I’ve been searching for something to write about for Mother’s Day. Something profound. Something to truly express the weight and magic of being a mom; something to extend my appreciation to all kinds of mothers everywhere.
Because this shit is hard, yo.
But it is a pretty big subject…and I’ve got nothing profound, or weighty, or magical to convey to you. However, I have learned something this week. Yes, I’m going to share it with you. If I didn’t, this post would be very short.
Anyways, as we all know – I am an impatient person. I can sometimes be a little high-strung. Tightly wound. Snappy.
You get the picture.
These adjectives and the bedtime of an eighteen month old do not go well together. My Baby Girl loves and thrives upon routine. This is probably because her father and I are the same way. Every night we begin our bedtime ritual at 7:00 and end it around 7:30 – often with her happily rolling over in bed and going to sleep like the dream of a baby that she is.
But lately – because TEETH – she has been pushing her bedtime limits. She does not want to go to bed, or be put down, or even put in her pajamas… And the longer the bedtime fight goes, the more agitated I have found myself becoming.
Because a shift in her routine means a shift in my routine and therefore CHAOS AND PANIC.
“I have to put diapers in the wash. And make lunch for tomorrow. And finish cleaning the kitchen. And taking a shower today would be nice… Is Game of Thrones on? PLEASE WHY ISN’T THIS BABY SLEEPING?!”
I get grumpy and that keyword impatient as 7:30 morphs into 8:00 turns into 9:30…
But tonight was different – and she went right to sleep, snuggled in happily next to her Hedgehog and Blankie. (We are BRILLIANT at lovey names, btw. O-rig-in-al.)
So what was different?
Tomorrow is Saturday. It is Mother’s Day weekend and just my second as not-a-florist. I am looking forward to a nap and a day sans cooking anything. The husband is off playing softball and there is nothing to be done tonight but toss some diapers in the wash and enjoy some Mommy alone time – a true rarity that is usually just me sitting on the couch with a mug of something in a daze.
I was calm.
When I was changing her into her pajamas tonight, we were both smiling. When she kicked her legs at her pajamas, I tickled her feet until she finally agreed to let me wriggle them onto her. Silly faces caused her to erupt into wild drowsy giggles, ending with a contended sigh. And when I turned out the light, there was no crying or clinging. She smiled and leaned towards her crib – happy.
If I can’t unwind – why should I expect her to unwind? If I am unhappy at bedtime – why should she be happy?
I have only been a mother for eighteen months. I will not pretend to know anything about parenting. Sure, I know my way around a cloth diaper – but a baby brain? It’s crazy in there. But here is my advice to all the mothers out there for Mother’s Day.
Be happy. I know that sometimes it can be hard after a long day – or if there is a long day looming in your future. Some of us aren’t even predisposed towards such a heavy word as ‘happy.’ Still…just for bedtime…do your best to tuck your babies in with giggles in their tummies and smiles on their faces.
You will both sleep better.