Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Treasuring the Chaos of Bedtime

For this week's One Word Post, I am taking a little pity on myself and my busy schedule. Instead of a new post, I am re-sharing one from February 2014 that just makes me happy.
Like most moms, there comes a point in the day when I begin to look forward to bedtime - the kids' and mine. However, like most kids, mine are pretty good at stalling. I have to remind them of every single step, even though they know exactly what to do. They seem to suddenly develop strange ailments that need immediate attention. The stuffed animals and pillows must be painstakingly placed in just the right spots. They suddenly remember the homework they forgot just an hour before. All of a sudden, they MUST find the perfect shirt to wear the next day. The bedtime routine is one that I tend to rush them through and, often, we all end up feeling a bit frustrated.

I once wrote a post explaining why looking in on my sleeping children before I go to bed is my favorite part of the day. That's still true. It's getting to that point- the point when they are peacefully asleep- that is sometimes hard. When bedtime rolls around, they are tired and irritable. They don't want to be rushed or reprimanded. But, guess what? I'm tired, too. I am out of patience and, most nights, I am just trying to get through it.

Though it can definitely be frustrating, there are parts of the routine I cherish. I really try to focus on those aspects of it - the little parts that bring me joy. 

My oldest daughter likes to wear her hair in a braid during the night so it doesn't get tangled. Now that she is 13, this is the only time I am allowed to fix her hair. As I brush and braid her tresses, we talk about the day or what new book she is reading. We laugh. It only takes a couple minutes, but they are our minutes together. As she gets older, she needs me less and less, but she still needs me to braid her hair. Sometimes, I'm even lucky enough to get a hug.

My middle daughter has never been much of a snuggler. That's mostly because she is a ball of energy. She is rarely still and it is difficult to embrace a moving target. She is often the most difficult one to get settled in the evenings as well, but I always get one good hug at bedtime. I make a point of looking in on her before I go to bed, too, because she looks so calm and peaceful in a way that I only see when she is sleeping.

My youngest one I call my "snuggle bug" because she is so loving and sweet. She has always been very generous with her hugs and kisses. At night, she is the one who puts her arms around my neck and won't let go or the one who says "Please, mommy! Just one more hug." A long time ago, after watching the movie Tangled,  she and I started to the "I love you - I love you more - I love you the most!" game. One night, I got tongue tied and said, "I love you the morst!" She thought it was funny and that instantly became our new bedtime routine. One of us says, "I love you the morst!" and the other replies "I love you the morst, too!"
There will come a time, I know, when I will miss the chaos of the bedtime routine. There will come a time when nobody needs me to braid her hair; when they will sleep in dorms or an apartment and I won't be able to get that last glance of peacefulness; when my "snuggle bug" is embarrassed by "I love you the morst!" I know. I do. When the exhaustion sets in, though, and my patience runs out, I forget to remember and I lose my cool.
There will come a time when I'll miss the chaos of bedtime. Sometimes I forget to remember that. #1Word @JanineHuldie @TheGoldenSpoons

I want to cherish these moments. I really do, but sometimes it's hard. I try to remember that it won't always be this way and that someday I will want that chaos back. For now, I'm going to take some deep breaths and try to stop rushing so much. I'm going to brush and braid and hug every chance I get.  And, I'm always, always going to say "I love you the morst!"

Do you rush through bedtime or cherish the moments?


This post was part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyaholic and me! This week, the word prompt choices were Happy & Pity. 

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