Monday, September 24, 2012

{31 things} Day 19: Listen

...Originally Written June 2012....

When I had Piper, I expected to gain a few super human mom-powers. You know, spot-on intuition, a healing touch, the ability to find that sock you thought was gone forever... But the one thing people kept warning me of was Mom Hearing. The ability to detect my infant's cry for fifty yards. Or more accurately, the inability to ignore even so much as a whimper from my babe, regardless of distance or time. I was told to say goodbye to least for the next few years...because even if Piper did give us a few hours rest, I would surely hear every twitch, sniffle, and coo, making it impossible to sleep soundly. Other moms told me that no matter how deep a sleeper I once was, something changes when you become a mom, and baby cries seem to run a direct link into your being, creating a hyper awareness that is impossible to ignore.

Welp. Maybe my mom-ears are broken, but I just don't seem to have that gift. (or curse.) Piper is still a ways off from sleeping through the night (she's getting there...oh so slowly but surely), but I have maintained the ability to sleep through a racket, allowing me to catch a few blissful winks of sleep even when she's um..slightly discontent. Now don't panic, and think I'm ignoring my baby's cries. We sleep one room over from her, and I still put the baby monitor right next to my pillow, so I'm instantly aware of when she wakes up. But if we evaluate the noise, and determine its something she can work out on her own, then I'm able (and willing!) to roll over and go back to sleep until the next round when she actually does need me.

But while I haven't become excessively attuned to my babies noises, motherhood (or perhaps more specifically- being the mom of a light sleeper) have caused me to become hyper aware of other noises- mostly during Piper's (few, blessed) naps. I swear the world is never as loud as it is the second her head hits that crib mattress. It's as if every truck, bus, conversation, siren, and floorboard creak wait for that precise moment to make themselves known. And each time I hear brakes squealing, people shouting, or  doors slamming, I have a knee-jerk, visceral reaction. Something inside me instantly snaps, and I just want to shut. that. thing. up. Heaven forbid you drop so much as a piece of paper while my girl is trying to sleep- I will glare at you as if you had poked her right in the half-shut eyelid. I'm not always proud of how dramatically this affects me, but my inner momma bear apparently feels very strongly about letting my baby get some much needed rest (or perhaps it's also a self-preservation instinct, in an effort to have 30 minutes of peace to protect some of my sanity). I never wanted to be such a fun squashing, finger wagging, shusher...But if it means my baby gets some shuteye, and I get an hour to myself once or twice a day, I'd be willing to build a forcefield around that kid.


  1. When someone rings our doorbell, there is a nano second of a pause before the bell sounds....I can HEAR that pause. And even now, years beyond protected nap time, the non sound makes me cringe and get all stabby. I've actually considered getting a new bell. Plus, our dogs (who now live on farm that you're not allowed to visit), would start barking incessantly, so I think that adds to my stress of hearing the pause before the storm. So, I with you! You should crochet a little sign to hang from the door..."Shhhhh, baby is sleeping"

    1. at first glance that sounds crazy, but now I can actually understand what you mean by hearing the pause. It's a sixth sense type of thing.

      Glad I'm not the only one that has a bit of crazy inside that gets tripped over little things!

  2. I was going to say something, but now I am wondering how Rachel can hear a pause and I lost my train of thought.

    When my kids were young enough to nap I was always at work so I don't remember this issue. They blatantly refused to nap for me at home on weekends. I would like to think this is because they wanted to spend time with me, but I am sure that is not the case.

    What I really wanted to tell you was I was snooping around in the Bowdenisms archives the other day and the following night I initiated a game of "Make That Sound" in the car with Hannah and Abby. We had a jolly good time. :)

    1. Oh my gosh Happy....I totally forgot about the Make That Sound game. Hilarious. And dumb. But so are Dustin and I! :)