid.}
Come on – truthfully{!} – 
We have so much to be thankful for!
We, truly, have nothing to complain about.
So somewhere in there I made this promise to the Lord:
“I promise never, never, never to complain 
when I get up in the night with my kids.”
And boy-oh-boy did He have 
opportunity to see if I meant what I said when 
our sweet Abigail came along.
Cause that kid?
She did not sleep.
Not ever.
She was 3 days old when we brought her home 
from the hospital and it was 15 minutes from our home.  
She screamed the entire way.
We laughed about it for years.
And sleeping?
I remember her taking one nap, because she fell asleep 
in her swing and the vacuum was on.
I left that bad-boy vacuum on for an entire hour beside her, 
just so she would sleep.
She would wake anywhere between 10-15 times a night.
And all the while, I kept my promise.
I did not complain.
Not once.
I was so grateful to be a mommy.
I was a tired mommy, but none-the-less my heart was overjoyed just to be a mommy.
And back in those days I never told anyone that she didn’t sleep.  
I didn’t want anyone to tag her with the “bad baby” reasoning. 
Over the years we have had lots of kids get up lots of times.  
In fact a few years back, Dw said to me, 
“Wow Linny.  You have kept your promise to the Lord.  
You haven’t complained at all.  Not even a little.  
Your attitude has been amazing all these years.”  
It was such a sweet compliment from my hubby.  
I cherished his words.
Well here I am 53 and little Miss Ruby Grace has been so fragile.  And yes, she gets up in the night.
Of course, many nights in the PICU unit doesn’t help to get someone to sleep through the night!
But I am lovin’ being a mom of a teeny-tiny at my age.  
I am giddy that I have been given such a privilege!
So a couple of months ago I was thinkin’ about that promise I had made to the Lord and I had a bit of a chat with Him.
It went like this:
“Remember that promise I made you about not never 
complaining when my kids get up in the night?  
I’ve kept my promise, haven’t I? 
I haven’t complained and I won’t complain, 
but I do need to remind you that 
I am now 53.”  
And I laughed.
Like He needs to be reminded that I’m 53.
Anyway, a few weeks later our teeny-tiny African
 princess slept through the night.  
And so did I.
The next night she slept through the night as well.
And so did I.
I smiled
{and thanked Him}.
Well as much as I’d like to say she continued to 
sleep through the night, she did not.
And last night?
That little chica she understands when we tell 
her that her hero-daddy is speeding toward home, 
cause she was awake almost all night long.
She shrieked in delight.
She squealed with joy.
She said, “Da-da-da-da” over and over for hours!
Last night Isaiah had been throwing up before bed,
 so he slept on the little love seat in our bedroom. 
This morning he said, “Ruby was so loud in the nighttime mom!
  She was so chatty!”  
I responded, “I think she gets it that Daddy and Emma 
are on their way home!”
Graham this morning came to me and said, 
“Ruby woke me up!  She was soooo loud!”  
{He is kind of on the opposite side of the house 
from our room, and she woke him up! 
 She was soooo stinkin’ loud and it went on for hours!} 
I have giggled all morning.
Ruby was partying all night long.
I actually thought of trying to record her so you guys 
could hear her, although I was so sleepy 
it was beyond my scope of ability last night!
As for me? 
Definitely not gonna’ stand still for long today. 
Cause if I do,  I will surely fall asleep in the 
complete upright position. 
But so grateful for her middle-of-the-night squeals…
and so thankful that Daddy and Emma, 
Lord willing, will be arriving home tonight!

24 thoughts on “A Promise I Made…

  1. Thank you for posting this, it is exactly what I needed to hear today. My little one has decided that she would like to visit or snuggle with us every hour during the night, and while we are very tired, it helps to remember how grateful I am that God has given me the privilege of raising her!

  2. I use to love getting up with my kids during the night. I had them all to myself in the quiet of the house to sit and sing and rock. I would often sit and rock them long after they had gone back to sleep so I could burn the memory of them being little in my mind. I so miss those times now and often think 'if I could have just one more of those nights.' We lived at the top of a hill that over looked a city at that time and I would look out and wonder how many other mothers were up with their little ones.

  3. I admire your resolve! I'm not sure I did a great job of not complaining about sleepless nights with my older kids, but I'm going to remember your wise words for the future.

    Speaking of sleep, early pregnancy hormones have me up at odd hours of the night. It's a wonderful, quiet opportunity to lift loved ones up to God, and your family has certainly been prayed over in the wee hours!

  4. Love it! I totally agree!
    We waited for our 1st for 10 years! The other 2 are an added bonus. Praying for another bonus!

    I actually talked to a Christian woman who said she was counting the days till her kids leave home. I was taken aback. Wow. I want my kids to fly away from the nest and do their thing but I'm not counting the days… I'm savoring them! I'll savor them at 70 if the Lord sees fit!

