“Mommy will you read with me?” Recently this question has become such a source of discontent for me. With it comes annoyance because as the last several days have ended, I’ve been tired. Irritation because it’s one more thing in the million things I am asked to do each day….one more demand on my tired time. I felt disappointed in myself for not being as excited as I used to be about this sacred time with my child and ashamed for not eagerly wanting to foster this ever so important developmental opportunity…
Of course I want to continue to foster a love of reading in my kids. You don’t have to have a degree in child development (which I do) to know how important reading is. I used to read with him every night for as long as he wanted but this week I am feeling so tired by the time bedtime rolls around. Not to mention that earlier today I read the same two board books to my younger son nearly 100 times.
I spent a few nights trying on a few ideas, “You can read with me earlier in the evening.”, “You can read on your own at night.” It didn’t help. His sad eyes as I kissed him goodnight were burned in my brain as I did the other things I told myself were important right then.
Well you know what? I got tired of feeling bad about it. Why have I been resisting? It does seem true that what you resist persists. I think when faced with a choice you are given a choice: you can do it, resist it or let it go. The reality is that I needed to be more intentional about making this one work. This was something important to me. It was clearly important to my child…and his future. And I do truly love this time, it is just difficult to remember that during the urgent fog of “get everyone to bed so I can have some free time.”
The resolution was almost too simple. I began to intentionally make time to get our bedtime routine started earlier and mentally carved out a minimum of ten minutes to read with him. Typically we read much longer than that, but I have given myself permission to say that ten minutes was enough to at least get him started on his reading journey each night. I tend to complicate matters and see things as more complex than they are. Sometimes simplifying situations that are bringing us a twinge of pain makes all the difference in the world. What daily routines could you simplify to be more present to those you love?