I’m lying here in bed. It’s so late, but I can’t fall asleep. So many things going through my head right now. I’m wishing I had done bed time differently tonight with my kids. You see, just because I know how to get them to sleep, doesn’t mean I’m always very good at doing it. two of my kids DID NOT want to go to sleep tonight! By the time they DID go to sleep, I was so angry with them! I know why these 2 particular kids had a harder time tonight. It’s because I didn’t do the one thing that I know usually helps them to calm down and go to sleep. I was so upset with how the day played out, I just wanted my kids to fall asleep so I could have some peace and quiet to myself! (sound familiar to anyone?)
I did not fill their cups.
“Fill their cups?? What on earth does that mean?” you might ask.
It means I did not give them the love and attention that they so desperately needed from me today. I think as a parent I’ve heard it all when it comes to getting kids to sleep….
- have a bedtime routine
- give them a bath to calm them down
- make sure they have drinks and use the bathroom
- be consistent….etc. etc.
I will admit that all these things are important, but I have found that even when I do all of these things, if I don’t take the time to really connect with my kids before I send them off to bed, they will usually take FOREVER to fall asleep! Today was a crazy day with lots of cleaning and organizing and then getting upset with my kids because they weren’t helping AT ALL. I was so upset with some of the misdemeanor’s going on in our house today, I sent them to bed early with no hugs, no stories, nothing!
I’m regretting it now.
It’s so amazing to me how just a 15 minute book and a hug can mean the world of difference to ending a day with my kids. I can say “good-night” and send them off to bed and then I’m shocked at how they will fall asleep so much faster.
They just need to know all is right in the world before they slumber off to their sweet dreams. If all is not right with me, then they struggle.
Has ANYONE else experienced this?
I guess as adults we are the same way. I mean, look at me! I’m lying here not able to sleep because I’m too busy thinking about the events of the day. Maybe I need MY KIDS to put ME to sleep at night!
I guess what I’m trying to say in my round-about-way is this:
If you find that you are struggling with getting your kids to fall asleep and then going to bed either angry at your kids for stealing your precious “YOU” time or full of regrets for not handling it differently, try this different approach. Approach bed-time with the mentality that this is the time for you to fill your kids cups (or top them off), to help them feel at peace with the world regardless of the events of the day.
Someday my kids will all be grown. They won’t need or want me to read them stories, they may not be as willing to talk about the stresses in their life. But, right now while they are still small, I can make a difference in their lives before they go to sleep and start a new day tomorrow. Life today is definitely harder than it was when I was a kid. I feel so blessed to be raising these angels, even though, some days, it feels like they are really raising me…into the mother I really want to be.
Are you going crazy tonight with your kids? Please share! I’d love to hear your thoughts!