Bunmi Laditan talks about giving up something very important for the sake of her son
For parents, bedtime is sacred. Our children’s bedtime, that is. It’s the time of day where we can finally do the things we want to do without tiny hands and voices beckoning us. That’s why a recent viral post from a mom who’s been there is striking a chord with parents. Because we’ve all been there.
Bunmi Laditan, the hilarious mom behind Honest Toddler, wrote about a recent night where she had to set aside her hopes and dreams of sweet silence to be with her young son. She talks of that amazing feeling when a parent finally has the kids asleep and they can do whatever they want. And then, the cry from one of the bedrooms.
We all know that cry.
She writes, “Night time is my time. While the days are for work, cleaning, and errands, once the last child breathes heavily and steadily in their bed, I come alive in a new way. Silence descends upon my home and I’m free to do whatever I’d like.”
It is a precious time, especially when your kids are very small. And when it’s intruded upon, the urge to quash whatever your child is asking for is strong. But as Laditan shares, sometimes, you just need to be there.
She explains that he cried out an hour after having gone to sleep and after listening for a moment, she knew he wasn’t going back to bed on his own. After going into his room and trying all the usual “tricks” to help him fall back asleep, she surrendered to it, despite her desire to do otherwise.
“Nothing worked and I felt that familiar frustration rising. I didn’t want to be here, in his room, battling with the most difficult version of him. I wanted to lie down, read, watch Netflix, or eat something I shouldn’t. I deserved it. I only had an hour or so left before I’d fall prey to the sleep that’s always behind my eyes. And what if he wakes the others? The only thing worse than one awake child past their bedtime is three in the same predicament.”
Her concerns are highly relatable — who among us hasn’t been there? After a tough evening of meeting your child’s every need, all you want is to sink into the couch with a glass or wine or bowl of ice cream and zone out on some mindless television. My husband and I often call that cry from the bedroom after we’ve settled in for adult time “the final insult.” Like, everything else we did all day and night for our kids wasn’t enough? They have to cut into our beloved evening hours too?
Well, yes. Sometimes they do.
As Laditan says, her first instinct was to protect her time to herself but quickly realized it wasn’t going to be so simple this time. So she let it happen. She was there for her son when he needed her.
“I relaxed into the thin rug on the wood floor and surrendered, not to him or his needs, but to what the moment needed of me. I needed to be there and I knew it. There was no escaping this, no convincing, bribing, or threatening my way out of it. The parenting books and experienced grandmas might say different, but I could feel in my bones where I needed to be: here.”
Losing out on evening alone time is a huge deal to a parent, no question, but these are the sacrifices we make. There are times where our children’s needs supersede ours and yes, it sucks. But if we are honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
As Laditan says, our kids can teach us some important lessons, and the one she learned that night?
“Sometimes you have to sit.”