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Counting the Hours

When I was a younger mom, I used to count the hours.  I counted the meager number of hours I slept each night, the number of hours I spent rocking a screaming baby, and the number of hours I spent nursing.  I counted the number of hours I spent making meals and cleaning up the kitchen, the number of hours spent folding laundry and vacuuming.  I counted the number of hours my boss was late in picking up her son, and how many hours I spent in traffic trying to get home.  I counted the number of hours I spent editing my husband’s papers and the hours he spent away at class each day.  I counted the hours until he came home.

With all the hours counted, I knew just how tired I could be, or irritated, or unproductive.  I knew how much to require of other people and how much to coddle myself.   I knew what I could or could not do.

I knew the hours were against me that first Sunday back to church after the baby was born.  I smelled like sour milk and I was pretty sure I had forgotten to put mascara on my left eye.  None of my clothes fit right yet and I wanted to burn the maternity skirt I was obligated to wear even though I was no longer pregnant.

It only took ten minutes to get to church, but by the time we arrived, the baby already needed to be changed and my toddler said she was hungry.  Had I packed her a snack?  I wasn’t sure.  The entire morning had been a blur.  How could two children be so much harder than one?

We were late, and as we walked in from the back parking lot, we could hear the sounds of singing coming from the open doors.  I didn’t want to go inside.  I knew I would spend the entire service in the cry room, changing and feeding the baby and trying to keep my nineteen-month old entertained.  Other toddlers were content to play in the nursery.  Mine screamed until her face turned purple and one of the nervous young nursery helpers was sent to find me before my daughter went into convulsions on the alphabet rug.

The cry room was already crowded with other mothers and babies in various stages of crying, sleeping, and nursing.  I looked around for a seat, trying not to step on the clingy toddler clutched to my leg.  Her little fingers were creating a run in my nylon the size of the Grand Canyon.

The baby decided he was no longer enjoying his stay in the car carrier.  He rolled his head to the side and wrinkled up his nose, clutching his fists together in preparation for a scream.  I rocked the carrier with my foot and dug around in the diaper bag.  I knew I had packed a burp cloth and a blanket, but I couldn’t seem to find either.  Within seconds, the baby’s face was bright red and his tongue had curled back to let out the full force of his dissatisfaction.

I found the blanket and decided the burp cloth could wait.  I tried to cover up so I could nurse him discreetly, but his body was rigid and he refused to acknowledge the fact that I was finally prepared to feed him.  Meanwhile, my daughter had found a book in the toy bin and was tugging at my sleeve.  “Mommy, read it?” she asked.  “Read it?”

“Jus’ a second,” I mumbled, trying to hold the blanket to my chest with my chin.  I never understood how some women could nurse in public, as if it didn’t require and extra set of hands and a tent.

Somewhere under the blanket, my baby found what he was looking for and his screams subsided.  My face was hot and I was developing a spasm in my shoulder.  A woman in the rocking chair across the room smiled at me.  It was a simple gesture, but I suddenly felt like I needed that smile more than anything else she could have given me.

I couldn’t remember seeing her before.  She was tall and large boned, with deeply angled features and long, fawn-colored hair that had been warmed by the sun.  In older times, she would have been called a handsome woman, with a strong, practical sort of beauty.  She wore a plain linen jumper and summer sandals, like she had just come from a day at the ocean.  When she smiled, the lines around her sea-blue eyes betrayed the fact that she was not a young mother, but there was a constancy about her that made me think she had always looked the same, and always would.

Just then, another woman came in the room, her arms loaded with supplies.  Gigantic pink and purple flowers exploded all over her dress.  She wore a hat covered in more flowers.  A real hat, with fake flowers.  People in the Northwest don’t wear hats to church, I realized.  But they do in Ipswich.  She took one look at the woman in the corner and cried, “Bryn!  Are you back for a visit?  Oh my goodness, look at that little one!  So precious!  And look at you!  I hear you’re expecting another already?”

Bryn smiled easily.  She patted the baby in her arms with capable determination, like she wasn’t concerned in the least about having two babies so close together.  I guessed her son was no more than three months old, which meant that her two would be closer together than mine.  Almost like twins.  I was suspicious of her confidence.  I wanted to tell her that she had no idea what she was in for, that having two wasn’t as easy as she seemed to think it would be.

“Let’s see, this will be number seven, right?” the boisterous newcomer continued as she refilled the baby wipes and checked the diaper supply.

Seven?  I glanced over at the woman in the rocking chair.  I was staring.  I knew I was staring, but I couldn’t stop staring even though my daughter was stealing Cheerios from someone else’s purse.   She didn’t look like the mother of six and soon-to-be seven children, although as soon as I thought it, I realized I didn’t know what a mother of seven should look like.  I guess I thought she should be a little less rested, a little less like she just blew in from a week at the beach.  She didn’t look like she might lose it if someone asked her what was for lunch.

Clearly, I was in the presence of a super-woman, and I felt small and inadequate and insecure, like she could see right through me with some sort of x-ray vision.  She could probably see that I had a pile of dirty dishes in my sink at home, that I hadn’t read my daughter a bed-time story in a week because I was too tired, and that I was angry when the baby wouldn’t go back to bed after his 3 am feeding.

The baby squirmed.  I had forgotten to burp him.  My daughter flopped across my knees and let her book drop to the ground.  I had not read it.

Bryn was looking at me and smiling.  I wasn’t about to fall for that again.  I was duty-bound to dislike her, no matter how kind she seemed.  Seven children.  My word.  I couldn’t even handle two.

“The first two are the hardest,” Bryn said apologetically, as if she could read my mind.  The cry room had emptied out and we were alone.

Her words melted me.  Stupid super-powers.

“How do you do it?”  I blurted out, even though I didn’t really mean to.  “When was the last time you got any sleep?”

Bryn brushed a wisp of long hair behind her ear thoughtfully.  “I don’t know.  I’ve never really worried about that,” she said quietly as she rocked her baby back and forth.  “I figure God is big enough to give me just what I need for each day.  Maybe it’s not as much as I would like or as much as I think I need, but I have to believe that it’s sufficient for the moment.  He promises that, you know?”

I swallowed hard.  I was not in the mood for a sermon.

But Bryn started to tell her story, and I found the words settling deep into my soul, obliterating my defenses.  She talked about how she had lost three babies before a doctor took the time to figure out why her body wouldn’t let her carry a baby to term.  She talked about the fear that surrounded each pregnancy and a heart that wouldn’t let her love a baby she might lose.  She talked about how something in her died when the tests that showed her baby would have Down Syndrome, and how she couldn’t stop crying when he was born healthy.  They named him Samuel, after a baby in the Bible who was born out of a barren womb to a mother who had known the taste of tears.

“I don’t think Hannah worried much about sleepless nights,” Bryn said about that faithful mother.

