I’m referring, of course, to my children’s bedtime. It’s one of my least favorite times of the day. It’s such a process. First, I start with my son. He’s the easy one. At just over a year old, he’s pretty worn out by bedtime. Change his diaper, put him in pajamas, kiss him goodnight, put him in his crib, and close the door. Done!
My daughter, used to be easy, just like that. Not any more. Here’s my routine: Tell her to hug and kiss her daddy. Go upstairs and brush teeth, get a drink of water, go potty, change into pajamas, read story, say prayers, turn on music, and finally tuck her in. Not too bad, right? Wrong!
Before I can get the door closed, she’s asking for another drink. Then she needs to go potty again. She wants her stuffed piggy, so I go downstairs to get it. Another drink. Now she wants to watch TV with Daddy. Finally, after working every angle, she gets “scared” and wants me to sleep with her.
I pull out a pillow and blanket (tucked under the bed because of the frequent usage), and lay down. This usually does it. But the whole time I’m thinking to myself, “I have so much to do.” Finally, once she falls asleep, I am able to go about my business.
Evenings are my time. I need time to unwind, to catch up on things, or to just have personal stare-at-the-wall-feeling-overwhelmed time. We all need time like that, don’t we? I often get so caught up in getting to the “my time” that I forget that my children’s needs should come first.
I need to enjoy the time with her. I need to find joy in the fact that I don’t need to see the book, in order to read it to her. I’ve read it so many times that it’s ingrained in my memory. I need to remember the excitement I felt when she first learned to say her own bedtime prayer.
When I put myself in the right frame of mind, I can use the time alone, while lying on her floor, in her room, in the dark, to think. I can organize my thoughts, plan the following day, or reflect on how many blessings I in my life. I can offer thanks for my precious children, and the joy they bring to my life.
This is one I have to work very hard at, to see the positive side. But like everything else, there is always an optimistic way of seeing it.