Last night I snatched up a rare opportunity and met a friend for a last minute drink while Lesley did bedtime. While I was with my friend we ran into some other friends and were chatting. These are all people I know from our baby/toddler class/group so we all have kids the same age. The topic of sleep came up briefly and a friend mentioned that whenever they try to change something in their daughter’s routine it takes them 45 minutes to get her to sleep. Ha. Tonight it took me over an hour and a half to get Gus to sleep. It regularly takes me that long. Tonight was not pleasant and at points I was not my best. But in the struggle I fell asleep in his chair with him. I woke up a bit later, not sure how long we’d been asleep, and put him in bed. I’ll take the struggle any time for those moments.
A few weeks ago my dad came to visit. We were chatting about something about the stress of parenting – our lack of time and lack of clean house. The pile of laundry that lives on our couch. My dad is a clean, organized man. He doesn’t like clutter or mess. So it surprised me when he told us to not fold the laundry. Not to waste our time.
My dad told me something I knew, both because I have heard it and felt it but it is different coming from your parents’ mouths. My dad told me that in the end, we’ll just wish we had more time. It doesn’t matter if we work or stay home. It doesn’t matter what our parenting philosophies are. All parents look at their adult kids and wish they had more time when they were little.
I’m trying to let go. I wish my house was cleaner. I wish laundry got folded AND put away but I’m done cleaning during Gus time. I pick up a bit here and there but I’ll clean during naps, I clean after bedtime some. But during the time we have to play we play. I’m not the best at living in the moment, I’m not the best at enjoying every second of hour and a half bedtime. But I sure as hell am not going to spend my kid’s only childhood washing floors.