By the time dinner is over I am worthless. There is nothing left. I have done it all … all day long. School, meals, cleaning, nagging, driving, doctoring, and discipline. I am over it mentally, physically, and emotionally. The faster I can get the boys to bed the better!
And those evenings Hubs is out of town … woo wee y’all, they can feel like an eternity.
By the end of the night I just want a glass of wine and silence. Lots and lots of beautiful heavy silence. You know those nights!
I can barely count down the minutes calmly. “10 minutes to bed time” I bark like a warden as I dash in and out of bedrooms. A madwoman overseeing a master plan. Bwahahahahaha Bedtime!
Their last few minutes of each day I rush. Teeth, potty, clean … go go go!! Lights out, goodnight. I. am. done. And don’t anyone even think of opening the door an inch asking me for a glass of water. ‘I clocked out’. Mommy is off duty.”
It’s selfishness – the focus on me. My time. My comfort. But I rush out of their rooms like a school kid on the last day of school. Free at last !
Somewhere joyfully skipping to the couch I must have tripped over something. Guilt.
The last few minutes of their day and they’re bullied by their momma into quiet darkness. All for the sake of her precious alone time.
The following day I promised to keep just a little bit more in the tank. An extra scoop of grace. An extra dab of cheer. An extra pinch of cuddles. An extra drop of a kiss. Something extra in the tank so fleeing from them wasn’t necessary.
I stored up all these extras knowing the last fifteen minutes … usually my hardest … had an extra reserve to get us through bedtime.
I didn’t short change them a single thing. There was story time. There were scratch cuddles and tickles. There were enough teddy bear theatrics for everyone to enjoy. There was sincerity in pray before turning out the lights.
In order to do this – I can’t fight every little battle throughout the day. I have to let some things go. I can’t wear my mommy endurance down. I can’t allow nights to get completely out of hand because I ignored the elevated behaviors.
I can’t be so stinking exhausted because I stayed up watching the entire season of Victoria the night before. Or because any meme on Facebook is more hilarious than getting underoos into bed.
My boys deserve my best from when I wake up until I go to sleep. Not 15 minutes short of their bedtime because “I have had enough”.
Sure there are nights when they’ve been horrible. Wrestling, fist fights, and ugly horrible. If they loose the night night cuddles – they chose to loose it. But it’s no longer because I had nothing left in the tank to offer!
Those nights are not the norm. They shouldn’t be what mothering is all about. Getting it over. I don’t want my days to be a New Years Eve countdown to being alone.
Save a smidge – I have seen it leads to a better night. A better night for them. A better day too! It’s worth it to save something for bedtime.