5 easy tips to turn children’s bedtime chaos into paradise.

There was a time, when the bedtime routine was utter chaos for me. I stuck religiously to the diner / bath / bed by 7pm system that all the books spoke about and still always ended up pulling my hair out as no one seemed to be listening to me and no one seemed interested in going to sleep. It stressed me out. Words can not express the frustration of an over tired, desperate Mum aching to get something of an evening to herself but finding herself slipping into a night of despair and anger instead. Yelling at my children to go to bed, stay in bed, go to sleep, stop making a fuss was NOT what I’d had in mind as my style of parenting, but it was my reality. Eventually, by focusing my attention, listening and following my instinct (easier said than done), thankfully things started to change. Paradise. I am now proud to say that bedtime is my favourite part of the day. And its the favourite part of my childrens day too. By making some simple changes there was a shift, and it transformed our family life. Here are my 5 easy tips which helped me to turn bedtime chaos into bedtime paradise. 1. I started using aromatherapy essential oils. I burn essential oils around the house, I use them in the bath, and I use an organic bedtime body butter on my children and I that contains neroli and ylang ylang. My sense of smell has come alive, and I use the power of natures most powerful sense to influence the atmosphere in the house. At night time I alternate between lavender (which doubles up as anti-mousquito in the summer), neroli, cedarwood, ylang ylang and rose absolute or a Neals Yard Remedy Organic mix called Night Night. 2. I read a really GOOD bedtime story. I’ve always read a bedtime story, but now I’m more picky about what I will read and take the opportunity to read some great childrens books. There are only so many times you can read the Octonauts without going insane! By enjoying what I’m reading, I am not in a rush to get through it and I can properly animate and get lost in the content of what I’m reading. The Secret Garden, The Faraway Tree, The BFG… there are so many great great stories we get lost in together. 3. Thank yous. I’m a big fan of keeping a Gratitude Diary, and this flooded into my bedtime ritual with the kids. After the story, we share a few things from the day that we’d like to say thank you for. My youngest often finds this hilarious as he thanks his poo poos and farts. Charming. My eldest astounds me with her deep and profound thank yous for the food we eat and the home we live in. And I get the chance to hear what the world has been like for them that day, and which moments have counted in their life. 4. Breathing meditation. My daughter used to get anxious about me leaving her in the bedroom (they share) and so in the unhappy years I used to stand at her bedside strocking her hand and getting increasingly up tight inside. This was not a good solution to the problem. Then, one day I took a seat in the bedroom, sat down and started a beautiful breathing meditation. With every inhale I breath in love and support from the Universe around me and within. With every exhale I send out love and support from my heart to my children and the Universe around me. I do this for 5, maybe 10, sometimes 20 minutes and when I’m finished, I feel amazing and if both kids aren’t asleep they are so chilled out and peaceful they are happy for me to leave the room. As I write this, there is a thunder storm raging outside and my daughter has been sitting quietly next to me with a blanket even though its 9pm. I’m happy for her to be with me, because I usually get the evenings to myself now to do what I need to do. The stress has gone, the desperation has lifted, and I can be more flexible and easy going. So that is what I’m going to make point number 5; stay flexible. 5. Stay flexible. Evenings don’t always go to script, and sometimes my children just wont go to bed as nicely as usual. And so I adapt. I give them 10 minutes with a book to look at pictures on their own in bed, and then I say its time to sleep, and switch out the light. Or I let them sleep in my bed and move then back into their once they’re asleep. Or I sit and chat calmly with them for 5 minutes and remember something wonderful we all did together, then get up and let them go to sleep. Whatever works for you is right, but I know for certain that the stress of a strict schedule made me tetchy and agro and not the kind of Mother I want to be. So, I hope that something from thee 5 easy tips will help you if you are struggling with bedtime. I am living proof that this time of day can transform from a living hell to a precious, treasured and wonder-full part of every day. Its exactly what you deserve, because you are a happy sexy mama and this journey is exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. If you’d like to read more tips on how to enjoy this parenting phase of life, please look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com. Namaste. I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self. Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us. Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama

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