Monday, 16 March 2015

Mommy guilt and one-on-one time

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It's those quiet nights when my mind starts to wander.

My mind starts to try to envision what life will be like as we welcome a new baby into this house. My mind tells me that I'm beyond excited for this new phase in our life. But my mind also sneaks in moments of guilt, knowing that it will become a balancing act of giving each of our children enough one-on-one attention so that they all know exactly how much they are loved, and never question it for even a moment.

So last night was good for me. Good for Mya. Good for all of us. Because we had her all to ourselves. A whole night of just her, Terry and I. Daddy/Mommy/Mya time, we call it. Because if you give it a name, it feels even more special.

Carter went to my parents house for the night so that Terry and I could get a full nights sleep...because even 2yr olds know when life is about to change. So, just like Mya did when she was only 2yrs old--and just weeks before I gave birth to her little brother, Carter has decided that sleep isn't a necessity anymore. So waking us up a million times a night just for some extra cuddles from mom is necessary...because our sweet little Carter (the biggest mama's boy that I know), somehow knows that baby is coming very soon and mom might be more occupied than usual. So my wonderful parents offered to bring him to their house for a sleep over, so we could get some much needed sleep.

And do you know what that meant? It meant that Mya wanted to go too.

So we quickly switched her thinking, and instead of her feeling left out from experiencing a fun sleep over at Nana and Papa's house, we told her that this means that we get her all to ourselves...mommy/daddy/Mya time. And we built up the night for her so that she was more excited about staying home than leaving--because we knew how important this was for her, for us, for me especially. Because one-on-one time is so incredibly important. And it's something that we try to do with each of our kids whenever we can.

So we got her into her jammies, snuggled her between us on on the couch, got her a little bowl full of treats (not the usual boring healthy snack before bedtime that she is usually used to), stayed up late and had a movie night--just the three of us. So as Frozen flashed across the screen in front of us, she laid her head on our shoulders and we snuggled, kissed her head, told her how special this time was and she soaked up every last minute of it. Because she had us all to herself. All the attention on her. And she loved it.

Then when bedtime finally did come, it just got better.

"You and daddy can both put me to bed tonight!", she said. Because the reality is that one of us always puts Carter to bed and the other always puts Mya to bed. But last night...well, she had us both, all to herself.

So we read bedtime stories, tucked her into bed and within seconds the words "Lay with me mommy and daddy" passed her lips, which was not surprising. So we crammed into that little single bed, Terry in the middle, Mya on one side, me on the other--and we pretended that we were comfortable, because having us both there meant the world to her. So I wrapped my arms around Terry and held on for dear life as I hung off the edge of the bed as my huge pregnant belly pushed me aside, and she snuggled into us--loving every breath that we breathed over her in the still of her dark, warm room.

"This is a little ridiculous", Terry smiled and whispered to me at one point as I was literally about to fall off of the bed.

"Shhh..." I said to him. "This is important to her. Let her have us. She'll remember this. She'll remember how it feels".

And she will.

And Carter will have his turn next in a few days.

Because one-on-one time, whether it's for only a few moments in the morning at the breakfast table, a moment before bedtime tucking small people into bed, a trip to the grocery store with only one child, or a whole day built especially for them--it means that they feel loved, without distractions. And there is nothing greater than that.

Erica xo    


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