I didn’t think she did either.  I couldn’t help but think that in the middle of the night, when the stillness of Hannah’s home was interrupted by a baby’s cry, she did not take her eyes from his to think about how little she had slept or how much she needed her energy for the day ahead.  How long would it take a mother like that to forget how much she’d been given?  Eternity could not take the memory of it from her.

“I bet she held Samuel close as long as she could.”

I nodded.

Bryn shifted her baby to the other shoulder and sighed. “I’m not saying it’s not hard.  It is. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  My back hurts and my stomach looks like stretched out Silly Putty, and if you saw my house, you’d be embarrassed for me,” she smiled and I realized I liked her again.  “But somehow, God saw fit to give me these babies for this time, and I can’t help but being awed by that.”

On the way home, I stared at my reflection in the window.  Spring green fields flecked with dandelions passed over my face.  The cherry trees were blooming and the songbirds had come back.  My mind went to sparrows, who don’t have to worry about seed for tomorrow.  I wondered why I had so little faith.  Had I ever been in want?  Had I ever been lacking?  No matter how many times He’d proved it, I didn’t really believe that God could give me just what I needed for each new day.

I thought about lilies, which don’t labor for their clothes, and to the woman in a linen jumper who knew what it was to be buried deep, like a bulb in the frozen earth.  There in the darkness of broken dreams and aspirations, she had died to the plans in her own heart and to the things she thought were certain, but which never came to pass.  Then, in the coldness of late winter rains, when everything seemed hopeless and lost, God brought new life out of the ground and clothed her in radiance and splendor.  I wanted to be beautiful like that.  But dying is hard.

That night, I put my nineteen-month-old to bed and settled down to nurse the baby.  But the strangeness of a Sunday schedule had left him confused, and he wouldn’t nurse, and he wouldn’t sleep.  He didn’t want to be held, and he certainly didn’t want to be put down.  I let out an exasperated sigh.

“You should go to bed,” my husband said, looking up from his desk.  He was studying for a final. “I’ll take care of the baby.”

I was so tired, I couldn’t even think of what I needed to do to go to bed.  “Just go to bed,” he insisted.  “There’s nothing you have to do that can’t wait until tomorrow.”

I crawled in under the covers and pulled them up around my neck.  I put a pillow over my head for extra measure.  The alarm clock blazed 11:27.  11:27, 11:27.  He’ll be up at three, I thought.  That’s not enough sleep…

I got up and walked out to the living room.

“He doesn’t need you,” my husband teased, casting a look at the baby in the bouncy seat.

I handed him the alarm clock.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Just keep that for me,” I said.  “Tonight, I’m going to get enough sleep.”

I headed back to bed, and for the first time since I’d brought a baby into my home, I didn’t count the hours.  When my newborn son woke up in the middle of the night, I remembered Hannah, and I held him to me and studied his face.  His cloudy blue eyes looked inky in the dim light and he made little grunting noises that I knew wouldn’t last.  One day, I’d hold him and realize that he didn’t make them anymore.  One day I’d look into his eyes and notice they weren’t blue anymore.  One day, I’d look at him and realize he wasn’t a baby any more, and I’d wonder where the hours had gone.

For just a moment, it seemed like time stood still.  I considered all that I had been given, and I was awed into silence.  A God who created such perfect hands and feet could surely care for me all the hours of my life.  Finally, I was ready to believe it.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”—2 Corinthians 9:8

157 thoughts on “Counting the Hours

  1. Amanda Tirado

    And…once again…you brought me to tears. Thanks for sharing! You know, that blonde looks an awful lot like a tall redhead to me… ;)

    You have no idea how amazing this story is, do you? Or maybe you do. :) It’s your best yet, Kristie. I don’t even have the words to express how much it touched me.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you, Amanda! God has done lots of growing in me, and has used lots of people to do it. I am hopeful that the stories will hit a chord and make people stop, think, and reflect. If this one does any of that, then I am thankful and grateful to be used for His glory!

      Reply
      1. Bev

        This Nana just loves your children stories. I can identify with Hannah…no children, how sad! Our caseworker read I Samuel 1, on the adoption placement day of Sarah, our little princess, forever OUR child, who today is over 38 years old, and more precious than ever. The two grandchildren SHE gave us are more blessing upon blessing. Isn’t it a marvel to look back and wonder how you DID make it through the time of little ones, and now are beginning to deal with pre-teens, and teens, and grown-ups? Our 5 kept us humble, and their genes did strange things to them. But they are grown, and good (mostly) and we thank God for them ALL.
        Bev

        Reply
  2. grannymike

    Kristen, this is another beautiful, touching and thought-provoking article. Thanks for the reminder of what is really important in life. I have pinned it and shared it on my facebook wall. I hope this article finds its way into the hearts of many young moms.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Lashuay Engelman

    Thanks, Kristie, for reminding me. No more little babies waking me up at night, but the reminder to love each moment, even the hard ones is good. One verse that I’ve remembered for awhile is “He gives His beloved sleep.” Or as I think of it it. He gives sleep to His beloved. But to me it means that He can stretch the few hours of sleep I have gotten and make them enough. Thank you. And now, I’m praying that for my husband as he works super long hours to provide for our family of nine. Love you, little sis.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      That’s a great verse! It’s amazing how much it changed my perspective when I began to actively believe that God would give me the sleep I needed. I didn’t get any more sleep (rats!) but I was about to accept the challenges of each new day with a different attitude.

      Reply
  4. Erika

    I had eight “irish twins”, averaging 15 months apart. When I see young mother struggling to nurse discreetly, shopping with a screeming baby, exasperated with all the baby paraphenalia, I want to say something like this to them, but don’t want to be insulting or condescending or intrude. What I want to say is, “I KNOW!” And ,”Isn’t it awful and wonderful?” And there’s no way to say how fast it sneaks by while you’re thinking of the next thing you need to do and hoping they reach the next developmental milestone without negating that they’ve had three hour of sleep and their nipples are sore. And I’m still jealous when I see a woman nursing. I still wish for those chubby little hands that grasp your hair and neclace and touch your face while you’re feeding them like only you can. No one could have told me that I’d want to freeze frame the little stretchy sounds and the way their breath smelled and how cozy the tidy little baby baby would feel belly to my belly after nursing in the night.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Erkika, your reply moved me to tears. Can I share this on my Facebook page? It’s so beautifully honest. My third just lost her first tooth last night, and I found myself so saddened because it marks a movement from the baby years to the kid years, and I’m sad to see the time going so quickly. You are blessed, and your story has blessed me.
      Kristen

      Reply
      1. Martha

        Being “sad to see the time going so quickly” is also a way of “counting the hours” in reverse. Please don’t let this rob you of the time you have now. I see so many do this (as, sadly, I do too often myself), and, thus, we lose the time that is now, …whether it is with our children in their teens or when they are young adults; or with our husbands now, or with our own aged & dying parents (where I am at right now). God has given us today, not yesterday, and not the hour ahead that we’re “counting”. Our times are truly in His hands (Ps. 31:15), and our perception of time is so unlike His (2 Peter 3:8-9). So blessed to keep our eyes on Jesus…then all our perception of time becomes more like His! That is truly the prayer that is mine!

