AS A MOM OF FIVE, I feel as though I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in more than 11 years. My husband is wonderful—and a great dad—but he’s a deep sleeper. Combine sleepless kids with his deep dozes, and it’s a recipe for marital disaster.
In those early years, I’d try to wake him, but most often I was left to care for a crying baby alone. When morning finally dawned, I’d be physically drained and jealous of my husband’s glorious full night of sleep.
As our family continued to grow, I developed an unhealthy way of voicing my frustrations. I’d sarcastically say, “How nice it must be to get a full night’s rest,” or “You better not yawn today.” I’m not sure my husband knew how to respond. And my behavior did nothing to solve my predicament.
I knew I needed to release the hurt and bitterness I was harboring, but I didn’t know how. As I began to seek God more and reflect on the qualities of humility, gentleness and patience from Ephesians 4:2, He gently showed me what I needed to focus on. And it wasn’t my sleepless jealousy.
The Lord also showed me that my husband had limitations—and that was OK. I had my own set of limitations. They just looked different from his. I started seeing with fresh eyes that my husband offered me his best in other areas—things I equally needed and appreciated.
A much-needed rest
My gratefulness for my husband and my new gentler manner didn’t solve the other half of the problem, how-ever. I needed sleep. After talking it over, we agreed that I could nap in the morning after he was up and I had nursed the baby. This small change allowed me to get an extra 20 minutes of sleep—and wow, that helped
Fast-forward 10 years, past my time of sleepless jealousy. I no longer expect my husband to respond to my needs if I don’t voice them. I’ve learned that if I set aside my emotions when I talk with him, he is better able to hear and address the problem. When I stopped dropping hints and started discussing my needs and grievances openly, our communication quickly improved.