Nighttime used to be mine.

Then it was the struggle to turn over, your feet under my ribs.

Then it was a contraction and another and another and I think this is it.

Now it is being pulled, pulled from the depth of slumber by your tears.

Now it is up every two hours, the sweet smell of milk.

Now it is 12:45am and 3:20am and 5:30am, though some might call that morning.

Now it is waking in a panic, because you haven’t woken me.

Now it is your chest against mine, radiating heat like a flame, when did I give you the last dose of medicine?

Now it is a thump, a body on the floor not used to a bed.

Now it is your breath on my face, willing my eyes open with its rhythm.

Now it is whispers in the dark, a glass of water, please, just one.

Now it is changing the sheets, soaked with urine, and promises that it won’t happen again.

Now it is your own reading light, which you forget to turn off.

Now it is I’m worried, Mom, I can’t sleep.

Now it is footfalls on the stairs, I’m not tired, Mom, and maybe you aren’t.

Soon it will be your bedtime later than mine.

Soon it will be the party I’ll pick you up from at midnight.

Soon it will be a creak of the front door, the clock standing sentry, not me.

Always it gives way to light, with you one day older.

About the writer

Lauren is originally from New York, but now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. A published classicist turned stay-at-home mom of four (including twins), she writes regularly at and is a contributing blogger for Brain, Child Magazine. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Jessica Flood 2 years ago

This made me cry a little, not over the sleep I’m not getting but the long journey ahead of me which will carry my boys away from me and into the world.

Liz 2 years ago

Gave me goosebumps!

Brianna Kearns 2 years ago

I seriously cried reading this!! Why do they grow so fast

Mary Walker 2 years ago


Brooke MacGregor 2 years ago


Hannah Gill 2 years ago


Emma Carlson 2 years ago

Stay where you are with your child: no regrets for where they used to be and no anticipation of where they may be later. Just here now, where they are, being with them.

Maria O’Dea 2 years ago

beautifully written ♡

BJ Jermana-Rai 2 years ago

rocked my baby a few extra minutes… even with a to-do list so long – thank you!

Donna Logerwell Soapes 2 years ago


Kara Willis 2 years ago


Wendy Guevara Cano 2 years ago

Awe tear

Jasmine Musso-Annecharico 2 years ago

Sad :(

Jacqueline Nodes O’Reilly 2 years ago

All so very true – bittersweet yet wonderful

Justus Bowman 2 years ago

I remember my daughter always thumping onto the carpet from her bed. One night, she was crying loudly, and I couldn’t find her anywhere. Took me a while to push aside the blankets in the dark and find her under her bed. Not sure why that made sense to her, but I guess she was just exhausted and scared.

Kara Turmel-Cleavall 2 years ago

Beautiful !

Michelle Curtis 2 years ago

Ahhh.. Tears

Emily Galang 2 years ago

So true. My 6 year old, 3 year old and newborn all need me at night, all for different reasons. But at least they are all safe in my house for now. The time will cone that I can’t sleep because they are all out partying.

Jeanine Patrice 2 years ago

Sooooooooo true

Geneviève Bowman 2 years ago

I just fell asleep with my 10 month old after trying to put her to bed for the longest time. She fought sleep and cried and wouldn’t be soothed for a looong time. This article just melted me. So true!

    Justus Bowman 2 years ago

    Yeah, the part about worrying when NOT woken up! Haha! Parents never stop worrying.

    Amanda Jewett Zekanis 2 years ago

    I remember the first time my daughter (now 9.5mos) slept for more than a few hours. I shot up in bed at 3am and stared into the bassinet until I could confirm that she was breathing!

Jamie Cantor 2 years ago

Currently rubbing my son’s back to sleep and wanted him to hurry so I could go to sleep, and now I just want to stay a few minutes longer… Thank you… Beautifully written.

Melissa Colella 2 years ago

I just fought and epic battle to get my two to sleep. Then I read this, I can’t wait to wake up in a few hours. *Mom tears*

Heather Taeger 2 years ago

This is really beautiful, thank you for posting!!

Sandy Hecker Carahaly 2 years ago

Read this with my 8 yr old falling asleep on my shoulder. Bittersweet! Time flies.

Sioux Mocerino 2 years ago

Teary <3

Emma Schreiber 2 years ago

Wow! Wiping tears from my eyes! Beautiful!!!!

