The Little Mama Things We Dream Of
Before we actually became Mothers, for many of us, we envisioned what kind of Mother we would be. We dreamt of those ‘little mama things’ we would do. Things that we really loved doing with our own mothers, or that we felt we could have had more of as children.
Little mama things like being a mom who rolls around, plays, and gets dirty with their kids, a mom who bakes with her kids once a week, a mother who has things always well structured and organized, a mother who doesn’t yell, or a mother who doesn’t make her kids finish all their food...
..ahhh so many of those little mama things that we dreamed about - Before we had kids.
For me, one of my 'things', was to be a mom who gets all snuggled up and cozy under the blankets with her Littles, and reads a bedtime story every night before sleep. I always just knew (enter in chuckle of defeat) that books would offer a point of calm and peace in my house. They would be a gathering point. A place we imagine, escape, discuss, and grow- together.
Sometimes Things Don't Always Go As Planned
Then came along little Lucielle. Story time literally was a tug of war over even the most baby-friendly of books. This little girl just could not - would not, sit in my lap and look at a book! So that dream just kinda fell by the wayside for a short while.
Then baby #2 came along. Davie just adores stories. Storytelling especially! I mean, this kid at the age of two (he is only 3 now), could begin his own story with 'Once Upon A Time' and end it with 'Happily Ever After'. But even though he had this great passion for books and stories, I still didn’t bring myself to revisit that dream routine of books before bed. The end of the day was always way too busy, filled with dinner time, baths, and other 'duties' - and truthfully, I just wanted to be done at the end of the day.
Books & Better Sleep?
Since what could have been a major foot injury, but thankfully was not, Davie has been waking up at least 3 times a night (his foot got closed on by the storage bed)... the inserting of the IV turned into a traumatic experience for him (and Me!) as well as the waiting and lead up to his exploration surgery (everything turned out alright)... So I figured, why not 'At Last' add story time to the kids’ bedtime routine, and see if he sleeps better.
Its a WIN-WIN!
So for the last few weeks, we have spent 15 minutes a night cuddling and reading classic fairytales and storybooks in bed before sleep... and its become a win-win for us all!
I can already see that it has made such a nice effect on the kids. Not only is Davie sleeping longer with fewer wake ups (we also got him a dim nightlight from Mothercare), but both children's interest in books has transferred to daytime activities too (a little cozy set up and prompting helps ;) )... Beside all the wonderful benefits reading together has on children developmentally and intellectually, its helped me as a mom to slow down at the end of the day and practice presence with the kids.
So, one of my dream Mama Things is coming true already into this New Year!! And the timing couldn’t be better now that Lucy is learning to read. I have to say, they actually spent a good 20 minutes in the room taking turns playing question games with the pictures in the books. This particular one was about shapes, colors, letters, and such... and of course I started them off with the Q & A game.
Three Books We Love
We're The New Superheroes by Aunty Sab | Pictures by Emma Galea Naudi
Why do we love this book sooo much? It is loaded with messages of positive thinking, self discovery, and confidence.
This interactive storybook has you covered for a week of nighttime reading. With engaging questions that guide you and your little into the discovery of their very real superpowers within, this story book is wonderful for smaller and bigger kids alike. The illustrations are so fun and engaging for the littles, and with a little creativity, you can differentiate the questions within the book to reach your younger children, while the storybook questions stimulate and engage the older children.
In fact, we love this one so much, Grech & Co. created a superpower jewelry collection, to help our little ones to remember their superpowers outside of story time too. You can check them out here. And find the book here.
GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown | Pictures by Clement Hurd
Who doesn't love the classic book, Goodnight Moon? This story is the ideal bedtime story. Its short, but long, simple in color and illustration, and there are so many objects that engage interaction. Plus, its a super cozy way to close the day.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Sam McBratney | Pictures by Anita Jeram
A bedtime favorite for many. Although we discovered this book a long time ago, we are only now getting to read it from beginning to end, and experience how lovely the story within is. A race to proclaim the biggest of love, between parent and child, this story is playful and oh-so full of coziness.
As mothers, we have so many different acts to juggle that sometimes, even the smallest of things- like a solid bedtime routine- can feel so big. Then, there is that push that leads you directly to it... and it slowly becomes a valued moment, that turns into many moments in time.
After all, it never really is just about reading stories- but so, so much more.
xoxo, Grech & Co.
*(by making mention to the above books, we do not receive any monetary gain in return).