Surviving a Sleepless Season {With Kids Who Should Be Sleeping}


I have “that” kid. The one who doesn’t sleep through the night. Like ever. That kid who wakes multiple times throughout a night. One time that kid didn’t sleep through a single night for six months straight. 

I’ve been through all the emotions, polled all the people for advice, and tried all the strategies, but I’m still in the sleepless season. Therefore, I am not reflecting fondly or with rosy colored glasses because this issue has tested my patience and endurance on every single level. My kid is far from being a newborn and “should” be sleeping. One expects sleep deprivation with tiny ones but sleep problems with toddlers/preschoolers/big kids are maddening beyond belief. 

There are days I handle it better than others. Usually, my frustration stems from living in a reactionary state of waking up “to” my children instead of waking up “for” my children. I’ve had to accept that sometimes kids are an enigma and hand you a circumstance you can’t control or figure out with an immediate answer. Issues like sleep feel like huge a huge ball of yarn—it’s difficult to determine what leads to what and guess when it might end.  

But. We don’t love them less because they don’t sleep or eat or behave properly or whatever the problem may be. Parenthood is dying to self. Dying to expectations. Letting go of control. It’s the ultimate refining process. Love can’t be contingent.

We all have seasons of deep perseverance. Maybe it’s yours too in a different way. And sometimes we can’t do anything else but just hang in there and wait.

Lack of sleep has brought me to my knees in humble desperation. I can’t control my children. I can’t make them sleep. So I kneel by the bed and pray. I believe that part of prayer isn’t an expectation that you will always get an answer or resolution but prayer changes me. Changes my heart and perspective. They won’t always need me, and the seasons will change too. This year the issue is sleep, and next year it will be something else.  

But I’ve also learned a new side of empathy. You never know what’s going on in a family. We must give grace to ourselves and grace to others.  I recently saw a meme that said, “Be kind to every mom because you never know if she was up all night.” #truth. Life carries on regardless of how much sleep I personally get. The kids still have to get to school, schedules have to be coordinated, and dinner has to be made. And I still love them whether they sleep or not.

Sometimes the greatest lesson is found in the waiting because this too shall pass {hopefully}. So bear with me as I wait on my knees in prayer, with coffee in hand at sunrise, and a smile when I see my kiddos in the morning.

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Laura is originally from Houston, TX and graduated from Baylor with a B.A. in History. Although she never thought that Waco would be her permanent home, Laura has been surprised the blessing of living in Waco since 2009. Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Education and has taught at both public schools as well as at McLennan Community College. Currently, she works full-time as an Academic Advisor in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Laura and her husband Kary have three children ages nine and under. Laura’s favorite things in life are spending time with her kids, watching movies with her husband, planning ahead in her planner, reading most anything, journaling with Jesus and drinking coffee before the sun rises. You can find her on instagram @lauralalani