The Bonus

by adustyframe ~ January 20th, 2016

It’s no secret that I wished for many children.

I have always loved babies and kiddos and my dreams always included a big crazy house full of children.

That’s not the family that God gave us. Once in awhile, I still wish we had more children but  I’m beginning to see the joys and bonuses of having the family that God sent to us.

I’m kind of an old mom (ha!) and so I’m not as easily upset by what the latest blogger, expert, author, or Christian guru says should happen in my parenting.

I’m fairly confident that God has given me wisdom for the boys but once in awhile, I feel the pressure when I see comments on Facebook, read blog posts, or see an article written by the latest Christian author that everyone just loves.

“Should be potty trained by 18 months”

“Should never sleep in the parent’s bed”

“Should always eat xyz” 

etc

We do some things “right” and some things would make the “latest guru” cringe but you know what that’s ok! I’m a firm believer that in the details and specifics of life, we should each do what works for us–not what works for our friend, or the author, or someone else’s situation.

But the other night, little guy and I were snuggling and I thought, “Something has to be done. This child takes way too long to fall asleep.” He does sometimes! And I get impatient and feel like I have so much to do and “Why won’t you just go to sleep!?”

Lots of people would read between the lines and wonder why I am laying down with our little guy and why don’t I put him in his bed and tell him good night and you know he’s never ever going to sleep on his own and……fill in the blank.

I was starting to think, “Oh man! If they only knew.” If they only knew that I snuggle with my 2 year old til he’s asleep. If they only knew he sleeps in my bed almost every night. If only they knew we watch songs on Youtube before he snuggles in to go to sleep.”

When I was thinking these things, I was thinking of the shame and pressure I’d feel if all those perfectly put together moms knew that I don’t do things they way they do. That if they knew, they’d make comments or shake their head. That if I tell everyone these things, when there is a struggle in the future, I’ll hear, “Well you started out by letting him rule the roost.”

But the Lord whispered to me, “This is a bonus.”

It’s a bonus to snuggle in bed with my little guy and feel his head nestled on my shoulder while we giggle over an Elmo video on Youtube.

It’s a bonus to get his big smooch on my cheek and hear him say, “I forgot to give you your big squeeze.” His big squeezes come complete with sound effects.

It’s a bonus to lie down in the evening or at nap time and relax and rest my old self.

It’s a bonus because of our family structure.

I know that if I had a house full of little ones, I would not be able to do nap time and bed time like we do. I wouldn’t have the time or patience to snuggle a bunch of kids to sleep and it would take all day.

It’s a bonus because James is able to carry on with school or chores and not tear the house down while I’m occupied.

It’s a bonus.

And then I smiled and reminded myself what I tell other moms, “You do your family how it works best for you. Not how it’s best for someone else.”

I’m going to take my own advice and enjoy the bonus…..and my big squeezes!

 

Lizzie

2 Thoughts Shared to The Bonus

  1. Judith

    Amen!

  2. Susanna

    Hear hear. From the mother whose almost 20 month old has probably only self settled 5 ish times , who got moved back into our room because i couldn’t cope with getting up all the time, and who is still being fed mummy milk !

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