As a new mom, I was very strict about bedtime routines. They were short, sweet and to the point. I did NOT want to be one of those parents that had to spend an hour in the kid’s rooms to get them to sleep.
We’ve successfully had a quick bedtime routine for almost ten years of parenting now.
And then this year happened.
Our particular flavor of child-traumas came in the form of:
- Our house flooding in Tropical Storm Imelda
- Moving into Grandparents house
- Abruptly moving out of Grandparents house to be able to social distance
- School being canceled
- 2+ months of sheltering in place
All of those situations led to our bedtime routine completely flying out the window. Obviously.
Not as obviously, I really struggled with it at first. Bedtime routine has been a constant for us since the kids were tiny, and I didn’t want to throw it out the window and never get it back.
For the last 3 months, I’ve had to let go of my personal hopes for bedtime, and embrace something new.
Lots of cuddles at bedtime.
New books about not being scared.
Getting up a few times a night to bring comfort after a nightmare.
Long conversations with the 9 year old about whatever is on his mind before he goes to sleep.
Bedtime used to take five minutes a night, and now it takes 30-90 minutes. But we’re learning to embrace it.
As a parent, I often start with what I think is best, but usually whatever I thought was best, morphs into what is actually best for the kids.
And right now, laying with my daughter until she falls asleep is best for her.
Talking to my son about marvel plot lines, the latest book we’re reading together or whatever else is on his mind, is best for him.
Parenting is so often about letting go, and our bedtime routine is just another in a long string of things that I’ve had to let go of, because my kids needed something different than I thought they did.
What about you? Are things changing at your house because of this crazy situation? I’d love to hear how you’re handling things.