Before kids, 2 AM belonged to me. It was a time for sleep – glorious, luxurious sleep that I took for granted. If I was awake to see the clock strike two, I was having fun or taking a rare trip to the bathroom. But motherhood has made it clear that she has different plans for this early morning hour.
These days my eyes pop open at 2 AM to the sound of an unwelcome alarm clock. My seven-month old has claimed this hour as mommy-daughter bonding time. The problem is only one of us is a willing participant.
Most nights the lure of sleep is strong, and my daughter’s cries weave their way into my dreams. Semi-conscious I search my nightstand for the snooze button only to realize that this alarm is needy, and it doesn’t appreciate being ignored.
It’s become a time of diaper changes, feedings, lullabies, and bouncy walks around the house. The hour no longer feels late but really early – too early to be up for the day. But my mind betrays me and releases a flood of thoughts.
The previous day’s worries and insecurities collide with thoughts of the upcoming day’s to-dos and uncertainties. My mind races in spite of my body’s exhaustion, and rest feels out of reach. During this early morning hour, motherhood feels more challenging, more lonely.
But just when my thoughts and feelings threaten to overwhelm me, 2 AM sometimes gives me a rare gift. Clarity.
Maybe it’s the quiet, maybe it’s the exhaustion but somehow insights that evade me during the day seem more obvious during this early hour. Solutions arise, inspiration strikes, perspective is gained, prayers are sent. Anxiety gives way to peace, and my burdens feel lighter.
On these nights, my mom duties transform from burden to spiritual blessing. I’m reminded that there’s a force – or as I believe, a God – bigger than me at work during these long days of motherhood. My heart overflows with love for my daughter and her five-year old brother sleeping down the hall.
During this period of my motherhood journey, the days are long and the nights can feel even longer. But amidst the challenges, there is profound joy. And at 2 AM, I know without a doubt that rocking my daughter in her room is exactly where I’m meant to be.