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The White Hot Beauty of Mothering After Dark

Guest post by Charlotte Wise

I sat tonight, as is now our rhythm, in the dark – you suckling at my breast. Measured breaths and heartbeat slowing, time stilling and the moment becoming something infinite in my memory.

I never understood the beauty of this until you. I’d not nourished your sister in this same way from my body and thought I knew how this would be, but I didn’t. This is the most primal and sacred of things and in this moment I feel invincible, connected, part of something bigger than you or I will ever comprehend.

I am mesmerised by the simple whorl of your ear. I can’t help but stare and I cannot think outside of this second. Yet at the same time I feel and think it all. In this moment my love for you is overwhelming and tears prick my eyes and my skin shivers.

My soul understands the meaning. I hope you will feel this loved all your life.

I know some day that this ear will be kissed by another with as much love as I feel now. I hope so. I hope you feel it always. Some other soul will kiss you here and inhale your smell and rub their nose against your skin. I ache with the beauty and the loss of that all at the same time. You are mine, and theirs, and just you. All at once.

This love is beyond words. It rips from my insides whilst also singing a gentle lullaby. It cannot be described. You are my baby. You will one day be someone’s love too. I want arms to hold you forever. Sweet, tender arms that are worthy of the baby, the boy, and the man.

This thing of motherhood. This acute, bittersweet glory. This awareness is so painful it is white hot beautiful.

You are already etched into the fabric of me, you always have been since the beginning of whatever it is we stars are. And you always will be. I hope you know. I hope it’s written inside you somewhere, too. Hidden but softly glowing. An ember of indescribable truth.

Sometimes motherhood is a mountain, and at times so dark I cannot even see the path ahead of me. But moments like this one… they explode my soul wide open again and remind me that this feeling of love is the only truth I believe in with everything I am.

I didn’t understand before when others would talk of this midnight time. Heightened by the dark and the quiet. How on earth, I thought, could I feel closer than the way I had already experienced?

But this truly is something borne from somewhere ancient.

Infinity rests beside me at 2am. Whether I am exhausted and broken and bent too far, and wishing for the night to end, for my self back, or revelling in the bond and closeness and squeezing him with a great inhalation of his beautiful neck as I move us closer, that feeling of timeless, weightless heaviness is always there.

When the world completely stops and you become this great thing, this ancient reason, rather than simply exist. In these moments in the dark, with my boy tenderly attached to my body I fully remember my love. And it is the memory of this in the hard times that keeps me going. I know this memory will keep me warm as my body grows older and my mind softer.

The awareness of this love makes me feel mortal and immortal all at the same time. It keens my senses. I feel alive. Part of this world yet also completely aware that we are made of something more than the day to day. It’s a real connection to our ‘being’.

For a long time I felt a little lost as a new mother. I loved my babies so much, I wanted to be a mother. But my sense of self fell away somewhere on that road and I have struggled to balance my love for them with my need to feel whole as me, too.

Feeding my boy in the middle of the night like this has been my tow-boat home.

Slowly and quietly it has reeled me back to a place of peace and calm. A place I now see I was in all along. It’s so hard to put into words, but nursing and loving forces my mind to become present again. To live through each moment, whether painstakingly painful, or bursting with light. It’s reminded me of something I always already knew. I no longer forget.

I don’t know if he will ever know the magnitude of my passion for him and his sister. Can a child every know the depth of this love? Will they know when they cradle their own? Do people ever understand that this is how they too were loved? Whether we do or not, I guess it makes no difference because this moment and this love exists. Right here.

And it is blueprinted on the echo of the world. In my strong mama heart. And in every mama heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlotte Wise

Charlotte is a writer, photographer and mama. Forever growing and changing. Striving always for new adventures, heart connections and authentic living. Charlotte homeschools and is gearing up to travel the world with her young family in the search of creating a lifestyle of both roots and wings. She writes to help raise our voices to create bonds throughout our lives, because at the end of the day, nothing matters but connection, love, feeling heard and being a part of it all. You can find more of Charlotte’s writing on her Instagram page Wild Hearts By Charlotte.

Hi there!

I'm Tracy

Hi there! I’m Tracy - the founder, writer and advocate behind the award-winning blog, Raised Good - a guide to natural parenting in the modern world. Based in Vancouver and originally launched in 2016, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and the global community that’s developed. 

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  1. Tracy Augustine says:

    That was everything, thank you. ????

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh how beautiful. This resonates so much with me right now! My 3rd child, a 3 month old boy, and we have the best moments in the quiet still of the wee hours. So sweet, so precious. I did not nurse my older son and daughter past a few weeks, I pumped exclusively and bottle fed because I didn’t give us enough time to bond and I reasoned it “just wasn’t for me”; but oh what I’ve missed 🙁 I’d go back in a second and do it all over again and nurse them all with a joyful heart. I’ll savor this time with Bodi that much more because it will be the last time and I want to cherish these bonding moments forever….

  3. Rebecca says:

    That was perfect, thank you. This really resonated with me tonight after I spent the last day sick in bed while my husband cared for our 12 month old. I was so sick that I couldn’t nurse him last night. When I finally felt better and was able to get up with him tonight, it was so special. I had no idea how much I had missed that. I felt like I could have rocked him in the dark there forever. Thank you for this reminder of what a blessing those moments are.

  4. Carol says:

    My boys are 14 and 12 now, lumbering, falling, sometimes leaping into teen-hood. I continue to mother after dark. Awake at 2am, my thoughts and prayers and love for them remain intense and mysterious. Thanks for your words. I need to always remember the blessings of nighttime parenting – then and now.

  5. Heather says:

    Oh wow. What a beautiful love letter. I’ve already read it ten times.

  6. Teresa Stoicescu says:

    Wow what a pleasure to.read. I found myself taken back to when i nursed my son….he’s now 7.
    Thankyou for beautiful writing????????

  7. melissa says:

    Thank-you for sharing your story I love reading and hearing other mamas stories of life at night. Its a time when we can be so exhausted and feel so alone but it is also so quiet and private and beautiful. It is one of my biggest struggles and my greatest reward.

  8. Delaney says:

    Thank you. I know these feelings of pure love are so difficult to put into words, but you really have captured the essence of our nighttime bonding very beautifully. I remember the second night with my son, cluster feeding night, and being so exhausted from labor and delivery. Yet so overwhelmed at the feeling of all my wrongs suddenly righted with him in my arms, snuggled against me, tears of joy falling softly. Eight months later, he’s such a perfect fit in my arms 🙂 May we always cherish these special moments and be filled with gratitude for them. Thank you again for your lovely insight 🙂

  9. Sherry says:

    I loved reading this. It sent me back to those feelings I had when my son was born (he is now 3 years old.) I didn’t know I would feel so deeply inlove all over again.

    Thank you <3

  10. Katlego Nakedi says:

    This is the truest, most exquisitely inspiring things I’ve read in a very long time. Thank you.

  11. Carrie says:

    Sitting awake with my baby boy and crying over this intensely beautiful poem.

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