There’s no limit to the love for my 11-week-old daughter, Peony. But the needle on the love barometer leans juuuuust a little more to the right when she sleeps through the night. Just a little.
She’s been practically sleeping through the nice since she was born, although some nights she needs to suck more than others, and on those nights she has trouble keeping the pacifier in her mouth.
On those nights, when she’s up more often than not, I love her, but I love my sleep, too. And since she’s the reason I’m not getting it, I don’t think about my love for her so much. However, on nights when she’s sleeping tightly, I’ll wake up and look over at her and feel a surge of emotion.
My older daughter Petunia made me realize it’s OK — and even therapeutic — to admit there are times when I like her more, and there are times when I like her less. To have to say I’m constantly head over heels about her is a bald-faced lie. It just is.
Petunia gets on my nerves, she drives me crazy and she irritates me. But she also makes me feel better about humankind, she makes want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and she makes me want to ensure that everyone knows how wonderful it is to give birth to and love and nurture another human being.
It took me a while, but I’ve learned it’s normal and good to acknowledge there are times when parenting is harder than others, and when I do that, it makes me appreciate the easier times just that much more. Like when Peony sleeps through the night without needing to eat or suck. During those nights (and the mornings after), my heart swells with just a wee bit more happiness than at other times.
Are there times when you feel more love for your baby than others, and are you OK with that?
Image: Meredith Carroll