        Reply
  5. Beth

    You brought me to tears. This is exactly where I am today. My house is a mess, I have 2 baskets + of clean clothes that need to be folded, carpets to vacuum, and a fussy baby to boot. I tried to lay down with Tim this afternoon, but because I had too many “household responsibilities” running through my head, I had to get up. It is good to be reminded that time with our children we never get back and to spend it (wisely) investing in them. The other stuff that seems important in the moment can wait.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough patch. Having sick babies certainly makes things harder, and it seems like you guys have had more than your share of germs! I feel honored that you took the time to read my story in the midst of such craziness. I’ll be praying that you get “enough” of what you need tomorrow. :)

      Reply
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  7. Naomi M

    Thank you for this. It is just what I needed to read after a rough afternoon outing with the children.

    Reply
  8. Kathy

    We welcomed #5 into our family last May. The oldest at the time was 5. There are days that I wish I had time to look at the clock so I can count the hours.

    I just cried my way thru your post. Thank you for sharing. I have learned many lessons these past six years, and I don’t feel quite as inadequate as I did when #2 & 3 came along. But, it is always a timely reminder that Christ is sufficient. I pray I will take every opportunity to point my
    children to Him!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      These are HARD years you’re in! It is tough to have so many so close together, but I am now at an easier spot (my twins are 3) and I can honestly say that it gets better! My first year with the twins is a blur in my memory, and I wish I could have savored it more. Now, I can’t believe how big they are, and I miss the days when my greatest responsibility was rocking a sleepy baby. My heart goes out to you, my fellow mother of five-in-tow!

      Reply
  9. SUSAN

    Where were you 40 years ago when I was sleepless with my second daughter while my older daughter by 15 months napped all the time. Funny how personalities were very much reversed as they became Moms. ♥

    Reply
  10. Heidi

    I am 37. A pastor’s wife with a 21 month old non stop little boy. We are expecting #2 in July. When our son was born he was care flighted to Children’s Hospital where he spent the first 2 months of his life. So far #2, our girl, looks healthy. Our son was 13.6 lbs@birth. So far she’s baby sized. My diabetes is worse but seems to be controlled ok with insulin. I say all of that to say…thank you for sharing because it has been transitioning from the work world to the home world & #2 scared me

    Reply
  11. Heidi

    Sorry, #2 scares me because there are days that I’m not sure how I will survive another day with #1. But then I remember a Bible study that talked about focusing on the “but God” passages…and that is my answer. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Wow, it sounds like you have a lot on your hands, especially with the difficult health issues in your pregnancy. I hope you have a good support system! Even if you don’t, it sounds like you have your eyes in the right place. He is able to do exceedingly more than we could ask or imagine. You are in my thoughts and prayers today!

      Reply
  12. Lindy

    All I can say is, “Wow, that story is something I needed today!” We found out we couldn’t have children a few years after we were married, and after 12 years of marriage, the Lord saw fit to bless us with twin boys to adopt. We brought them home as 3 month olds, and now they are 18, going their own ways, making decisions we wish they hadn’t. Yet, i wouldn’t trade all the hours I spent caring for them for anything. We also adopted their birthsister who is the joy of our lives right now as a vivacious 16 year old. Thanks for helping me rethink my perspective on things. We HAVE been blessed, and the Lord will continue to do so. He IS able to give strength for the challenges of each new day! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thanks for sharing your story, Lindy, and for dropping in on my site. Motherhood is a constant challenge, isn’t it? I’m glad that God used this story to encourage you today!

      Reply
  13. Lois

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. I’m a mom of 3 with a 2 month old and I can relate to this. I’m so thankful the Lords mercies are new each day. I want to appreciate my children all day every day. It has been such a journey and I’m so thankful to be on it. I’m looking forward to more kids! They really are such a blessing.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Lois,
      My mother-in-law shares your name, and there aren’t very many of you! She’ll be thrilled to know that another “Lois” stopped by. Motherhood is a blessing. I didn’t know I had so many things to work on until I had kids! But God is good. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day with your little ones.

      Reply
  14. cathmom2five

    So beautifully written! I have had the privilege of knowing several older experienced moms like that in our homeschool support group. I would have quit a loooong time ago (and been placed in an asylum) without them. I have 5 now, my oldest is 11, and I am in that place. Manhood is around the corner for him and I am constantly thinking he is growing up too fast! And I do try to take the time now, to let my five year old flip the pancakes, to listen to my 9 year old tell me about her new doll game, or to listen to my 11 year old tell me every detail about his favorite video game. Treasuring those moments!

    Reply
  15. Mary Jo @ Covenant Homemaking

    A couple of my facebook friends shared a link to this post and I am SO glad I read it. As I type this, my second-born (14 months) is sleeping in my arms after waking up in the wee hours from teething pain (a little momma’s milk did the trick). And my third is a little kidney-bean sized speck in my tummy.

    This post was such an encouragement to me this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you, Mary Jo! I just popped over to your blog and immediately signed up to get your updates via e-mail. I love the focus of your blog! We share many of the same passions. May God bless your family and the little one in your womb!

      Reply
  16. mommy2four

    WOW. That really just changed my perspective on my houseful of boys! Thank you…I cant tell you enough what an amazing story that was.

    Reply
  17. Colleen Ryan

    I loved this article!!!! I remember being pregnant with my daughter (having already lost two babies) and worrying that she wouldn’t make it into this life. From the moment she was born she was (and still is) my best friend in this world! Then I lost another baby! But then I had a little boy!! And I fell in love all over again!! Now I’m getting ready to retire and living for every moment that I will get to see their smiling faces as they are not living close to me any longer. Focus on your babies, the way they look, smell, feel and how much you love them…and nothing else matters anymore! God gave us these beautiful little miracles for his purpose…they are only ours for a little while. Make the most of your time with them because it is never enough!!
    Signed,
    An extremely grateful Mommy ♥

    Reply
  18. kelly tillotson

    this was so wonderful! i needed this read. i am feeling SO much like this right now with my 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old and 6 month old. Thank you for this–now I must go share with all my mommy friends, i know they’ll appreciate this as much as I did :)
    *kelly

    Reply
  19. Pam

    I more than appreciate this blog post. I just had Baby #8 two weeks ago and one of our twin 3 year old sons was diagnosed with Leukemia in Dec. Our family is currently separated by 4 hours, with either my husband or I staying with our son as he gets treatment in the nearest city to us. It’s hard not to count the hours when kids have to get off to school at a particular time, or appointments are made and have to be kept. Yesterday, I cancelled plans with a friend because I knew how much I needed a day not scheduled around a clock. This post is just as much for me a mother of 8 who is still learning to not focus on the hours, but to focus on God and the blessings he gave me. Thanks, I too reposted on my facebook.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Oh my, Pam, you have so much going on right now, I can’t even imagine. I don’t know how you had the time to find this website or read anything, but I’m thankful for your words and will be praying for your family.

