Ah, parenthood. The role humbles me daily. On any given day, in any given hour, I bounce between the worlds of “please don’t touch that” and “that makes mommy so happy.” Today I celebrated a poop on the potty like it was an Oscar-winning performance. Yesterday I was near tears because I was convinced I had traumatized and constipated my kid beyond repair. Seriously, her tears over toilet paper possession were epic. Often, my life feels like a marriage of ridiculousness and complete bliss. While a strange union of emotions, I am told child-rearing makes for an ever-evolving sense of self and wonder. I’d say it’s this and so much more.
I’m writing this at the end of the day, which means my tank is on empty. I ran out of steam at 6, which is witching hour. The baby was screaming, the toddler was hangry, my husband wasn’t home yet, and I was in a dark place of wishing it away. Thankfully, the moment was fleeting. See, I try desperately not to wish any of it away, even the pits of parenthood. And while I sometimes fantasize about the end of a long day, the promise of a silent house, and a big cup of tea, or wine, I must confess my favorite part of the day is bedtime.
It’s not what you think. It has nothing to do with sleeping kids and everything to do with the act of getting them to sleep. In between the chaos, underneath the weight of a trying day, stuck in the cracks of “I’m so tired” and “am I doing this right” is the perfect glimpse into the good stuff.
I live to rock my baby before bed. I love the way she nuzzles into my neck, taps her tiny fingers against my chest, and sighs softly into my ear. Those quiet moments before bed are where I do some of my best dreaming.
As I close the nursery door I stand outside in the hallway and listen to my husband read to our toddler. The giggles and the “just one more book, daddy” tug at my heart as I pray for that little voice to stay little just a bit longer. When it’s time for bed I lay beside her for our “just us” time to pray, sing, and recap our day. In some true motherhood magic, any stress or frustration from the day disappears, and in that moment I’m at peace.
Bedtime is my favorite. Those quiet and quick moments of sublime, which make for wonderful snuggles and stories, seem to refuel me for more adventures. I am comforted by the sight of footed pajamas. The shadows of pretend play that dance across the baby monitor cast light throughout my house.
Bedtime has always been a dedicated space for appreciation, comfort, and dreaming. So as we march on in winter, lusting for spring, brimming with activity, often at our wits end over cluttered houses, unending runny noses, and to-do lists longer than we ever imagined, be careful not to wish it all away. Bedtime brings me back to my purpose and passion each night. Here’s wishing you the very same.