My girls’ bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day. I know, I know that just sounds terrible. I promise I love and enjoy them, but I look forward to the quiet at the end of the day. Some days more than others. I also enjoy the quiet before they wake up in the morning if I can actually get that time. Many days they wake up shortly after I do, but bedtime, that’s pretty much, almost, sometimes guaranteed.
Before becoming a parent, I didn’t realize how much planning and preparation goes into bedtime. It’s a big ordeal. There’s snack (sometimes), teeth brushing, baths, (repeatedly) reminding the older one to shower, chasing a naked toddler, getting PJs on, crying because it’s bedtime, story, rubbing their backs, kisses noses and cheeks and foreheads, saying “I love you”, hugs, drinks of water, “why are you naked again?”, get dressed again, needs another story, needs another hug, more back rubs, don’t forget my blanket and seahorse and baby and drink and hug and nightlight, more crying, and finally, eventually, exhaustingly, I close the door and wait for the quiet to come.
From the time I wake up in the morning til the time I go to bed I feel like I’m going nonstop. Even if my body isn’t doing as much, my mind is in overdrive, and I’m usually listening to at least two people talking at the same time, alongside the chatter in my head. So after the girls are in bed I enjoy the stillness in the house. I also take comfort in the fact that my babies are in the next room safely snuggled in bed, sleeping off the day. I really enjoy that space of time in the morning or evening when everything is quiet. The world has either gone to bed or it hasn’t woken up yet, and I love it.
It may be like this for all parents, but I wouldn’t know. I just know that since I became a parent I have been a single parent so I don’t know if dual parents tag-team it or what, but I don’t even have that option, so it’s nice to have the down-time before I try to fall asleep. Of course, I usually spend this time doing things like cleaning the kitchen, showering, and binge-watching Netflix or a superhero show, but it’s still “my” time.
Do you need that quiet time at night too? What do you like to do to unwind in the evenings?