Make time to stop the world for your kids, even if it is only for 15 minutes……
First off let me say welcome to my new installment of posts called ” Things I wish I had known” This special series of posts is a compilation of tid bits that I am learning from my season of mothering that I wish I had known from day one.Some are silly, some are fun, some will make you cry and some will make you smile. Some you may not agree with and want to leave a disagreeing comment, it’s okay I am a big girl I can take it. For the most part these are a reminder to me of the things I hold dear, and wish I had done better or am learning to do better as we speak. I am in no way an expert so please take me lightly, but should you be blessed by one of these lessons feel free to shower me with ego boosting comments!
p.s. Please don’t leave comments about my spelling and grammar (mother) I know it sucks! My heart is in the right place, my brain…well that’s another subject!
Okay on to snuggling!
When my first son Tanner was born my entire life changed. Everything outside my sweet brown eyed baby boy was just some how less important. I lived in a blissful fog where everything revolved around my son. Of course I had work, a home, a husband, dogs, and myself to care for as well, but some how with the one baby this all seemed manageable. I always had time to meet his every need right when he needed me to meet it.
A large part of my job as Tanners mom was our snuggle time. To say my first born was a bit of a Velcro baby would be an understatement. Any naps required a snuggle or a rock as an infant, and this grew into a beloved nightly ritual that involved 12 songs, a long snuggle, 10 books, and me eventually falling to sleep in his toddler bed. Considering there is 5’10” of me to curl into a toddler bed you can imagine that this was a sight to see.
This went on for about 4 years blissfully unchanged, until one day in June 2007 when we welcomed our second son Wyatt home. Even though I had desperately wanted by little Wyatt, and was 100% ready for him to join our family. I had a deep fear that there would not be enough of me to go around. And sure enough I found out very quickly that it was much harder to live the what ever you want when you want it lifestyle with two babies.
During this same time our family experienced a financial downfall and I now had a two week old baby and a four year old, facing having to do all I could to pull in an income. As you can imagine my time was less and less. I had to figure out how to juggle it all, and still give to my sons the attention I felt they needed. A large part of what I prided myself on, and of course what would be the first to slip in my hectic time was my ability to stop and connect with my kids when they needed me no matter what To stop the world for them. For my little ones this was a full time job in it’s self and with my busy life, the demands of an infant and a toddler. I learned after a small mental colaps….That I had to give up some of my old super mom ways. Especially when my need to have that 2 hour snuggle caused me great stress, and guilt, because it was getting harder and harder.
The entire time I was trying to get the full time in, I was wondering about work, or laundry, or the baby would cry ect. ect. How was I going to continue to do this?
So I put all my demands on paper and realized that I had a long list of things I couldn’t or wasn’t willing to give up. So I had to modify . I decided I was not going to give up on connecting with my kids at night, but I simply couldn’t pull them into my lap all day long at every turn. I couldn’t play all day, nor could I know spend 2 hours putting them to bed in the name of snuggle time. So I had to cut myself some good old fashion slack, and down size.
I say cut myself some slack, because how many of you know that at least 75% of our parenting is based on our own expectations of being a good parent, instead of what our kids are showing us they need at the time . When we parent that way we leave ourselves open to guilt and let down. You see while my baby needed that time, He really didn’t need two hours to feel secure, loved, and special. But I needed the time to make up for what I had done wrong that day, or to fill that spot in my soul that told me to make sure I lingered there with him and showed him I cared.
All mommy guilt laid aside I began to shorten our routine. I still spent time lingering with him, taking him in and loving on him, because I really feel kids, especially mine need that time to connect, and wind down. To stop everything for them even if just for a moment and catch up.
However I began to implement some routine that I knew would take no longer than 15 minutes in case that is all I had to give. A book, a devotion, a prayer, 5 minutes of snuggle, and a well laid kiss good night. Now with three kids there are times that this is all I have to give. There are also times when I fall asleep in their beds all snuggled and I love those days. But no matter what is going on we stop and snuggle before bed even if it is for just 15 minutes.
The point is that your babies will only be babies for so long, and you need to take the time to snuggle them. To stop the world for them if only for a moment and let them know they are loved and safe and secure. But if you can’t spend 2 hours doing it . it’s okay! Now that I have an eight year old that is going 100 miles a hour I realize how quickly they grow . I am glad that I held fast to my snuggle time, however modified it has become from the days when I had more time. Each of my kids today loves this time, and I end up finding out so much about them when the world is still and quiet. There are times when 15 minutes and our base routine is all they need, and days when I just have to call in all extra help from Dad to make sure I can linger with on or two or all of them even if the house is falling down around us.
I really bellieve that all kids can be blessed by this type of stopping the world for them parenting, especailly in this busy time we live in. However I am a busy mom also, and I am hear to tell you I wish I would have known that I can still stop the world for my kids and touch their hearts even if I only have 15 minutes sometimes and that is enough. It may not be two hours but it counts and they remember the time it happened not how long it happened for!To this day my 8 year old knows when it is time to snuggle and tells me it is his favorite part of the day. One time I felt compelled to ask him if he was okay when some times we only got to snuggle for a little while. Do you know what he said..”you realize I only learned to tell time this year right”
It just goes to show it is not the time so much as long as you meet their needs for the day and they feel satisfied with the time they got from mom. It could be five minutes or two hours but it’s more about doing it than keeping track of the time on some mothering score board.