Julizza Rojas 2 years ago

Wow; just brought to mind that each moment must be cherished… Time is elusive and eventually the time will come :)

Kerry Gallagher Brecciano 2 years ago

Must have…more kids…

Ashley Dodson 2 years ago

Not even ashamed that my almost 3 year win the battle and is now in our bed

Deanna Carroll Ursino 2 years ago

A reminder to treasure all these little interruptions from my boy before he’s no longer my little boy anymore:)

Yonca Sarigedik 2 years ago


Amy Minor 2 years ago

Very sweet, brought tears to my eyes. I want to go wake my daughter and snuggle.

Anna Theriot 2 years ago

I guess I never really thought about it this way! My 10 month old isn’t going to be my itty bitty forever! :(

April Leon 2 years ago


Jill Bishop Rubin 2 years ago

Love this! I have 4 kids and if I’m not up with my 4 year old, I’m waiting for my 16 year old….to make sure he is home safe and sound. =)

Kelly Krause 2 years ago

Aw tears. Like when I think of my littles leaving for college or getting married. I want to snuggle with them forever.

Sarah Koebler 2 years ago

A beautiful outline of the nighttime with a child.

Sheila Moreau 2 years ago


Jessica Mobbs 2 years ago

I love this. Totally cried.

Holly Sellers Young 2 years ago

This hurt a little :(

    Kali Lyles Morgan 2 years ago

    A lot! I almost cried!

    Holly Sellers Young 2 years ago

    LOL I did.. Tears flowing and mine is turning a year old this weekend. Maybe that is why! I cried just making her go to sleep tonight. Haha

Andrea Podhola 2 years ago

Love this. <3

Julia Harvey 2 years ago

It’s bittersweet. I loved it.

Amanda Lyman Roberts 2 years ago

Love this!

Samantha Hoyt 2 years ago

That was a little sad : (

HD 3 years ago

This was beautiful. I loved it, and it ripped my guts out all at the same time. Maybe I’ll be more patient with the “Mommy, will you come with me to potty?” around 3 AM tonight/tomorrow. Thank you!

TK 3 years ago

So beautifully put, Lauren! At first I thought this post was about sleep deprivation that comes with parenthood, but it turned out to be much deeper than that. Thanks for reminding me that every phase is short-lived!

Zsofi 3 years ago

LOVE. Every word. Thank you for writing it.

Jean 3 years ago

I’m willing myself to look at the larger picture lately because we’re in the middle of sleep regression. This lovely poem helped. xo

Debbie 3 years ago

This is beautiful and the years go by to quickly.
Then comes the wedding with the whimpering of the first grand baby.
No frets or worry’s, because now you can send them back home when sleep needs to come.
Let the fun begin after all it is pay back time.

Cindy @ Fenced in Family 3 years ago

This is beautiful. My oldest is 12 now, and I’ve gone through almost all the stages. Sigh.

Harper 3 years ago

Probably going to have to frame this. It made me cry.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 3 years ago


Jessica Lucas 3 years ago


Mytwicebakedpotato 3 years ago

This is so true!! I don’t think it is ever the same as before kids. I worry now about my eight years old more. Math test worries and friendship issues weigh on his mind…and mine too

Jenny 3 years ago

This is beautiful! Some day your nights will belong to you again..okay, maybe never totally belong to you, but you will get some good sleep every once in a while. In the meantime, keep writing pretty things like this :)

thedoseofreality 3 years ago

Excellent post. Love it. Everything you said is so exactly what night feels like once you become a parent. Something tells me that even when the children are grown up, I feel will still feel the tug of night.-Ashley

Jennifer Kramp 3 years ago

Love this…

Frankie Laursen 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. My kids are only 3 and 6 years old, but already it’s going by so quickly.

Amanda Shaw-Laidlaw 3 years ago

Such a beautiful poem & so true. Thank you for this!!!

Debbie Schilstra DeBaeremaeker 3 years ago

Great poem of children growing up.
some made me smile in remembrance and some in anticipation.
may have cringed a bit remembering too!

Nina 3 years ago

Love this, Lauren.

Marleen Arenivar 3 years ago

This is a great little poem. Makes me think of how different each year is with Julian. I cherish those wonderful nights I get to cuddle with him. Because I know it won't last forever.

Tanya 3 years ago

I love this <3

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 3 years ago

So sweet and so very true. The time goes by so quickly. My littlest one is 16 months and I have already forgotten the kicks in the ribs. Each phase is different but just as sweet.

grownandflown 3 years ago

Lauren, I am struck with the images you paint of a child growing up. Who among us moms has not felt so many (if not all of these?) Beautiful! With our youngest a senior in high school, in a year’s time, she will return to her freshman dorm, climb into her x-long twin sheets, and switch off a lamp clasped to the twin bed. Back home, I will be unaware of all of this…..

Grace | Yummy Baby Gifts 3 years ago

This is very sweet!!

Pam 3 years ago

Adore this.


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