Do you have your goals for this year decided? I am not done yet. I am a work in progress. I have come up with one good one, so far, and I thought I would share it in case you would like to adopt it as a goal. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to say goodnight to each of my kids, in their bedroom and give them a big hug, right before “lights out.”
Although I currently say the words goodnight most nights to my three kids (ages 8, 7, and 4), I want to do more.
Usually my husband puts the kids to bed, and then my involvement at bedtime is scarce. Even with my resolution, I still love having my husband continue to lead the bedtime routine with the kids. I truly appreciate the break after a long day of homeschooling and household work. Sometimes, my body is so exhausted that I take a quick nap on the couch after dinner because I cannot function! It’s also a chance for him to reconnect with the kids. During the bedtime routine, I appreciate the peace and quiet on the 1st floor while they get ready on the 2nd floor. Peace and quiet is a blessing, but I don’t want to let the precious moment of bedtime slip away completely. I still want to cherish bedtime with the kids, even if it’s short and sweet.
I realized that it’s only going to be a few more years where my oldest ones will still enjoy getting a big hug right before “lights out.” I don’t have much time to reconnect with them, one-on-one, without a timetable, and simply be present to them at night.
My plan is every night, when possible, no matter what I am working on, to make myself stop and say goodnight. I am usually doing the dishes, sweeping the kitchen floor, moving along the laundry, or collapsing in my chair while catching up on Facebook. Or…as I admitted above, I sometimes take a quick nap before finishing the housework. With my resolution, I want to stop when I can hear my husband is wrapping up their bedtime routine and say goodnight to the kids. I want to make myself go upstairs and encourage myself that the house (or my collapse) can wait. I can spend 3-minutes saying goodnight to each child, and go back to housework or hanging out in my living room, trying to recover from a long day.
I want my kids to know that I love them, no matter how crazy our day was. Even if they had a hard day, or if I had a hard day and was short with them, I want to say that I love each of them and give them a hug goodnight. I want it to be a time where if a child has something heavy on his/her heart, he/she has a chance to bring it up at that time. Most nights, I expect it will be a quick goodnight.
I also want to cherish their littleness now. I love how they give such big smiles and have such big, beautiful eyes. They are still at an age where they (usually) light up when I walk in the room. This won’t last forever!
They love it when I give them a bear hug at night. I try to limit it to three…otherwise they will ask for another, and another, and then ask, “Just one more?”It’s fun to give them a gentle bear hug, then a two big bear hugs. Each time they say, “Give a bigger hug!” Sometimes I hug and pretend, “Grr….I am a bear!” That gets a lot of giggles. I love leaving them with a smile, knowing that their Mama loves them and they are safe.
For this post, I tried to find a sweet bedtime picture of my kids at bedtime, but apparently I don’t take many! The picture above is one of the only bedtime pictures I have of my girls, despite looking back a few years in my files. It is a picture with a funny story. One day, my girls informed me, with lots of giggles, that they wanted to have a sleep over in the school room. I let them try (I never had a sister to do these sorts of shenanigans with and it sounded fun!). I guess it was like a lock in, since they slept in their homeschool classroom. At least one of them actually fell asleep there, and the other had to be carried up to bed later. I think I need to take some more pictures of my kids getting ready for bed sometime, for my own memories.
Bedtime is a special time. It is a sweet time to remind your children not only that they need (must) sleep for their health, but that you love them. You might not be able to spend one-on-one time with them all day long, but you can spend high quality time with them right before they have sweet dreams. Whatever your New Year’s resolutions and goals are, perhaps you could add one goal that can help foster just a little more love in your home.