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    The Most Peaceful Time of Day





    Crunchy mom confession: I still help my children fall asleep at night. My children are 3 years and almost 6 years old, and I lie down with them at night, after bath time, after books and quizzes with Daddy. I snuggle between them, as they drift off to sleep. When they are asleep, I disentangle myself from arms and legs, and tip toe out, lingering just a bit to see them peacefully asleep together. Now, I don’t have to do this. I know they are capable of falling asleep on their own. And they have, when I’ve asked them to – if I’m touched out for the day, or I have something to do right after bed. But most nights, I still choose to lie down with them because…

    - They still want me to, and I know they won’t always want me to. And I will sincerely miss it when they don’t.

    - They ask me the best questions after the lights go out. Like, “How far does the sky go?” and “How fast can an elephant run?”

    - Before sleep, they are always harmonious and joyful. There’s no whining, teasing, wanting. Something about the tranquility of sleep about to come, brings with it a welcome sense of peace, that I don’t often encounter during the day with two young children, and a lot of responsibilities.

    - They recount the events of the day, and we ask each other what our favorite parts of the day were – and what our least favorite parts were (this is a wonderful window into how they interpret my actions – sometimes an action that I thought was rather forgettable, like, asking my 3yo to help me sweep up a mess, turns out to be his favorite part of the day – because I was one-on-one with him on the floor, guiding him. And that expensive trip to a museum – not as fun.).

    - They tell me things that happened in school or at grandma’s house, which otherwise, with the lights on, and the events of the day swirling busily around them, they might not have mentioned – things that concerned them, things that they need help processing. I’m glad to be able to slow down for a little bit and help them through those thoughts, which might not otherwise have been communicated.

    - It’s a quiet time, to relax and just be, without expectations or schedules or places to go or things to get done.

    - They ask me to sing as I always have to them before sleep, and I love to sing, and now they love to sing too – and I marvel in hearing their little voices developing.

    - I adore the feel of their fingers, curled around mine; relaxing into sleep like they did as infants once upon a time on my shoulder. I feel blessed that almost 6 years after having my first baby; I still get a glimpse into babyhood that isn’t so far gone for my little ones.

    So for all of these reasons, I lie down with my children at night, and help them to sleep. Our days go so quickly, and they are growing so fast, I’ll enjoy this connection and this time with them now, while I can.

     

     

    Comments

    Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now United States said:

    Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori NowBeautiful post! I always loved spending extra time with my children before they went to sleep as well. My daughter liked me to lie down beside her to cuddle and sing the “I love you, you love me” song from Barney. Even though she’s grown up now, we both have many fond memories from that ritual. I think your blog is wonderful and gave you an award at LivingMontessoriNow.com/.../


    # August 21 2010, 14:39

    katie United States said:

    katieBeautiful and wonderful!

    # August 21 2010, 17:18

    Kathleen (amoment2think) Canada said:

    Kathleen (amoment2think)Kelly,

    This is a lovely post. I so agree that bed time rituals can be so rewarding and enjoyable. I wrote recently about how much I love that time with my daughter right before bedtime. We also sing as a part of her bedtime routine and I agree, it is wonderful. When things are so crazy busy during the day it is so nice to have that time be peaceful and restorative. And I look forward to when my daughter is old enough to ask all those wonderful 'how does the world work' questions that we can ponder together.

    Lovely.  

    # August 21 2010, 19:43

    Beth United States said:

    BethSuch loveliness :)  

    Mine are 7 & 4, and although they have their own rooms and I rarely get to lie between them (except on Saturday mornings as the parents try to eek out even another 15 minutes of sleep)- Right down to the singing :)

    # August 21 2010, 20:20

    kelly United States said:

    kelly@Deb - thank you so much, I am honored to accept your Wild about Your Blog Award! :-D

    @Kathleen - when they start asking questions, its really amazing. Definitely humbling!

    @Katie & @Beth thank you for stopping by & commenting!

    # August 22 2010, 11:26

    Kristina United States said:

    KristinaThank you Kelly,

    I lay down with both my girls at night too (5.5 and 1). Sometimes we are all together and sometimes we are not. My oldest and I used to have these conversations before bed, but with a newborn in bed screaming from exhaustion, extra sensitive to noise, and sleeping contingent on milk supply, we're really rushed at bedtime and I've enforced 'no talking at all' rules. I can see now how precious this time is though and I do miss out tender conversations that reflected on the day and her present state of mind.

    Thank for this inspiring read and gentle reminder to slow down.

    --Kristina

    # August 22 2010, 14:06

    Amber Canada said:

    AmberLovely.

    I'm a little envious that your children sleep well together. I have attempted it with my kids, but it has not been successful. The fact that they keep each other awake is a big reason that I don't lie down with my 5-year-old. I'm still nursing my 2-year-old, and I can't be with both of them at once, so I end up being with him.

    I keep hoping that someday, things will change. Maybe they will. For now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

    # October 05 2010, 16:18

    KellyNaturally.com said:

    trackbackNatural Parenting, Following Our Instincts, and Keeping Our Son Intact

    Natural Parenting, Following Our Instincts, and Keeping Our Son Intact

    # November 09 2010, 08:43

    naturalparentsnetwork.com said:

    pingbackPingback from naturalparentsnetwork.com

    Bedtime Connection  |  Natural Parents Network

    # October 29 2012, 08:00

    KellyNaturally.com said:

    trackbackSecular Bedtime Prayers for Children

    Secular Bedtime Prayers for Children

    # February 06 2014, 22:31

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