      Reply
  20. Rachel

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this entry! I am a new Mom and over the past 14 weeks, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counted the hours. I was so encouraged to not count the hours of sleep last night and just say it is enough..boy did it make a huge difference this morning!

    Your post made me reflect on this time last year, I was begging and pleading with God to help us get pregnant finally. With multiple failed fertility treaments, He finally answered our prayers on April Fool’s Day. I quickly became so ungrateful because everything about becoming a new Mom was difficult and less glamorous as some had made it seem. I had a miserable/ complicated pregnancy so I was counting the hours until Olivia’s arrival. Then when she arrived our baby was very high maintenance because of tummy troubles. I was not prepared to have my sleep/life be tossed into a tailspin like that! When I finally started back to church after having Olivia, I was envious of the experienced Mom’s that looked like they had it all together. They looked refreshed and like they were enjoying motherhood and I could barely peel myself out of bed from being exhausted and forget about making myself look cute:) It was so encouraging to read an experienced Mom say that she was at one time in the same boat as me. It is finally sinking in to my stubborn brain that nobody really has it together..we all look like 3 ring circuses in our own way. After reading about Hannah it reminded me of my own heartache and made me snuggle with my sweet Olivia a little longer last night before bed. I was for the first time in 14 weeks able to truly appreciate the miracle sleeping in my arms..for that I am so grateful! Due to reading your blog my new goal for the week is to focus on our baby..who cares if my house looks like bomb went off or that we have to get take again. It won’t be like this for long and then I’m going to laugh and miss it…

    Reply
  21. Sandra Wright

    This was a wonderful post. There are 5 children in our household right now. When I married my husband, he had 3 and I had 1. I went from 1 to 4, then very quickly up to 8. I was overwhelmed from the get-go. Children sure do bring out the areas that we need to work on don’t they? I love all my children, and believe they are God’s precious treasures. My oldest step-daughter is 17, and I sure do miss the younger years. My youngest is 2 1/2.

    Reply
  22. Deanna

    Love this post. My two kids are so close in age they are practically twins.

    But this sentence?
    “She talked about how something in her died when the tests that showed her baby would have Down Syndrome, and how she couldn’t stop crying when he was born perfect.”

    Babies with Down syndrome are born perfect too. I know because because God created one perfectly and gave her to me.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Deanna, you are a blessed woman, and you are certainly right, Down syndrome children are perfectly created as well. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that they are not. I will change the word to “healthy” in my story because I don’t want anyone to think anything else about Down syndrome children. We have a family friend with two, and they are exactly the perfect children for her. But one of them has a lot of health problems, and that’s what I was trying to communicate, that her baby, the baby she had longed for and couldn’t seem to have, was born healthy. In my story, the mother that I talked about is actually a compilation of two women who ministered deeply in my life at a time when I really needed it, and the one (who did have seven children) didn’t start her family until she was in her thirties, and when she got the news about the Down Syndrome test, she was so worried that God would take that baby away too. It took a long time for her to be okay with the possibility, and to believe that God could work even in that. When her baby was born, the doctors were shocked because they were sure the tests had been right. With each baby, she went through the same thing, and it was scary every time. But, it’s amazing how God gives us grace to go through exactly what He has for us, just when we need it. Thank you for sharing your story with me, and I apologize for any offense to you or any other families with special needs children.

      Reply
  23. Mara @ Super Savings

    Thank you so much for writing this Kristen! It was such an encouragement to me. We have 5 “babies”, 12, 10, 8, 4, and 2……and I’m still trying to learn how to cherish each moment we’re in. Such a beautiful reminder!
    I’ve shared it on my Facebook page and pinned it…..I hope to pass it on to mamas who need encouragement like I did — thank you again!

    ~ Mara

    Reply
  24. Pam

    Thanks for your words of wisdom… for my daughter and for me I was once there and now I am the mother wondering where those hours went. Praises to the Great I AM who is the giver of life and who helps get us through each of our long days and nights as mothers!

    Reply
  25. Sandra

    I enjoyed reading your post. We went through 2.5 years of trying before being told it wouldn’t happen, followed by adopting a beautiful 2 day old son (who is now 3.5). In the years since having him, we have been through two miscarriages and I’m now pregnant with triplets. I often find myself stressing out so much about how in the world I’m going to be super mom enough to take care of triplets and our toddler that I miss taking time to enjoy him now. I know God will give me the strength for each day with them and I’m just trying to be the best mommy I can to him while fiercely trying to protect our three little miracles waiting to arrive.

    Reply
  26. Heather

    Thank you for sharing this. There are times when I wonder what I got myself into. How do other mothers with more children than I have do this and with ease? I try not to think these things, my mom has reminded me more than once that every mother goes through these times and to hold on, one day I will miss these years. I know in my heart I will and I am truly thankful that God has blessed us with the 2 children He did. I wasn’t suppose to be able to have children and they are such blessings. This story just served to remind me that even though I still have rough days ahead, God supplies all the sleep and patience we need if we let Him. Thank you again.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      You are so welcome! One of the things I think we all need to remember is that parenting is HARD. It’s hard if you have one and it’s hard if you have five. And with each child, I couldn’t imagine how moms with more did it! Now I have five, and people ask me. I do it the same as I did it with one–one day at a time!

      Reply
  27. Jennifer Shives

    Thank you so much for this uplifting post! It is so easy to just slog through each day of motherhood and forget what is truly important. My dishes may be dirty, my floors unvacuumed, my laundry piled up and my garage too full of toys and old clothes to park in, but my kids are only where they are for a few short years and I have to enjoy the moment. As a mom of 5, I love reading about others who have more than the status quo! I admit that the days have been dragging and I have been begging (more like nagging) God for more sleep, and now I realize that sleep isn’t what I need, but rather resting in God’s grace. I look forward to facing tomorrow without counting how many times I got up at night with my twin babies or how many things I didn’t get done today. Instead, I am going to be glad that I have my kids and that I have a reason beyond cleaning and cooking to be alive! Also, it’s good to be reminded that all the moms out there who seem perfect out in public are just as human at home!

    Reply
  28. Mommy of 5, Still holding 3

    I really needed this! Thank you so much. I believe this was something put in my path for today. I am a home-school mom of three. Their ages are 6, 4, & 21 mo. My 4 yr old is (we believe) mildly autistic, we still have no official diagnosis though. She doesn’t say more than 5 words, and never has, and doesn’t grasp some simple concepts, while in other things she is on age level. Our boys are in every way progressing at an average, to above average rate. I long for a fourth child, but am not sure that it will happen for us. We lost a set of twins (boy & girl) at 17 1/2 weeks before our first child, so I have cherished moments with our 3 that otherwise may have been overlooked. All the while wondering what my 7 1/2 yr old twins would be like if we had them with us…
    Anyways, your story moved me to tears and I am thankful that in your business you took the time to share!

