When your kids asks “Mommy, will you lay with me?” OR “Can I have one more hug?” Forget what the experts say! Laying with your kids is NOT a bad habit!
“Mommy, will you lay with me?”
The same routine happens often in our house. Does it happen in yours too?
“Mommy, can I have another hug?”
Me: “One more, and then it’s time to go to sleep.”
“Mommy, will you read me another story?”
Me: “We already read a story, Mommy needs to tidy up the house and get ready for bed too.”
“Mommy, will you lay with me? Just for a little bit?”
And many nights that’s how it goes. My husband and I try to get the girls into bed as quickly as possible so we can finish up our chores before calling it a night ourselves.
It’s easy to think that we’re so busy, we can’t take that time to lay with our kids for a few minutes. Or perhaps you’ve heard those who claim that laying with kids at bedtime is a bad habit.
But maybe – like me – there is a little voice in the back of your head that whispers:
You’ll never get this moment back.
That voice is persistent. And it speaks 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.
Many nights I try to squash that voice. I try not to hear it’s urgent reminder. I’m tired too. I’m ready to go to bed. I have so much to do.
But one night I gave in.
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.
In that instant, I vowed that I would never take those moments for granted again.
I promised that I would remember what a blessing it is to be able lay with my kids at bedtime. To have those special moments with them. To hear their thoughts, their prayers, their hopes, and even their silly ramblings when they’re tired.
I realized that it blesses me almost as much as it does them.
- Related: When your child wants to fall asleep – but can’t – it might be something different. Click here to read more about sleep anxiety in children and how to help your kids fall asleep faster.
Laying with Your Kids at Night is NOT a Bad Habit
Forget what the “experts” say!!
If your kid wants to snuggle with you while they fall asleep, who is anyone else to tell you it’s a “bad habit?!”
Being able to spend those extra special minutes together at the end of the day is a blessing. And a blessing not to be wasted.
Because 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.
What is More Important?
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
Our kids WILL learn to fall asleep on their own. Perhaps they already do most nights. I mean, they’re not going to be 18 and begging you to read them a story before bed. (And if they did, it would probably make your day at that point!)
So for now, while they’re still young, while they still NEED us, why not say YES and enjoy these special moments?
Why not let your child’s last memory of the day be a special snuggle with mom or dad?
We don’t skip goodnight hugs. (In fact, I sometimes worry “did I hug them enough?”)
We don’t skip nighttime prayers.
Even if I’m tired and done with the day, I make sure to take just a few moments to just BE with the girls. It’s so easy when you think about it.
There are one thousand four hundred and forty minutes in a day. All your kids are asking for is a few of them.