When each of my kids were babies, there came a time when we had to teach them to go to sleep on their own. In their own bed. Without mom rocking and singing until the wee hours of the morning. I remember listening outside of their doors - out of sight of course - waiting for them to stop crying. Knowing in my head that it won't be long before they fall asleep, but feeling like my heart was being ripped out with each sob.
There also came a time for each one when they had to learn to eat what I served for dinner. Even if it was green or mushy or not peanut butter. They went to their rooms crying many nights. I remember wishing they would just try the food. I am a picky eater, so I don't fix weird foods. I listened to them cry, praying they would come back down and fill their little tummies. I was trying to nurture them, but felt so sad knowing they were hungry.
Tonight I asked them to all get ready for bed. I gave them time. They all heard me. They all ignored me. So...I ignored them. They all got ready for bed and tucked themselves in. No stories. No prayers. No bear hugs. No sweet kisses. Lily cried and said she couldn't sleep. I felt like the brand new mom, waiting for her babies to sleep. I was dying to go up there! I waited as long as I could, then I crept upstairs to kiss all their sleeping faces. Logan was sound asleep. Zac was still awake, feeling bad, and apologized. Lily...she was reading her Bible with her ring light. OK reading her Bible is sweet, but OF COURSE YOU CAN"T SLEEP!!! I still have so much work with that one!
They are older now. They have no trouble sleeping. They eat what is served. The battles are changing. The punishment is changing. But why is it that I am the one that feels punished the most? Sometimes the punishment is so much worse for me than it is for them. But they don't know that. That is part of being a mother. And that lesson is one that they will not learn until I am a grandmother.
4 months ago