Nuggles

Scott and I are not co-sleepers with our children. We love them dearly, but we also love each other and our literal closeness that only comes when sleeping next to each other, so we committed early on in our parenting journey, not to let them sleep in our bed, or similarly, to lay with them in their beds to help them get to sleep. So far, with four kids after five and a half years of parenting, we've managed to stay true to this commitment we made to each other, although at times, it has been very hard. It's tempting to want to pull a sleepy, snuggly little boy into our bed when, on any given night, one might find themselves patting our arm due to a lost woo-woo, bad dream, wet bed, sore throat, or just because. Instead, we hold them, take them back to bed, find said woo-woo, kiss their head and, after a pause to take in the sound of our very loud boys breathing slow and steady tucked snug in their beds, head back downstairs and curl up close to each other again. There have been difficult patches, such as 3 with strep or the flu, post surgery, or a string of bad dreams, but to be honest (without bragging) we have four amazing sleepers. For the most part, our littles get to sleep and stay asleep very well on their own. Is this due to our 'sleep training'? I have no idea and won't take credit...any 'training' we did was more for reserving our time together then it was to teach them anything.

But, every now and then an article by writers, chock full of their opinions, will find it's way onto my FB newsfeed, or in a magazine I happen to pick up, sometimes about the importance of sleep training for the child's sake (which I have no strong feelings about, since like I said, our motivation is purely about us), and sometimes about the importance or beauty of sleeping with your children while they are little, because after all, 'they won't want you in their bed when they're teenagers'. While I do read the articles, usually I am unmoved, make some mental comment like, 'power to ya mom', and move on to the next article. But a few weeks ago a couple friends shared a blog by a woman who still lays with her son at bedtime. (I wish I could remember who it was....good blog post.) My friends echoed this woman's thoughts, emotions, actions about laying with their own sons so I read the blog. Something about the way she said (loosely quoting) 'if my son needs these few minutes with me to help him calm or quiet then why not', to which I thought...you know, I give everything all day long to them, why not just a few more minutes. She also mentioned how, in these quiet moments, her son will pontificate on things not mentioned in the light of day....maybe a time for those deep thoughts to surface and what a tragedy to miss that!

So, I modified the idea to stay true to the commitment Scott and I made for our evenings together, but also to lay down with each of my boys for just a few minutes each. We call it 'nuggles' and we have all fallen in love with it. It might be one of the most special times of my day with them. All three boys snuggle very differently....Timothy presses his entire body as close to mine as he can and does not move or speak. If I ask him a question, his answers are short and concise. Mason, nuzzles and coo's, squitching around with a grin on his face saying, "I love you mommy" over and over. Elijah is somewhere in the middle, rubbing his legs up and down mine, and kissing me over and over while watching the moon hanging on their wall as it goes through it's light cycles. In these moments I smell them, kiss them...on the head, eyes, cheeks, nose...I tell them briefly about the next day, wish them sweet dreams and tell them over and over how much I love them. My days (like most moms) are loud, busy, fast, and often overwhelming with routine, behaviors, consequences, laundry, meals...the daily responsibilities of raising little people while maintaining sanity and a healthy marriage, and sometimes I fall WAY short on my displays of affection, especially when the 'behaviors' part gets the best of me, frustrating me to my core. This is especially true with Timothy, my 6 year old. He is often my greatest challenge, but in that nuggle, he is still my baby boy and I think, without realizing it, we both needed this time together. These few moments with my sons takes the day away. It wipes our slate clean so when we meet again early the next morning, the last moments we had were nuggles and not nagging.

My MayMay


I'm glad I read that blog and I'm glad I don't have an ideal I try to stand on when it comes to these kind of parenting choices, because I would be sad now, to go back and not have this time. These days are precious, as we all know, and one day, they won't want to nuggle with their mommy anymore, as they have since they were babies.

Baby May