This week we are pulling our bedtime rituals out of hibernation!
As usual, this is not earth shattering stuff we’re talking about here. It is however, a vital piece of our home life and after starting it back up again last night I know we’ve been doing a disservice to our kids by skipping out on this important time together. It’s so easy to do though, to skip out on it. With the witching hour (you can learn more about the witching hour here) being right at dinner prep time, sometimes dinner gets pushed back a little too late, and then there’s homework, and then there’s laundry to fold and put away and then don’t forget about my gym time, and then there are nighttime meltdowns… It was really easy for me to forgo the bedtime routine in an attempt to get the kids to bed faster. It didn’t work though.
So I pulled a small collection of books out last night and the boys crowded next to me to listen, and it was nice. So nice. So nice that had to apologize to the boys for not keeping up with this. That makes it sound like I never read books to them!! We read books nearly every day, just not at nighttime much anymore. And then we said a prayer, sang some songs and then we got up and cleared out a space around us to prepare for the grand finale. Are you ready for it? The hokey pokey, or the pokey yokey as Jacob calls it, is what we finish with. Joe thinks I’m crazy for getting them all riled up with a crazy dance right before we put them to bed, but you know what, the kids love it. It’s fun. And silly. And we laugh, a lot. We even change-up the song to match the seasons! At Christmastime we did the reindeer hokey pokey and the snowman hokey pokey and tonight we’re doing the bunny hokey pokey. Yes, I know. I am a cool mom. Don’t be jealous of all my cool mom ideas 😛
I’m not delusional. I know this doesn’t mean that Liam will suddenly start going to bed easily again, or that nighttime temper tantrums will go away, or that I’ll have anymore energy to do this tonight than I did a few nights ago, but that’s not the point of a bedtime ritual. Everyone knows that kids need routine and do better when they know what to expect. That’s a big part of why parents have little bedtime rituals. They serve another purpose though, and it’s fairly obvious what it is but I needed a reminder. That time with the boys right before bed is so important especially when we’ve had a rough day.
So much of the changes I make and the things I do are an attempt to fix something. Like running, an attempt to fix my fatness (yes, that’s now a word) or coffee, an attempt to make me more human in the morning 😉 But I don’t want to think of our bedtime rituals as a way to fix anything. Because if I do, and I don’t see any results like you would expect to when you fix something, then it might make it easier to stop doing it again. And I don’t want that to happen.
Now, if the bickering and whining were to disappear as a result of our reestablished ritual, well, I won’t complain 😀