Goodnight, Mom: Why Bedtime is the Best Part of the Day
Sometimes, all our problems go away in an instant, like when we wish our children goodnight and watch them as they sleep.
No matter how stressful the day was, what you have to do tomorrow, or how tired you are, your child is safe and everything is okay. It’s as simple as that.
There’s no need to mention yet again that motherhood and raising children are complicated and challenging tasks. You already know this.
But in one way, at least, having a child makes life simpler. In fact, this is something you’re sure to have noticed already.
Your child makes every struggle worth the effort. They give you a reason to keep moving forward every day. They are everything.
Surprising though it may seem, this approach can actually improve your health and wellbeing. This is not something to take lightly.
According to a study by the University of Finland, parents who don’t know how to manage stress risk passing on patterns of anxiety to their children.
And one thing that contributes to this is not knowing how to appreciate the little things in life.
With this in mind, it’s never a bad moment to remember something simple, which you may even have told yourself time and time again: Problems, day-to-day pressures and anxiety should be left outside the home and out of children’s reach.
When we’re with our little ones, they should be able to see that they’re our top priority, and the root of our happiness.
I don’t want to go to bed, mom!
Experts in family dynamics and couple’s therapy often give a very simple piece of advice: we should never go to bed angry with our partners.
This is also something that we should apply with our children.
- In many homes, bedtime can turn into a struggle, and is often the source of tantrums.
- Our little ones are often reluctant to leave their toys and games and go to bed. Sometimes, the only thing moms and dads can do is drag their children off to their room. When this happens, the day ends on a negative note, with everyone in a bad mood.
Never end your day without saying “I love you” to your children. Don’t turn out the light in their rooms without wishing them goodnight with a smile. Remind them that everything is okay, and that they’re loved.
If this situation goes on day after day, added to the stress of work and other pressures, bedtime has the potential to turn into something quite traumatic.
In fact, it should be the most magical moment of the day.
I’ll say goodnight softly and stay with you until you’re asleep
We know that opinions about what time children should go to bed vary widely, as do family routines.
Some moms and dads get home late from work, and don’t want to miss out on an hour or two with their children.
These parents, too, need to spend time with their kids, hug them, ask them how their day was and tell them how much they missed them.
Every family has its norms, its internal dynamics which fit its own characteristics and needs. However, there are a few basic guidelines that we can’t disregard.
Just as we mentioned above, these tips will help you ensure that bedtime leaves a better impression on your children.
A relaxed goodnight
If your schedule allows, it’s a good idea to establish a routine before bedtime. An hour before saying goodnight, switch off the TV or any other electronic device, and relax.
- A bath before bedtime is always a good idea.
- Put your children to bed and leave a few moments before you say goodnight. Chat about anything that’s on their mind, laugh together, or simply read them a story.
This process should take place without fights or protests. If kids can get used to this routine from an early age, they’ll find it completely natural.
Love is watching our children sleeping and thinking: this is happiness. Nothing is more satisfying than getting home and seeing them resting happily, dreaming sweet dreams as we watch and wonder how they can be so beautiful, so perfect…
Bedtime is for talking about feelings, not worries
There are parents who say goodnight quickly and hurry away. If their child wants to talk, they say: “It’s time to sleep now” or “Mom’s tired now.”
- Of course you’re tired by this time of the day. But even a brief moment can etch itself into your child’s emotional memory. When we sit on the side of their bed and read them a story, make a promise, wish them goodnight, or even just sit with them silently until they sleep. Watching over their dreams; enjoying their company after a stressful day.
Don’t forget to enjoy these fleeting moments. Your children won’t be children forever. It’s important to be present, and enjoy the here and now.