Sleep seems like it should be such an easy task. I’m often tired, can easily nap for hours. But, when it comes to sleeping in an actual bed- at nighttime- I struggle. I know logically some of my concerns are ridiculous – When we moved into a new house I had to decide which side of the bed I’d claim as mine. Do I have my husband’s side of the bed closest to the door- just in case someone invaded the house? Or, do I make him sleep by the window in case someone attempts to break in? I decided our living room windows would be easier to break so he’s ended up on the door side.
Nighttime just scares me I think. I refuse to look under the bed after dark. I know in my head that monsters living there aren’t real- but I question it just enough to avoid testing the theory.
Really, I just start to think at nighttime. I wonder how I can best protect my children. What risks do I let them take, and when do I intervene? How do I know if they’re safe? Like, safe on the inside- emotionally stable and secure in knowing they are loved? Would they tell me if they’re hurting? Would I understand what they were trying to say if they they did attempt to share? Like many parents of teens, I hear frequent complaints that I’m never available, don’t love them, ask for to much information about grades and simultaneously show no interest in their grades. I don’t know if it’s the best strategy but lately, I stopped defending my parenting choices. I just apologize, say “I’m doing my best and you can parent however you choose when that day comes.”
I love putting my five year old son to bed. He takes forever to actually get ready for bed, Brushing teeth, hugs for the dog (but probably not sisters) putting on pajamas, finding the necessary stuffed animals and getting “fresh cold new water” can easily take half an hour or more. But when he finally settles down next to me, laying his head on my shoulder as I read his bedtime story….then I know everything is going to be okay. It’s the best moment of my day when I turn out the light and he holds tight to my arm -insisting I stay until he falls asleep. To see how innocently he loves me and completely trusts I’ll take care of him.