I’ve not been momming for very long. Really only just over five years. So you’ll pardon me if I’m a little late to catch on to this.
I have never been the mom who tiptoes in to check on her kids after they fall asleep.
What if I wake them? I mean, the fear is real. On a bad night, it’s possible I’ve just spent HOURS getting them to sleep. It’s hard to bring myself to risk starting over.
Until a couple months ago.
I honestly don’t remember how it started. (I honestly don’t remember a lot lately.) I probably promised Jenna I’d kiss her after I got home on a rare night out because she was making a fuss as I left. But at some point, I did the Very Scary Thing and risked a second bedtime to go kiss my girls.
Did you know sleeping preschoolers still look like angels? Like they did when they were babies? It’s the most precious, endearing, addictive thing. Also? They smell different when they’re asleep. It’s not quite identical to their little baby smells, but it’s distinct and it’s YUMMY.
OK, if you have kids, you of course know all of this. Because I’m probably the only mom who never, ever crossed the bedroom threshold after all was quiet.
At any rate, it didn’t take more than once or twice to hook me. Also, it didn’t take too many tries to realize that they’re actually incredibly difficult to wake in the late evening.
So, for all my focus on making little habits this year, one at a time, I didn’t even notice I was doing it. But one night after another, I’d turn on the hall light so I could find them, and go kiss them both. (I’m still pretty sure Brian would wake up. I should test it sometime. But also, he’s in a crib, so given my current belly, leaning down to kiss him wouldn’t be an easy thing to do.) Sometimes I pray for them again, sometimes not. I always whisper “I love you and I’m so glad I get to be your mommy.”
Do you know how much power our words have? Spoken aloud? I have no idea if that little bit of mama love is sinking into their hearts as they sleep. What I do know is that the practice of daily seeing them asleep and telling them I love being their mommy has an amazing affect on my heart. During the day, being their mom isn’t always an easy thing. Often, it’s really, really hard. Not to say I don’t still love them and love that I get to raise them, but it’s really easy to lose track of that when I’m spending hours on end doing the intense kind of mothering. This brings me back, every single night, for at least a couple of minutes, to how blessed we all are.
How about you? Do you have any little things you do to pull yourself back to center? I’d love to hear about it.