Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What I've Learned About Bedtime

I remember it so vividly, that first night when I sat in the rocking chair, holding Paisley, while my husband put Judah to bed. He had just been a big brother for about 24 hours and at only 21 months, I could count on one hand the number of times that I hadn't put him to bed. See, bedtime had been our thing. It was a tradition, I'd stand there in the dark with him, holding that heavy boy in my arms and he'd tell me what to sing about. I'd make up songs about dump trucks, tractors, trains, as he'd name the next topic. We'd sing, we'd pray, we'd talk about our day and I'd tuck him in. It was our thing and I loved it.

As I sat there in the dark rocking my new baby, I cried. I was happy, yes so happy to have that sweet girl in my arms, but I wasn't singing with my Judah. Suddenly, I'd gone from having a huge baby bump, to sit my toddler on, to a saggy post-baby tummy, with a toddler who was singing with Daddy and a tiny baby in my lap. The schedule had shifted and it worked better for Daddy to do his bedtime, while I did Paisley's.

I guess over time, I got used to the new routine. I'd feed our new baby and enjoy that time with her, while Daddy and Judah created their own bedtime traditions. Sometimes I'd be able to spend a few extra minutes with him and always, I gave him a big squeeze before bed. I missed that time with him though and I wished I could do both.

Four months ago, my world as a Mom was turned upside down once again. With just a few short pushes, I became a Mommy of 3. Those sweet bedtime moments that had now become a routine with Paisley were suddenly more tricky to fit in. I tried to take care of Eliza, while also holding Paisley and rocking her, but it wasn't the same. As our new tiny baby, rested in one arm, I'd rock my big girl, singing to her and giving her those last cuddles. Often Daddy ended up putting both Judah and Paisley to bed because it was easier to do that while I got Eliza ready for bed. I'm so thankful to have a helpful and very capable husband, but I was still wishing I could do it all.

What I want to share with you is something that I've just recently learned about bedtime. I know it's hard, because we're all tired and honestly, don't we usually just want to be done with it? We don't want to deal with one more drink, or the "I need to go potty". We don't want to hear that door crack open again or hear "Just one more thing, Mommy". But, I'm learning that at bedtime, that's when my kids are the most open to talk about their days. They share stuff at that time that they normally wouldn't. While they lay in their beds, jammies on and teeth brushed, their hearts are usually at their softest.

After I get Eliza in bed, I've been going in and having some of the best little chats with Judah. Yes, I'm tired, really tired, but these talks have been priceless. He opens up, asks questions. We pray together and it's been so good.  Next, I spend a few minutes with Paisley. She's into songs right now so, that's what we do- we sing. She'll be a tough sassy pants all day, but during this time she is sweet.

Since having Eliza, I've often felt guilty for the lack of individual attention that I'm able to give my other two kids. It seems like lately God has provided bedtime as that one on one time that they need. Yes, I'm tired and my head tells me that I have dishes to do, but I think I'm really learning that it's okay to not rush bedtime. To take that time of day, and listen to what my kids are trying to tell me. To listen to that "one more thing" and to answer that one last question.

After visiting with Judah tonight, he told me that he wanted to fist pump with me and say "We are a team! We love our family!" So, we fist pumped, while cheering "We are a team! We love our family!" He makes this stuff up, all on his own, after he's had that individual attention that he craves. If I would've rushed to the dishes, scurrying him off to bed, I would have missed that.

I struggle with wanting to hurry them, so I can move on to the next thing and that's why I'm sharing with whoever might be reading- maybe you do too? That time at bedtime can be so sweet and the things that are said during that time, are transparent words, that might not have been said during the day. Maybe try not to rush it? Try to listen and answer that one last question?

A few scenes from our day:
///Swords at the beach.
 ///Grandma and Eliza.
 ///Kids on an adventure.


Wrapping this up with a favorite read from today. I've been thinking about trying this on, as a new routine around here. You know, sharing the things I love. Sharing with you, what's inspiring me. I think it sounds fun. And doable. Maybe I'm on to something.

>>>Distractions, by Lesley Graham. Loved the way she's setting up a system that'll keep her from being a slave to her phone and the computer. Go check her out. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I, too, want to rush so I can get to other things, {Downton Abbet, not dishes, lately!}, but you're so right. Thanks for the reminder!


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