How I Took Our Nighttime Routine from 30 to 3 mins
I learned last weekend that moms really do know best.
Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion. My husband and I got invited to a business conference in Hawaii, but the only catch is that kids were not allowed to come. So much to my dismay I had to leave my 18 month old for the first time overnight, but on the good side it was with my wonderful, loving parents in Oregon.
The warm Hawaiian air and beautiful scenery allowed me to completely relax and not even worry about being away from my daughter Anjali. I was pleasantly surprised and proud of myself that I did not call my parents to check up constantly. But my prideful mothering self thought that I would at least get one phone call from them telling me that she missed me or was calling out for me. But no. That was not the case. She was happy and content as could be, enjoying 3 hour naps and 12 hours of sleep through the night.
I could not believe how good she was sleeping! Getting her to go to sleep at home in Florida with me was a half an hour ordeal that left me absolutely exhausted. When I flew back to Oregon from Hawaii and met my parents I immediately asked them how they were able to get her to sleep so well.
The answer was simple. My dad told me that they loved watching her rub her ear and yawn letting them know she was tired. They explained how my mom would lovingly and patiently rub her back for five minutes and she fell into a peaceful sleep. My parents embraced every moment of being with Anjali instead of trying to make her succumb to their adult schedules and needs.
I felt like a brick hit me between the eyes. I had taken the ‘nighttime routine’ and made it exhausting for myself between trying to get dinner on the table, trying to clean up toys, getting her bathed, reading to her, singing to her – essentially to do all of the things the ‘books’ told me to do. Trying to do it all like superwomen had completely sucked the joy out of my nights with my sweet baby girl.
When we got back to Florida, I bathed her in my day when it was convenient. I turned down the lights and made a calm environment as we ate dinner, so she could play and wind down. Since I didn’t feel so rushed to fit everything in like the ‘books’ advised me to, I could watch for her signs of being tired. Now I just rub her back for 3 minutes in her crib and she peacefully goes to sleep.
Listening to my mom took our nighttime routine from 30 minutes to 3 minutes. As I grow in my journey through motherhood I have developed a deep appreciation for the selflessness and the unconditional love my mom has given me.
Thanks moms for always being there for me and now for my daughter. I love you.