We are big proponents of family traditions. I grew up in a family where we did things together; and my husband and I always knew that when we had kids, we wanted to create our own fun family traditions. We recently had an excellent guest article on the blog talking about Family Traditions. You can read it here if you’d like.
So, yesterday we began a new family tradition. This is something we’ve been talking about for a while and something the girls have been eagerly waiting for. A family sleepover in mum and dad’s bed! (May not sound fun to you, but for our girls it’s a treat since they normally sleep in their own room!)
The excitement began as soon they got out of bed in the morning. They didn’t think they could wait for night time! Would it ever become dark?!!
We planned it down to a T. But NOTHING went according to plan. First, dinner took ages because one little madam took forever to finish. Another kept getting distracted while putting the toys away, so that took forever. There were tears and tantrums even before we started our sleepover fun. Honestly, we almost called it off. Was it even worth all the effort?
Anyway, because we’d promised them, we decided to trudge along. The girls had prepared a show, which began with a piano piece played by our six-year-old. Next came a puppet show put up by our three-year old. Needless to say, it was long and didn’t make much sense 😉 But definitely, very cute! They ended their show singing The Jericho Song (by Rend Collective) at the top of their lungs!
We decided to move the party to the bedroom and snuggled in bed for story time. One didn’t like the story and the other wanted to tell her own story. More tears. Daddy did some shadow puppets on the wall which was fun for a while. We did what the girls call “funny faces”, which is basically taking pictures with the funny Instagram filters. We read our daily devotional and prayed. When it came to actually getting to bed, our three-year old decided she didn’t want to sleep in our bed after all. She wanted the go to her own room, which was fine- but she wanted her sister there too. And the sister did NOT want to go to her room. More tears followed. Anywayyy..we finally got them settled. I rushed through my nightly ritual of singing to them and they fell asleep at last.
I lay there in the dark listening to their soft breathing, (and my husband’s snores!) thinking, why did we do this? Did we really accomplish what we wanted to? Which was what exactly? Family bonding? Who knows? I doubt I’m doing this again was my last thought as I drifted off to sleep. The night wasn’t too pleasant either. I was shoved to one corner, hanging on for dear life with the girls hogging the bed. My earlier resolve to never do this again solidified.
After a fitful night’s sleep, I woke up to loud, excited voices… “The sleepover was so much fun!” “My favorite part was the shadow puppets!” “Mine were the cuddles!” “Can we do it again?!” The excitement lasted all the way to the breakfast table.
Now I’m just sitting here watching them, thinking we could have missed this…If we’d given up and thrown in the towel when things got rough. We would have missed the joy in the morning if we’d let the night get to us. And WHY did we want to call it off in the first place? For the life of me, I couldn’t remember. All I remembered was the excitement, the cute invite to the show, the sweet giggles while watching dad do the shadow puppets… the cuddles in bed, and the sweet voices singing. The stress, tears, tantrums, and bed hogging all forgotten.
These smiles and wet kisses and sweet thank yous are all the memories I want to hold on to. These are the times my heart feels like it’s going to explode. “Yup, we’re definitely doing this again” I think to myself.
Being a mum is a privilege and joy. I know so many don’t get to experience this and that’s why I don’t take it for granted. Yes, most times it is overwhelming. But these sweet moments trump all the hard. When I carry a sleepy little girl out of bed. When she snuggles up to me to feel warm. When she wants to hold my hand as we watch a movie. These moments replenish me, and remind me why I love my life. They make it all worthwhile.
To the mama reading this, who may be overwhelmed, cling to the little moments. Find joy in the mundane. Don’t take it for granted because there are so many women out there who would give anything to be in your place.