I would love to be the sort of parent who puts her child to bed at exactly the same time every night, tucks her baby in gently while singing French lullabies, reads exactly 2 books, and then gently pats her little one’s diaper as they drift off to dreamland.
I just can’t, guys. I can’t.
By the time bedtime finally rolls around at 8 o’clock (Or 7:30. Or 7, depending on the insanity of the day), I have exactly the amount of parental energy required to change my daughter’s diaper, fill her cup up with milk, put her in bed,and holler a cheerful, loving “night night!” as I close the door. That’s it. Anything more is beyond my grasp by that point in the day.
I’ve talked before about how being a single parent means that even though I am in a relationship, my boyfriend is not a babysitter, and is not yet in a parental role for my child. I also work well over 40 hours a week, and most of that work is physically demanding. I can’t afford a nanny or daycare. I am fueled entirely by coffee and mania.
So when we finally reach the end of the day – which I call “the end of the day” but is really “the beginning of my housekeeping regime” – I am too freaking exhausted for a bedtime routine.
I’m sorry, Molly. Maybe one day mommy will have the energy at the end of the day to read you books, and help you clean your room, and play patty cake, and sing you lullabies as you drift off. I would love that. In the meantime, baby, thank you for being so easy when it’s time to go to bed. Thank you, that up to this point you have consistently laid down with your cup and your stuffed Nemo, and drifted off without making my life a living hell.
Thank you for understanding, in that tiny toddler way that I suppose isn’t really understanding, that I’m trying my best. That I’m giving you everything I possibly can. Thanks for continuing to be my smart, independent, happy girl even without the bedtime stories. I love you.