    Reply
  29. Heather Rose

    Truly touched my heart. I found the link on facebook and read it last night. During the night my 5 month old baby girl did not sleep very well, but I felt so refreshed and blessed by your blog that the lack of sleep didn’t effect me like it normally has in the past. I have three small children and feel so honored that God chose me to be there mommy! My father taught me that in all life’s aspects to Just Honor God and that is my parenting style as well. Thank you for your honest prespective of motherhood.

    Reply
  30. Margret Mefford

    A lovely story that moved me to tears! As a Great-Grandmother of ten adorable children I often think back to my five and wish they were young again and I could hold them and love them all over again! Young mothers, treasure the minutes and hours you get to spend with your child, God will give you the strength to overcome sleepless nights and busy days. You are giving part of yourself away to your children and it will always stay with them.

    Reply
  31. Helen Graham

    Great story, Kristen. When our kids were babies, as I hit the pillow I always prayed (still do sometimes!) “Lord, turn these three hours of sleep into six.” And I knew he could do it. If he can multiply bread and fish, why not time? For some reason, I never asked for eight hours…

    Reply
  32. Krystle

    Thank you so much for writing this! A friend of mine shared the link on Facebook. It was the exact reminder I needed tonight. I am a mother of two girls, a 20 month old and almost 6 month old, with another baby due in October. My husband took some teens on a college trip for March Break and I’m on day 4 of 10 acting like a single parent. The only things that have kept me sane the last four days are: 1.) the knowledge that no matter how little sleep I get, the Lord will supply the energy I need to get through every part of the day (as always!), and 2.) the help of my Mum and sister. When our second came along and then started acting colicky, my husband often reminded me not to dwell on how many hours I didn’t sleep, how many household chores were left undone, how many people we weren’t able to spend time with, how few books I had time to read to our first, etc. This post was so well-written, I’ll be reading it again…maybe every night as a reminder to cherish every moment, especially when exhausted! :) I read a few other hilarious quotes/stories about your kids. I cannot wait ’til ours get as entertaining as yours! I also read about the shirt idea…that sure would save a lot of time when shopping! :) One last thing, is it ok if I share the link to this post on my blog?

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you for visiting, Krystle! You are more than welcome to share my story–thank you for asking! I read through your blog, and we’re definitely on the same team. :) It is good to hear about other families in ministry. It’s hard to be away from your husband and to have to juggle everything alone, especially pregnant! I pray you’ll have a good week in spite of the challenges. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  33. Erin

    Thank you for sharing this! It is amazing how God works. I read this in the calm before the storm yesterday with my 3 kiddos (4, 2, & 1month). A friend had posted it to Facebook and I reposted it on my wall. I received several messages from friends saying it was just what they needed to read at that moment. Several friends posted to their walls and received similar comments. It is good to be reminded and nice to know that others have gone before us. Thank you again for allowing God to use your experience to encourage so many young mothers!!! His timing was perfect as always!

    Reply
  34. Jennifer

    A friend of mine just shared this on Facebook and I’m so glad she did! Thank you for sharing this story. I just had my son, my third child, four weeks ago and he is my first fussy baby. I’ve been so stressed out trying to take care of him, my two girls, and the house. I really needed to read this today. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and the reminder that God gives us what we need. I have been trying to do everything myself and forgot to trust in him. Thanks again! God bless!

    Reply
  35. Laura

    Thank you for this story! A friend shared it on facebook and I read this at the right time as I have been struggling with my little girl waking up at night. Last night instead of getting impatient and a little frustrated I picked her up and just held her and rocked her back to sleep. This is not a normal routine in our house but I thought “is it really going to hurt her if I take a few extra minutes to snuggle her back to sleep?” She is generally an active baby so I don’t get many snuggles during the day, it was nice just to sit there and look into her sleepy face. Babies are such a joy and blessing from God, doesn’t mean it’s easy but we should definitely cherish every moment we have! I was sharing this moment with my daughter on my blog and have more to add about it but was also wondering if it was ok to link back to this article as I mentioned in my post about reading it? Thank you for such encouragement I also shared it on facebook too!

    Reply
  36. Laura

    Thank you for this story! A friend shared it on facebook and I read this at the right time as I have been struggling with my little girl waking up at night. Last night instead of getting impatient and a little frustrated I picked her up and just held her and rocked her back to sleep. This is not a normal routine in our house but I thought “is it really going to hurt her if I take a few extra minutes to snuggle her back to sleep?” She is generally an active baby so I don’t get many snuggles during the day, it was nice just to sit there and look into her sleepy face. Babies are such a joy and blessing from God, doesn’t mean it’s easy but we should definitely cherish every moment we have! I was sharing this moment with my daughter on my blog and have more to add about it but was also wondering if it was ok to link back to this article as I mentioned in my post about reading it? Thank you for such encouragement I also shared it on facebook too!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you, Laura! You may always share the links to my blog! I appreciate it so much! I am thankful that this story is reaching deep and touching people across the world. The woman in the story is actually a compilation of two women who were brave and beautiful enough to speak into my life when I really needed it. Their words touched my life and changed my perspective. Thank you for sharing your story!

      Reply
  37. Brandi

    Beautiful! As a mom of four (with the younger two being ages 2 and 7 1/2 month “biological miracle babies” after 13 years of infertility) there are so many things I want to say about this, but can’t through the tears. So, just….thank you.

    Reply
  38. Michelle Harmon

    Your post was so encouraging to me! Thank you for putting this all into words. With a newborn and a toddler in our home, it helped me to hear that the first two are the hardest! I have always dreamed of one more baby but have felt lately like I can’t even handle the two I have! This post was a timely reminder that God has gifted me these children. I couldn’t help but insert a friend’s name in the spot of Hannah who is struggling with infertility. I needed that reminder to soak up my baby girl in the middle of the night, look at her, listen to her, breathe in her smell, and trust Him to give me the endurance I’ll need the next day. Wow, you really touched my heart. Thank you.

    Reply
  39. Rebekah

    Thank you for this!! I so needed this today! Being the second oldest of 15 children, 11 boys and 4 girls, I thought when I had children that it would be a breeze, seeing I had never slept in a bed alone until I moved out at 21. I had taken care of babies for as long as I could remember. After having my first, I then realized just how much of a ‘superwoman’ my mother was, and just today, sitting here 13 weeks pregnant with my 4th in 4 years and no real support since I have moved away from my family in the South to live in the North, I realize just how great she is! My daily montra is…If my momma could do it, then I can do it! It used to frustrate me when I was younger and pretty much never had a clean house, but now I am in total awe that our house was still standing! Thank God for a mother that depended on God from the start and cared more about her children than how her house looked. I have so much to learn but I thank God for giving me such a godly lady to look up to!

    Reply
  40. Carrie

    Thank you Kristen for writing such a great article. I have shared it with the readers on my blog Our Full House. I am the mother of 12, soon to be 13, and would agree that the first two are the hardest! You have brought tears to my eyes today as I remember “not to count the hours” for the time is too short!

