As I sit in the darkness of my toddler’s bedroom while I wait for him to fall asleep, I ask myself, “How did it come to this today? Is this even a good strategy? Why must MOTHERHOOD challenge me in this way?
Anyone with me?
For one, we write about infant and toddler sleep ALL. OF. THE. TIME. on this blog. Jenn and I pride ourselves on providing content that’s helps parents troubleshoot sleep challenges for individual kiddos and those with twins.
But today, I have simply run out of strategies.
I am a human. My kids have wacky days too, no matter how amazing our routines are or how much we follow our schedule.
THIS IS LIFE! THIS IS MOTHERHOOD!
Recently, my toddler twin boys transitioned into toddler beds after countless Houdini-like escapes and from their room.
As with all things in motherhood, transitions mean a few bumps in the road and LOTS of adapting.
I like to compare the transition from cribs to toddler beds to a crate trained puppy suddenly adjusting to their new found freedom when they are no longer confined in their crate at night. They just don’t know what to do with themselves without those clear boundaries. I mean my boys aren’t eating my couch cushions yet…
We have been trying to adjust both our bedtime and daytime routines.
Some days it magically works, other days it a TOTAL NUT SHOW! Like today.
While I sat in my son’s dark room, incessantly reminding him to stay in his bed, close his eyes and try to nap, I thought about this video I watched the night prior. It reminded me that grinding through those moments that can at times feel like a never-ending battle, those sleepless nights, those days with no naps and toddler tantrums. While tears streamed down my face, I was reminded to enjoy every single one of those moments because there is a last time for everything.
The last time your kids will need help brushing their teeth.
Watching the last episode of “Blippi” before construction trucks aren’t cool anymore.
The last slow dance in the kitchen while wearing diapers and super hero slippers.
So today, I broke the usual code, stopped what I was doing and snuggled my kiddo struggling to nap while he wiped the tears off my cheeks. As I tried to explain that they were “happy tears”, he looked at me in awe.
This is my little dude, my heart and soul. The cute, stubborn little boy who is exhausted, but doesn’t want to have anything to do with sleep right now. He can barely keep his eyes open, so I hold him, smell his hair and rub his back. Gosh, why does the smell of baby shampoo and graham crackers seem so awesome? I must be tired, too.
Once I get him to calmly fall asleep, after lord knows how long, I decide to sit in his room for today so I can:
Enjoy the way he likes to sleep with his butt in the air and blanket over his eyes.
Listen to the funny noises he makes while he sleeps.
Good grief, motherhood has made me sappy at times. I am way more emotional now that I have kids of my own. And ya know what? I am OK with that. Just as I know there will be lasts, I still get excited about the next firsts. First time they ride their bikes all alone and the first time they read a book or hit a home run. Motherhood is the most chaotic and fulfilling experience I have ever been through. So from here on out, I am going to try to hold on to those moments and be present. Anyone with me?