    Thanks for letting us savor Ruby along with you!!

  5. I am so with you on the complaining about sleep… like you after longing for a baby… and then after losing Samuel and longing to be up in the night with a little one… it doesn't bother me when Levi is up in the night… (our special quiet time together… it is precious to me)

    Greg and Louis just said goodbye to DW and Emma… praying them all home Linny… you are such a bright light and example to me:)Smiling over the joyful reunions that will be taking a place all around tonight:)

  6. Seriously? You are awesome. I had my first (and only) six years ago when I was 23 and she didn't sleep. And I complained. And my husband complained. I never said she was a bad baby because she wasn't…but she was a bad sleeper. haha And honestly, I have wanted another little one for 4 years without any luck (blessing) and I still think, "gosh, IF I get to have another one…I hope it's a good sleeper". I'd still love to have another blessing even if they weren't though. 🙂

  7. As my heart longs to be a mother, those complaints from mothers hurt me too. I hope if I get the joy of carrying a child and/or being a mother, that I can be as strong as you were with that promise.

    And Ruby… chat on girlfriend!

  8. I must admit i did complain when our oldest were little. Not so much anymore…I think age and maturity has something to do with that…and a realization of how precious our kids are. I have vowed to never complain about having my kids home from school…it makes me upset everytime I hear parents wishing their kids would "get out of their hair"…It is all about our attitude!

  9. It's funny, just last night I was thinking/talking with the Lord that I don't have any kids (38 now) and wondering perhaps it is not His plan, so to cheer myself up it's probably just as well because I love a good sleep 🙂

    Finding the silver lining in clouds in opposite ways… giving thanks in ALL things 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness, my son was just like Abby. He hardly ever slept. He would finally goo to sleep at 1 in the morning and be up when his dad went to work at 5:30. If I was lucky he would take a 45 minute nap during the day. We knew the vacuum trick with the swing also. We burned up a vacuum at my aunts house once while we were visiting, she was not to happy about it hahahahaha. I was very thankful also to have a baby, not because of my infertility, but because of all of my friends troubles. I felt very blessed to be a mom and still do. He has turned out to be a wonderful young man who loves the Lord.

  11. Boy, oh boy do I relate to this post! We waited a long time for our first baby. I didn't make the same promise, but I did feel the same. People use to ask me if my first was a good baby and I answer, "All babies are good." People didn't ask if my second baby was good. He screamed all the time, so they assumed he wasn't. One evening a woman commented that he was a difficult baby. I answered, "He's having a hard time, but we're going to love him through it and we'll be ok." Six years later? I think he stopped screaming last month. Wow. Yep. We are OK!

    I am so excited to have found your blog! I love your positive attitude and hope to glean from it often!

  12. Okay, ouch! I needed to read this post, Linny. We are having many sleepless nights, and I do complain sometimes. Thank you for reminding us what a blessing our babies are.

    I do have a question, though, and would love it if you could share with us how you do it all. Homeschool, I mean, with sleepless nights and hospital stays. A year or so ago, you posted about homeschool. You said that if we were curious to commit for a year. Just a year, and we would not be sorry even it it didn't work for us. Well, we took the plunge at our house, and it wasn't an easy year, but it was blessed, and we did it again this year. This year is more difficult with a new baby. I want to be with my kids still, but right now, I am struggling with how to make it all work. Can you please share, or at least point me to a previous post where you already have? Thanks so much!

  13. Oh you are a very good Momma because I am so bad at getting up at night.

    However I have also had 13 great nightime sleepers!
    Praise the Lord!!

  14. I understand your promise and I understand the joy of waking countless times a night. It brings me to tears considering the sheer delight I have and gift I know I'm living. Thanks be to "our God, so strong and so mighty. There's nothing our God cannot do!" Thanks for sharing, Linny.

  15. Once again, proving you are amazing! I have NEVER been able to deal without sleep. Seriously, 8 hrs. almost doesn't do it for me! So glad our little guy FINALLY started sleeping through the night last summer (he's 5!) My husband would always get up with him, because it was better than having a monster as a wife if I'd have gotten up. Soooo glad I've never had an infant! I wouldn't say that a baby who doesn't sleep is a "bad baby," but I don't blame anyone for complaining about not getting enough sleep!
    Once again, you are amazing!

  16. A very sweet story to remind us of our blessings….some people might take for granted. I made a similar promise/deal with God that I would never complain about having to carry around my babies because I had to do it once with a broken arm and realized how able-bodied I am and how I should be grateful each and every day!

  17. So sweet. I told someone recently that I couldn't wait to not sleep through the night again. Fortunately it was another adoptive Mama who understood how hard the wait is so she agreed. 🙂 Our little one isn't tiny or a newborn, but with a time change and going to another country to live with strangers…I guarantee we'll be hurting for sleep at first…I can't wait!!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>