This too will pass.

I originally posted this on Flickr when we were going through a particularly bad sleep phase with Lila, at around 15 months old. Looking back now I realize it coincided with the end of nursing and the beginning of walking. Its always something! Talking with a dear friend yesterday, who is a new mama, about the unbelievable exhaustion of those early days, made me want to re-post this. I go back to it time and time again when I need encouragement.

It truly does get better.

To all my new mama friends, hang in there. Its so hard now, but it will not always be.

* * * 

"My daughter has never been a great sleeper but the past couple of months have been particularly bad. I've had a lot going on at work this month and Eric has been out of town this week.

Yesterday the cumulative lack of sleep finally just broke me.

I called upon my wonderful village and they were there with the most amazing stories and lifting words. Although most of them live far away, their emails and messages helped immensely.

" Take it an hour at a time, a minute at a time if you need to."

"time is short my love. close your eyes and burrow your head into that babe even if she is squirming and screaming or acting nutty, remember the misery of no sleep during this crazy time with her, remember it all. it will be something you will miss when you are old. you will want this time back."

"This is the sentence I wanted to emphasize: YOU WILL MISS IT WHEN YOU ARE OLD!!! I AM old. And I know. I miss it!!! You will too but on the other hand, bigger and better things are on their way."

"It's all good. You can love your sweet girl and feel down all at the same time. That's living life to its fullest."

"This time is short and fleeting...at least that's what 829,725 strangers have told me. I'm trying to memorize her coos before they are gone. If anyone can get through this new toddler stage with grace...it's you. It's the one thing about you that you probably aren't even completely aware of....you have an amazing way of handling everything with such grace."

"hold it
live it
own it
suffer it
remember it
keep it
laugh at it
say WTF is it!
only it is yours
it is YOURS
to have and to hold
and cherish when you need it
and you will
one day
when you are old
and proud
and one day when she says "i do not need you/no/i no like that"
you will have this time when she only needed YOU
and all night raves were all the rave
and you will be able to tell her all about it
it will seem like nothing at all
and as if no time has passed
and you will wonder where the time went
when you explain all this to her when she has a babe of her own"

Last night when she woke I hugged her tight and was grateful for the time. We snuggled on the couch and watched the NY Philharmonic play on the TV until she nodded off.

I keep these quotes here from my wonderful and wise friends to remind myself.

Hold on to her while I can.

Treasure this time.

This too will pass."

* * * 

See the original post on Flickr here, with more encouraging words in the comments from lots of amazing mamas.