Up until just a few months ago I was always the one who got our son to sleep while my husband got our daughter in bed. On nights he worked late, I’d rock little guy and sing loudly enough for our daughter to hear me in her room. That task was made easier when he stopped wanting to be rocked around age 3, but I still would be in his room while I sang to both of them.
Then one day he decided he wanted Daddy to put him to sleep. And so we started taking turns, switching kids every night. Usually this works out, but on nights when Monkey is super tired, those days we didn’t take that much-needed quiet time, where they played hard all day… Those nights are a little harder. Those are the days he still wants his momma, even if it’s supposed to be Daddy’s turn to get him asleep.
And Momma is weak.
I melt a little every time he wraps his arms around me to give me a hug goodnight and then says, “But I want Mommy to sing to me.”
I know I probably shouldn’t, but I give him one more big hug when he comes running back, and when the doors close, and he starts to cry that he wants Mommy, my heart goes to him.
Sometimes Daddy can get him calmed down, and my little girl and I will read her bedtime story and continue our night time ritual with no further interruptions.
But that was not the case tonight.
Tonight the tears turned into wails, barely a breath between his sobs for Mommy.
Instead of growing softer, they grew louder and louder, making it impossible to read the princess story she had brought to me. And I know she saw my glance towards the door. “Mommy, I think I’d like Daddy tonight,” she said softly.
I know it was her way of saying it was okay for me to go. But part of me wonders how much of that was because she saw my glance (and maybe she wanted him to just be quiet) and if somewhere in there she wanted me to stay.
It’s moments like that that make me wish I knew the “right answer,” if there is one.
One thing you have to know about our little guy is he has never been one to just fall asleep crying. Nope, even as a baby he could wail for an hour straight if you let him and keep going, stopping only to puke, because he is one of those who pukes when he laughs too hard or cries too long. So a part of me feels guilty that I went to him, even though she suggested it, because it was really her night with Mommy. And part of me knows that if I hadn’t, he’d probably still be crying and she’d still be up, too, because who can fall asleep with that?
And again, Mommy Guilt wins for the night.