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Bedtime Routines

Does it ever feel like the end of the day never comes when you are raising children? Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it is essential to have some evening downtime just for you. No matter how precious those moments are with the children, without downtime your home can become tense.  

Think about the bedtime routine: wash up, brush teeth, read a story, last bathroom stop, then off to sleep land. Invariably, your children will beckon you to their room with cries of, “I need a hug,” “I need to go to the bathroom,” “one more story.” What’s a mom to do? Some experts say to only engage when it is for a need that must be met or risk an ongoing barrage of requests that will keep you from your precious grown-up time.

Children quickly become the center of their parent’s universe without even trying to earn that moniker. It is our responsibility to assure them that we will be better moms after we recharge while they sleep. What we oftentimes forget is how to take care of our own needs. We feel like we aren’t being good enough, or parent enough, or as good as other parents. Let those thoughts quickly wash over you whilst you replace them with thoughts of filling up your cup with ways to relax and unwind.

Think about the last time you read a book, watched a television show without interruption, saw a movie on the expensive cable box you only hear Nickelodeon on—don’t you deserve that? How will you be able to feel like you haven’t lost yourself 100 percent to parenting without creating time for yourself?

Next time you have the urge to engage, yet another time, with your I’m-not-sleeping-now child, think about how much happier you might be if you could chat with a friend, read a novel, share a story, or just plain do nothing. Don’t feel guilty; you know you need it to keep yourself sane.

Enjoy the quiet time that comes from standing firm to a bedtime ritual that includes your needs as well as your child’s.

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