It seems that as time goes on, the more complicated and frustrating bedtime becomes. For the past year, we have had to constantly battle with our kids to go to bed and stay there. Both parties have often ended the night close to tears as communication lines fail and we all admit defeat.
In one of my many late night feeding/holding sessions with Amelia, I had a parenting epiphany: maybe Emily and Andrew need individual time with us.
The past 2.5 years have not been easy. I have either been pregnant or miscarrying, making parenting quite difficult. I have not developed a full relationship with the older kids because of all the physical impediments.
With Amelia as our last natural child, I can remedy this. Easily. It just requires swallowing some of my pride and selfishness and giving up an hour at night to devote my full attention to them, individually.
Rather than fight the kids for an hour or two, when all they really want is attention and love, I have decided to give that time to them. Ben and I will take turns lying down with either Emily or Andrew (separately so they have individual time with both parents throughout the week) and let them tell us whatever they want while tickling their backs and singing/listening to lullabies.
I think this experiment is just what our family needs to truly bond.
On a related note, I picked songs I felt fit Emily, Andrew, and Amelia. The kids love having a song that is specifically theirs and will often ask that we sing “their” song during the day. And, they know the lyrics to these songs by heart.
Emily’s song: Yellow by Coldplay
Andrew’s song: Darling Boy by John Lennon
Amelia’s song: You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins
Do you have a bedtime routine for your kids? Do your kids have “their” songs? Have you ever wanted to cry in a closet because your kids won’t go to bed/sleep? Share YOUR story.