    Reply
  41. Ashleytheislander

    Your story moved me deeply, thank you. I have two little ones and learned some time ago that I need to watch my baby at night, not the clock. These moments are so precious.

    Reply
  42. Jennifer S

    After having to wake up extra early this morning to help my sick husband head off to work and take care of our 2 little ones (something he usually does while I get an extra 1+ hour of sleep), this struck me perfectly. It was such a good reminder to me that I should not idolize sleep and instead rely on God to meet my energy needs.

    I shared it on my blog this morning because I know many of my friends will be blessed by your story. You have such a gift and I’m so glad to have found your blog to add to my reader.

    Reply
  43. barefeetbadovariesVanessa

    When a friend of mine shared this on her FB I thought it would only be applicable to current moms, but it wasn’t. It was a blog of encouragement no matter where you are in terms of motherhood- whether yearning for a baby, having your first, or a mom of half a dozen (or more). Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Reply
  44. Vanessa

    When a friend of mine shared this on her FB I thought it would only be applicable to current moms, but it wasn’t. It was a blog of encouragement no matter where you are in terms of motherhood- whether yearning for a baby, having your first, or a mom of half a dozen (or more). Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    (Sorry my previous one copied another blog name :/ for my name)

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you, Vanessa. That is my hope, that this blog will capture something about children and parenting that resonates with people of all ages. My children love the stories, and I hear from grandmas who read them and remember. I want to capture the moments with words in such a way that every reader FEELS a connection, and hopefully, is encouraged. Thanks so much for stopping by. Do you want me to include your blog name for others? I can delete your first comment or approve it if you don’t mind extra traffic. :)

      Reply
  45. Crystal

    What an encouraging reminder for moms of young ones such as myself. I truly appreciate your transparency. This jumped out at me…. “the first two are the hardest” and I’m praying with everything in me that it’s true!? I’m 39 weeks with my third boy, the first two are 3 years old and 18 mos. Some days I think I’ve even forgotten how to count! :)

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      It was absolutely true for me. With each child, I became more comfortable as a mom. I realized that the sleepless nights wouldn’t last long, that the baby would eventually get on a schedule, that nursing would eventually get easier. I hope you have a smooth delivery. Enjoy that new baby!

      Reply
      1. Crystal

        Thank you!! I can’t tell you how much this has encouraged me…. I guess maybe I really CAN do this! :)

        Reply
  46. Jessie Gunderson

    Wow, this made me cry girl and I don’t cry. :) I, like you, am a mama of five. Number two was the hardest for me also. I still wonder how in the world I do it and some day I still count the hours.

    Beautifully encouraging is exactly what came to mind. Your imagery drew me in and kept me here longer than I intended. :) But we could talk for hours I can tell. Just lovely.

    Do you have Twitter? I’ve scheduled to share this post tomorrow morning. I’d love to subscribe to your RSS feed but it didn’t seem to be working. I’ve helped some friends fix that if you’re interested. You can email me! I wanna come back for sure.

    Reply
  47. amanda talstra

    Thanks for sharing this story. Its clear that God used the woman in the cry room to bless & encourage you, & now that very same story is blessing so many. What a powerful example of faithfully sharing what we are learning & struggling with others & then allowing God to work through that. Praise God that He works in church nurseries, but also on blogs like yours through invisible networks, to strengthen & nourish His church! We’re raising our little family in Cambodia, far from home, while trying to be full time development workers at the same time. Its often completely overwhelming, but this post is such a great reminder of God’s faithful presence during our chaos & of the freedom that comes when we are able to open our eyes to be grateful amidst it all!. Thanks again.

    Reply
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  49. Jenn

    Thanks. A friend’s blog linked to yours -the Lord’s timing is perfect. I needed this reminder today! I thought I learned this lesson last winter as we welcomed a sweet sickly #4 to our family and I spent 3mo not sleeping more than 30minutes at a time and then another 4mo with not more than 2hrs sleep at a time. The Lord taught me at that point that He can and will provide me with the rest that I need in the sleep that I have… He can multiply rest without adding one moment to my sleep. He also taught me to cherish more deeply each moments with my precious babes.
    But oh, how quickly I forget! Today I find myself in tears discouraged by how tired and sick I am in this 1st trimester of growing our precious #5 (our oldest will not yet be 6 when this bave arrives) and the lonely feeling that if those around us knew that I struggle just like everyone else they would say it’s our own fault for “having kids too close together”. I find myself focusing on the hours… the too many hours it is until daddy gets home and the not enough hours I have to rest. My focus has shifted to self instead of being fixed on my Creator and the abundant blessings He has freely given. The Lord is using your words to encourage and exhort my heart -thank you for taking the time to write and be used of the Lord. By His grace I will stop counting the hours and steps before me and once again turn my eyes upon Jesus and the moment by moment blessings He has given.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Oh, Jenn, I know where you’re coming from! Thanks for sharing your story. I thought the line about feeling lonely because you feel like you’ll be judged if you speak up was particularly good. I’m working on a new story and that’s part of what I’m trying to communicate, that feeling of guilt over being pregnant again, and the assumption that people will disapprove when they find out that you’re “having another one.” So, if no one has told you lately, CONGRATULATIONS on your new little one. It is a crazy, beautiful time, and you are blessed.

      Reply
      1. Jenn

        Thanks! :-) We do have many that are supportive but I still don’t feel the same leeway to “have a rough” day that I did when I had just one or two. For them the answer is so easy -just don’t have more or have them further apart -but for us that answer makes no sense -everyone is busy and has rough days -even those with no kids!
        Also, all the large families we know have supportive family on both sides and with us that is not really the case. It’s a challenge that I’m not sure how to face and haven’t ever really heard anyone address.
        Well, it’s a new day here. The sun is shining, the Lord’s promises are new and I’m off to change the bedsheets! :-) Thanks again for the encouragement, I’m sure I will stop by often!

        Reply
    2. Sue

      Jenn, God will not put more on your plate than YOU can handle. What’s on your plate in life is not the same as your friend’s plate or your sister’s or your sister-in-law’s – only what YOU can handle. I remember sinking to my knees some days, thinking “I can’t handle this.” But I realized God knew I could handle it, so I did. I have felt the times you have described . . . I know how people can say unfeeling things about how many kids you have (I have six). We serve an awesome God!

      Reply
      1. fiveintow

        I recently read a quote by Mother Theresa that went something like this: “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle. I just wish He didn’t have so much faith in me!” It made me smile, and I feel like that some days, too! But, when I feel overwhelmed, it’s usually because my eyes are looking down instead of up.

        Reply
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  51. Sarah

    We were just blessed with #4 at our house, and this was a great reminder of how precious and short my time with them truly is! Thank-you for the reminder.

