Each night I put my kids to bed, after DH has put on their jammies and brushed their teeth. Altogether it takes about 45 minutes to do both kids. I’m usually pretty tired myself by this time, and I often have to drag myself reluctantly away from whatever task I’ve finally settled down to. And when we are out in the evening, as we were last night when we went to Mum’s for a combination Thanksgiving/DS birthday dinner, it is even harder. It’s generally late, I’ve had a couple glasses of wine, and when I walk in the door all I want to do is R E L A X.
As DS gets older he will eventually move from simply nursing to sleep, to wanting/requiring a bedtime routine such as the one I do with DD: 2 stories, lights out, snuggles to sleep. This is going to add about another 20 minutes or so to the overall routine. DS asked for a story the other night before nursing and I know the time is coming soon when we’ll begin to do that regularly. The main reason I haven’t weaned him off his last nursing is that it makes his bedtime so easy: he’s out in about 5 minutes.
I’ve been tempted to sit down with DH and divide the bedtime task between us. One child will have to get used to Daddy putting him/her to bed, I have thought. But I know this battle will be hard fought and hard won. I can’t see DD agreeing to it at all, and by the time DS has weaned from his one nursing session of the day, I’m fairly sure he’ll be firmly entrenched in the Mama routine. It is easy to want to feel sorry for myself.
But then I recall a thought I had one night: that one day in the all-too-fast-approaching future, my children will not need nor want me to put them to bed. In fact, while I’m getting ready to go to bed they will likely be out at some party or fun event. And then eventually they will move out, and while I’m lying in my bed they will be miles away, perhaps in another country even.
The thought truly stuns me. I can’t really grasp what it will be like to not have my children living under my roof.
And so, put in that perspective, the “task” of putting them to bed doesn’t seem like such a chore. In fact, it feels like an honour – a brief part of my life that I will look back on fondly one day. I love that my kids want Mama to snuggle with, and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts, knowing that there are many many evenings ahead of me where I will have nobody to put to bed except myself.