Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Real Mom Confessions: An Open Letter to My Kids on Delayed Bedtime

Nothing makes it harder for me to be the mom I always imagined myself to be than delayed bedtime. If I were drawn like I cartoon, I would have smoke coming out of my ears.


photo credit 

This is me.

Kids, Let me assure you that being your mom is my favorite thing in the world. I would never trade it for anything. You are all miracles and I LOVE being your mommy.

Your bedhead in the morning provides the first smile of my day. Volunteering in your classroom allows me to celebrate in your successes. Watching you do the activities you are passionate about paints a smile on my face arguably bigger than yours. When we snuggle, I never want to move.

I actually think playing countless rounds of Old Maid with you is fun. Your reading voice makes my heart sing. Playing house with you puts me in awe of your imagination. And, dance parties are my favorite because your belly giggles are THE. BEST.

Parenting is a better than I dreamt it to be. You keep my days fresh and through the many ways you teach me I find myself inspired.

But…BUT…eventually our happy happy joy joy has to end for the day.

For everything there is a time and a season and that includes watching Fixer Upper in complete silence with a handful of M&Ms WITHOUT someone going, “Hey, where did you get those?”

When we go through our highs and lows of the day and then pray as a family every single night, that is the end of our blessed day together. Mommy needs to accomplish some things impossible to get done if I am still parenting and your precious little body needs sleep because God said, “rest” … and it is good.

Once we have said, “Amen” it is not the time to ask me a really good, profound theological question like how our bodies go from a box to Jesus after we die or how He “glues” our bodies together. I want to tell you all about God’s great plan for our salvation. I want to tell you how He knit you together perfectly and amp up your self-esteem with God-love but my parent tank is on empty. So, I give you a lesser answer and don’t offer the typical, “Do you have any more questions” opportunity because we are past question and answer time of the day. We are on sleep time.

I want you to know that I care deeply about your need to use the restroom and provide you with relief for your injuries + dry skin. But, how do these mysteriously arise after prayer time and not when you are, say, using the restroom and brushing your teeth as you do each night or AT ANY POINT between school and bed?

I’m glad to know that you think I’m so cool and deeply loved. However, when you come out and say, “I just need to give you one more hug” my inner self is torn between, “Get your little patootie to bed before I blow” and “Oh, I love you too.”

These post bedtime strategies induce all kinds of parent guilt and we're able to visualize beyond the moment. As time ticks, I see your immune system decreasing and wonder if I should Clorox the thermometer now in prep for all the gross germs flying around school. I can hear your whiny voice saying, “I don’t waaaaaaant to get up for school.” I can feel the emotions that will bubble out of you tomorrow as your energy wanes.

There is a very simple solution to this problem, children.

Smoke does not need to come out of mommy’s ears and I don’t need to raise my voice to bring ruin to the end of our beautiful day. We can have happier happy happy joy joy tomorrow, my loves, if we share all of our meaningful conversations and smiley playtime and tight hugs and nursed owies between wakeup and “Amen.”

Let’s aim for that, okay?

I love you to pieces, Mom  

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  1. I'd write a well thought out comment, if I weren't crying tears of laughter and nodding my head profusely!
    Somebody hand me the M&Ms!!!

    1. Glad it gave you a good laugh! Come visit again :)


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