    Reply
  52. Crystal Renee

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today. Literally brought tears to my eyes. You are absolutely right in all sense of the word. I too, sometimes, feel horrid and upset about the LACK of sleep… but you put so much into perspective. This is the first visit I have had to your blog, but now, I will be sure to say. You touched me in a way that I have not, by words, before.

    Reply
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  54. Morgan

    This is my first time reading our blog and I absolutely love this. We struggled for almost 2 years and several miscarriages to become pregnant with my daughter, Hannah. My pregnancy with her was shockingly easy but my anxiety was through the roof as I could never fully give myself over to loving her because I was so afraid of something else going wrong. Once she was born my friends with newborns thought I was lying because I said I loved the sleepless nights, even though it was hard. This is the absolute best explanation I have ever found for how I felt on those sleepless nights

    ” How long would it take a mother like that to forget how much she’d been given? Eternity could not take the memory of it from her.”

    I do not know if we will ever be able to have another child, but infertility and pregnancy loss gave me a great gift, the ability to savor every moment with my daughter. I know I am a different mother because of the perspective my struggles have provided, and I am so thankful for it. This was an absolutely beautiful post.

    Reply
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  56. Meredith

    I read this a while back (I think after you first posted it). It had been a long stretch of sleepless nights due to my 2 and 4 year old boys being sick. I remember reading this and thinking I was MEANT to read this. Now, almost a month later, I am still thinking of this blog post and I just had to tell you how much I have thought about this since I read it. I used to wake up early with my boys and attempt to go back to sleep on the couch. Every-Single-Morning. I felt so sleep deprived from them waking me up while they were sick in the middle of the night, and I thought the answer to that was sleeping after they woke up. But, that just made me grumpier. I hate being grumpy around my kids! Only last week did I shift gears (after much thought and prayer) and decided to change my focus: wake up, and GET DRESSED for the day. Don’t go back and try to catch a few interrupted minutes on the couch. It just won’t work, and I knew that. This article was the catalyst that I needed to make a change in myself. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you for coming back and sharing this. It’s encouraging to me to hear that the words that helped me are helping other moms. It’s a tough season, and you’re certainly earning your stripes.

      Reply
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  58. fitfallon

    What a beautiful story.
    And a beautiful reminder of two things that make the day better for us all gratitude and humour .
    I am a mum of three 5, 3 and 1 . Sometimes I can’t remember the last night we had a full nights sleep . My sister stayed last week . She has no children yet and as the hours overnight passed and one sick awake child eventually slept for another to wake up . ” how do you do this ” she lamented at 430 am ish .

    Those two things gratitude and humour get me through every day . We are blessed to have the three beautiful angels that we have .

    And every day they make me laugh even if it is calling me to hug them sitting in a pool of wee or poop .
    Every child is a blessing from god you are absolutely right about that .
    Thank you so much . Fiona

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Oh yes! It is a busy time, isn’t it? And it’s so easy to get discouraged and not realize how precious these times are. They are the hardest years, no doubt about it, but they are fleeting. I hope your little babes are feeling better and you get some good hugs in today!

      Reply
  59. veghotpot

    I’m not religious and I don’t have children but I just wanted to comment to say that your post here was so beautiful and it’s clear from the responses that you have helped a lot of people! I think this message can be related to other aspects of life, Im always ticking off my to do list and charging through each week but every now and then I just take hold of my husband, hug him and soak in the love for that moment :) I think it’s important to appreciate the special things in life for what they are and not get too caught up on the trivial aspects :)

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Thank you! I am glad that you were able to glean something from a post that might not otherwise apply to you. Husbands are a great one to practice this on! I’m guilty of charging through life too, and my husband is the opposite. He wants and needs me to soak up the hours with him a bit, and I always feel better when I do.

      Reply
  60. dreamlass

    wow this is amazing. it’s like you have captured my feelings in this post almost as if you were experiencing my first baby with me… i always counted the hours and still do, waiting for the next milestone… now it’s counting the days for potty training. but reading this has made me realise so much.

    thank you, may the One in in Control of Everything, bless you.

    Reply
  61. dreamlass

    wow, thanks for this. i always counted the hours when my daughter was born, still do. but this has taught me a lot.

    well done to the lady you met in the crying room at church. who would’ve thought that her story would be a source of inspiration to all of us?

    may the One who is in control of us all bless you and her for sharing.

    Reply
  62. Sara

    Thank you for sharing this, I am a mother of a 2 year old girl and this has truly brought things to a new light for me.

    Reply
  63. Sara

    Wow, as a writer, a new mother, and a Christian – this speaks to me on so many levels. My baby boy is everything to me, especially after waiting my whole life to become the mom I always longed to be. Shortly after his birth, we learned he required a life-saving surgery. Had our birth gone any other way (which went totally opposite of my birth plan), we could have lost him. I try to remember this when the stress of night time crying and being a full-time mom get to me. I also try to remember that every stage is temporary and so fleeting. Still, it’s easy to forget, take for granted, and get frustrated for want of sleep. Thank you for another reminder, so beautifully spoken. Tonight, I’m not rushing to sleep as soon as he’s dozed off. I’m lying next to him, drinking him in and relishing his perfect baby features and soft breathing beside me….

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Enjoy him! My babies are now three, and I miss the sounds little babies make. What a wonderful gift you have been given. One of my children had a true knot in their umbilical cord. The doctor was astounded when he saw it. She shouldn’t have lived. But she did, and I am so grateful! Sometimes we just need to be reminded that life is a gift.

      Reply
  64. Alexis

    Wow, this post could have been written by me after (even now) my 2nd son was born. He never slept (and still doesn’t) more than a couple of hours in a row, and getting him to sleep in any spot in the house by himself did not happen until he was almost 3. He only wanted to nurse to sleep, but wouldn’t STAY asleep.

    At first I was angry, not with him, but because it just wasn’t fair. I would do what you described: count the hours I wasn’t sleeping and resent the exhaustion and the inability to do what I wanted to do (like pay attention to my older son). I was tired of being the only one who could soothe him and tired of not ever having a moment to myself or a moment to snuggle with my 2-yo.

    Months passed by like this, until the day came that I realized was the anniversary of the day I lost my first baby. I was due with her on 7/15/05 and my “high maintenance” son was born 7/15/08. I remembered how much I cried, how much I hurt, and that I prayed for a baby to heal my broken heart. God answered my prayers – twice – and now here I was angry with everyone and everything because he wouldn’t adhere to any schedule except his own. I did what you did, started telling myself that these days would be gone very fast, even with little to no sleep, and I needed to enjoy him and his 2-yo brother. Enjoy the time he wants only me because it’s fleeting.

    He still doesn’t go to sleep easily, he won’t stay asleep all night, and he sneaks into my bed around 2 AM … but I’ve accepted that he needs it and I cherish waking up with little arms around my neck.

    Thank you for posting this — it helps so much to know it’s not just me <3

    Reply
  65. Lauren

    What an incredible story!! You have just touched my life in such a magnificent way. God used you to write that for all the mothers out there. Thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  66. Gillian Smith

    Thank you! Needed that kick in the butt….feeling a little sorry for myself this week. So good to be reminded of His goodness….

