Superwoman has left the building

superwomanI’ve been mulling over this post for awhile and I knew I needed to get it out of my sleep-deprived head and onto paper…. or my blog. You see, when Bud was born, after the first couple of months he was a dream sleeper for the most part. Barring growth spurts or teething, my man would sleep 12 hours. Plus, he took a few solid naps throughout the day. So, I continued about as normal. I would strut my ever-so-confident stuff with make-up on, clothes that matched and were actually clean, and a smug swagger that thinking about it makes me want to transport myself back two years and uppercut “First Baby Martha” right on the chin. I thought I was Superwoman. We’d host parties, dinners, and I vacuumed… a lot. We talked about wanting four kids.

So….. this is the fall that pride keeps talking about eh?

Superwoman has left the building.

I now have a child who is reluctant to fall into our schedule, reluctant to sleep, reluctant to nap. I don’t strut, I stumble. I don’t wear make-up and when I do, it  looks like the After picture of the “your brain on drugs” campaign.  Clean clothes…. I’m sorry I’m laughing too hard to even make a joke here. Vacuum is reserved for the panicked run-through before someone stops by. And I haven’t been nearly as good of a friend as I’d like and I liken myself now to a bear in hibernation. Now, we talk about how we might have a two clown rodeo because sweet Lord, I’ve almost made the appointment to have my tubes tied about 50 times and tell them to double-knot it just in case. And my smug swagger has been replaced by a tired, humble mama who is on her knees clinging desperately to every good and true blessing in my life instead of the sleeplessness.

Superwoman has left the building.

You see, she has been replaced by me.  And I’m getting to the point where I’m ok with that. I know there will come a time when I’ll sleep again, host dinner parties, and not look like an Amanda Bynes mug shot. I have to say “Sleep is not my idol” on repeat in my head all day long. I pray that I can laugh when he wakes up 45 minutes into his nap on cue instead of cry. And rejoice because oh my gosh, he’s healthy and happy. I had lost sight of that and was letting sleep dictate my entire view of the world. Shame.

Bennett Rippy is the happiest damn kid in the world. Seriously y’all. I stumble into the nursery at 3am while he’s crying and as soon as I cross the threshold of the crib, he bursts into a huge smile. Are you serious?! God give me joy like that (preferably not at 3am but minor detail for now). He is healthy and growing like a champ. He isn’t in a hospital bed, I don’t have to worry he’s crying because he’s hungry, and I don’t have to worry if he’s cold because we live in a house with heat.

I sat on the couch with my friend Carman the other day and we talked about how its hard to strike that balance of admitting its a hard season but also acknowledging the blessings. Gratitude in the storm. That even when I might feel like I’m on one of those fun-house bridges where the floor is shaking underneath me, I claim gratitude that there is an eventual end to the fun-house filled with cotton candy and kettle corn. And I’m learning to claim gratitude that I’m even in this fun-house to begin with.

So, there it is. The fall that came after Pride. The stumble that came after the swagger. And the grateful, humble mama that came after Superwoman.


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  • Anna

    Amen Martha! I’ll be thinking of you in the middle of the night tonight when little Frances wants to be awake for two hours. And I’ll thank God for the miracle of a healthy baby. And I’ll say a prayer for all the sleep deprived moms out there who are up at the same time. Thanks for this!

  • Buffy

    Going without sleep Nothing in the world like it. It taints your view of everything because physically your body and brain are calling out for reprieve. Ugh. I was not a good baby mama. It’s ok to hate this part…doesn’t mean you hate your kids or your life…just that you don’t like this part. I love you. You’re a rock star.

  • Melinie

    Oh martha. I so relate. Malachi only took 45 min naps and was up every hour or less through the night. Until two years. God is so good. I have never had such huge heart to hearts with God. I want to encourage you that you will make it through, it will make sense with who your little guy is and some day you will sleep again. Honestly, it got easier to handle the lack of sleep further in but each season has its own challenges. Thank you for an honest post that makes people like me feel like we are not alone. I will be praying for you. And remember those 3 am smiles. They will be some of your cherished memories. Hugs martha, you are awesome!

  • J Lambert

    Every time I read your blog I feel like I am look into a mirror…except your side of the mirror always looks more humble and more graceful than mine. You are not alone my friend. I have experienced almost the exact same thing with my second. I think I have said it before in another post. I wish I had been able to look at my situation more positively. 9 months later (still trying to figure out how that happened so fast), I look at this little boy and I think regardless of the early struggles my life would not be the same without him. I often tell him he got a bad wrap, because if he isn’t the happiest child. Some times I think it was more my hormones and sleep deprivation that were so bad and not really him, he is a normal baby. Thankfully there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is only a season. A season that you, my dear, are taking in stride and with a good attitude. You’re focusing on all the right things. Thinking of you and praying for sleep to come.

  • Daron Nicole Walters

    Charlie and Bennett must be in cahoots. 45 minutes LIKE CLOCKWORK. Thank you for your words today. I need them as I’m in my pjs, pinned to the couch under a sleeping Charlie so that he get a decent nap after a terrible night for both of us. I could be frustrated at the dirty carpet and the yet-to-be unpacked bags from thanksgiving, or I can look at this sweet, happy, sleeping boy and his little chubby hand on my chest and let my cup run over.

  • Mary Riddick

    Martha, I love keeping up with you and Sam through your blog. I know you enjoyed ann voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Your nod to gratitude reminds me of it. If you haven’t picked it up, her advent book, The Greatest Gift, is an amazing and quick daily devotion in preparation for Christmas. Thought about you when my friend suggested it. Hope y’all are doing great. You have some mighty cute boys in your life!!

  • Gammy

    Best blog yet! Proud of you…..and you’re better than Superwoman because you’re real.
    Love, Gammy

  • Lauren Morton-Farmer

    I just want to hug you, pour you a glass of wine, hand you some gummy candies and hug you again! You’re just an amazing lady, that’s all that can be said.

  • marawolff

    I just love this…love your heart change. I remember mine came when Ben was only a few months old and we were living in a hotel in Charlottesville. Thanks for sharing my friend and I thought you might enjoy this post:

  • You are in the most humbling phase of motherhood – that’s not to say that the older-child years aren’t stressful and exhausting, because they are. It’s just that after this point, you get rid of all your preconceived notions and you stop trying to do it all… and when have your third 🙂 baby, it will be much easier!