Bedtime is usually a fight with my toddler, and our youngest “soothes” by breastfeeding. Bedtime is always what I’m watching the clock for, but it’s also our biggest “fight” of the day.
On a good night, it may take 30 minutes. On a bad night….
You know the traditional, rehearsed prayer we knew as children? I said it as a child, and now I say it with my own each night.
Here’s my mom-modification to that prayer –
“Now I lay them down to sleep,
I pray the Lord this silence will keep.
If they wake before I bathe,
Remind me, Lord, how to behave.
Let thy water heater be hot,
And let these children wake, please not.”
I love my children. I love the chaos of our days – the laughter, the silliness, the random yells from excitement and joy. It’s loud. It’s messy. It’s exhausting. It’s ours.
But let you tell me what’s mine.
The hours after 7:30 in this house are sacred. The babies are sleeping, my hot bath is run, there’s a cheesy Netflix series on our television that I only halfway watch…because it makes me feel like I have something (anything) of my own. Just mine. Me. Myself. By myself.
When my husband is home from offshore, we have our shows. These hours become our time.
The hours after 7:30 are sacred, because I become pre-mama-me again. A little like Cinderella, there’s a time limit. Once the clock strikes (5am), it’s all over. The magic is gone and the work begins – I usually wear rags and I’m often scrubbing floors. But the hours after 7:30PM will come around again. And they are MAGICAL.
I count down the hours with my sweet, precious, perfect babes. I fight to get them to sleep at night during those 30 minutes (or the who-knows-how-many-minutes), and then I feel the mom-modified prayer deep down in my soul.
Please Lord, don’t let them wake.
If you’re anything like me and you have a way, big or small, to sneak in “pre-mama-you” time; enjoy it. Embrace it. Appreciate it. And know that you deserve it! You’ve earned it no matter what kind of day you’ve had. You did your best and it’s more than enough.
Soak, sip, halfway watch a series, fill a shopping cart full of things that you know you won’t ever buy. Whatever small things you need to do – may the Lord bless ‘em and keep the silence for a few hours.