What’s inside: Is it ok to lay with your child before bed?
It is the same routine that happens many nights in our house.
“Mommy, can I have another hug?”
“One more, and then it’s time to go to sleep.”
“Mommy, will you read me another story?”
“We already read a story, Mommy needs to tidy up the house and get ready for bed too.”
And many nights that’s how it goes. My husband and I tuck the girls into bed and finish up our chores before calling it a night ourselves.
But tonight, after I’d already left the room, a voice in the back of my head reminded me:
You’ll never get this moment back.
The voice was urgent. And it spoke the truth.
I’m guilty of it as much as the next parent. And I get it — we’re busy. There’s always something else waiting for us; another task that needs our attention. We’re never “caught up” and bedtime is when we try to get it done.
But not tonight.
I tiptoed back into the bedroom, and saw my youngest daughter breathing deeply, eyes closed. She was already asleep.
But she almost immediately sensed me there, and a smile spread across her lips.
“Mommy,” she whispered. “Can I have one more hug?”
“Of course,” I said as I crawled into bed next to her.
She sighed a happy sigh and almost immediately went back to sleep. My heart melted into a puddle deep in my chest. It was a moment I wanted to soak in forever.
And I’d almost missed it.
One day they’ll stop asking.
It might not be tomorrow. It might not be a year from now. But the day will come when our children won’t ask for that extra hug. They won’t need one more story to send them off to peaceful sleep.
And I can feel it now — all those moments that we take for granted, we’ll wish we could gather them up and cash them in later.
But we can’t.
So instead, we need to cash them in now.
The dishes can wait.
And the laundry.
And the bills.
Don’t worry — they’ll all still be here twenty years down the road.
But not the little three year old who simply wants more than one more story, and one more cuddle.
That little three year old is going to grow up, and it’s going to happen fast.
One more hug won’t hurt — it’s ok to lay with your child before bed
They WILL learn to fall asleep on their own. Perhaps they already do most nights.
But why not enjoy these fleeting moments? Why not let your child’s last memory of the day be a special snuggle with mom or dad?
I promise you won’t regret it.
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