    Reply
  67. Rashida Tayabali

    Sometimes when I find that I’m struggling, I just leave everything for the moment and count my blessings with deep breaths in between. Sometimes the things that really matter cannot be quantified using hours or minutes.

    Reply
  68. allysonlong

    Wow, I am in tears after reading this post. A friend passed it along and it was just what I needed at the time. I hope you don’t mind but I shared the link on my blog and a few excerpts that were my fav. If you have time, feel free to read my previous blog post “raw confessions from a sleep deprived mama” and then you can see why I got your post at the perfect time. God is slowly working on my heart and trying to soften it and trying to get me out of the “i am owed this or that mode” b/c of my hard work!! Ohhhh, the pain from growth in the Lord … so sweet, but so hard!! Thanks again … I am returning my itzbeen timer and putting the alarm clock away … i am going to go crazy if i keep watching it and counting the hours of sleep he and I both are NOT getting!!

    Reply
  69. Lauren

    This was my first time reading your blog. I happened to see it linked to my friend’s Facebook page. I read it at three in the morning when I was up feeding my 2 month old twins. As a first time mom, it was incredibly encouraging to read! Thank you! I know this time is so precious! I read it to my husband the next day and we were both in tears. Such a beautiful reminder!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Congratulations on your new babies! God was gracious in giving me my twins LAST, after I was already broken in a bit! You moms who get twins the first time around are amazing! I hope you are doing well with the adjustments.

      Reply
  70. Rachel

    Beautiful! I found you through a friend on Facebook, and promptly shared this article on my page as well. We welcomed our first child in December, and I have mornings like the one you describe. :) Thank you for the encouragement, God indeed gives us what we need.

    Reply
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  72. Esther

    Thank you! I loved being reminded of Hannah’s story – In those dark sleepless nights of nursing my first baby (whose middle name is Samuel) I read Hannah’s story many times. I also counted the hours as you said and I’m trying to learn not to do so with my sleepless number 2!

    Reply
  73. richelle

    loved, loved, loved this! how special that you allowed God to teach you through that amazing woman… it took me a lot longer to learn that same lesson.

    last night, as i alternating between trying to get comfortable and sleeping on the hard tile floor in the bathroom with my two youngest, both sick and needing the humidified air – loving, snuggling and not regreting the lacks but treasuring the moments, even the scary ones simply because they were there and i could hold them… and God was there and He would hold me if i’d let Him.

    you always here older moms advise younger ones to treasure those moments – wise are the young mamas who grasp that early on instead of waiting and experiencing and learning the hard way after so much wasted time spent counting and feeling lack when they could be feeling overwhelmed and counting blessing after blessing after blessing…

    Reply
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  77. Rachel H

    Thank you for making me cry :) I have a 2 year old & an 8 month old and there are days I don’t ever want to have anymore children, and then there are days that I do :) I’m slowly learning that it takes great dependence on God to make it through a day. The days I try to do it by myself are the days I cry the most :) Thank you for this reminder!!

    Reply
  78. Ariel

    Hi, I linked to your toddler eating post from super healthy kids and then read this one. It’s beautifully written. Sometimes there’s nothing like another mom’s story to help give you perspective on how lucky we all are to be moms. No doubt your kids will grow up to read your blog and understand how very loved they’ve always been.

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Those are two very different posts, aren’t they! Thank you for reading and being encouraging to me. I do hope that this blog ends up being a chronicle of God’s blessing on our home. He has indeed been good to us!

      Reply
  79. Candace

    Wow! This story is like an answered prayer to me. I had my second baby 8 weeks ago and I have had so many days like that. Counting the hours, feeling like the worst mother in the world, overwhelmed and unable to deal. I always know these things aren’t true but I have a hard time keeping those thoughts at bay. I can’t tell you the comfort this story brought me. Truly beautiful words!

    Reply
    1. fiveintow

      Blessings on your new little one, Candace! This is the hardest transition, from one child to two. At least it was for me! I’m thankful to be able to encourage you a little as I was encouraged by another mother when I was where you are. May God give you extra strength and comfort today as you strive to glorify Him in your home!

      Reply
  80. Rebecca Clingman

    I’ve just come to discover your website and I have to say that you are a God-send. It’s like you are in my head but you’re able to say everything so much more eloquently. I’m currently on #3 and the older two are both 3 until April when the oldest turns four. I am always counting my hours and while I know I need to stop, breaking a nasty habit is hard. Thank you for your encouragement and for giving me food for thought. God is a great God and He never gives us more than we can handle with His help. Now if I could just remember that in thick of things…..looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    Reply
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  83. Sacha

    That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you. I’m saving this in my journal. I feel like I experienced it right along with you. A wonderful thing to read/experience after a week of croup and strep throat and “not enough” sleep.
    Love,
    Mommy of 3 little boys

    Reply
    1. Kristen Glover Post author

      Oh my goodness, Sacha, I totally understand the week of sickness and no sleep! We’re going through that here as well. I hope you have been able to get some rest. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  84. Emily

    Thank you so much, I have now heard the same message today from a few different Godly women who I know God has placed in my path, in various ways, for a reason. I needed this and God knew that. So thank you for writing this and thank you as well to the women who reposted it today, and thank you also to the women at my meeting this morning who reminded me of this exact message. God will continue to soften my heart and remind me that He will not provide me with anything that He does not also give me the strength and ability to do. And yes, they are truly gifts from Him!! On loan to us to give back to Him, what a blessing that is easy to forget in those “hours”. May God continue to bless you in your journey as a mom, a wife, and His child as well!! And thank you again!

    Reply
  85. stephanie

    I’m an hour counter. I HAVE to have a watch or a clock in view at all times to “keep track.” I never realized the downside of that, and how you’re exactly right – it makes me know EXACTLY what I will not be able to accomplish. I never comment on things, and I never read things that are long enough that my mouse scroll thing makes two complete circles. I guess the Lord needed me to read this. I’m a mom of 2. It’s hard.

    Reply
    1. Kristen Glover Post author

      Thank you for reading, Stephanie. Being a mom IS hard, and I think one of the hardest parts is that we think we “should” be able to accomplish more than we do, and we don’t realize that we accomplish more than we think we do. God has you right where He wants you, with those babies in your arms.

      Reply
  86. Robin Eger

    I read this post when you first posted it and I want you to know that I still come back to it. I now have my 4th child who is six months. He has had reflux and has not been an easy baby. God has used this post time and time again to remind me that He is faithful to sustain me through the hours that seem so long at times.

    I was so impatient with my other babies at times. I was drained because they “expected so much of me”. And in all honesty, for some reason my husband and I do tend to have more “difficult babies”. My entire outlook has changed this tine around though, because of the words God gave you to speak in to some many Mommy’s lives.

    Thank you.

    Reply

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