Mothering doesn't end at bedtime, does it? After a long day of mothering, cooking, cleaning, schooling, you may feel so exhausted....You may even wish for that bedtime to come.
Try not to whisk them off to bed though without that Bible reading, bedtime song, and prayers. These are the sweetest moments, and they will be gone too fast. You and your children will treasure these moments together, both now and in the future. They will remember if you always whisked them off to bed "to get rid of them", or if you tenderly got them ready for a peaceful night of slumber.
When they have grown, will you wish you hadn't always been anxiously awaiting when they would be out of your way for the day? Will you wish you had spent your time more wisely in those fleeting moments?
It is especially tempting for wives of husbands who work late or who are out of town, to plan and plot for when the children will go to bed. Some wives become undisciplined with their time when they don't expect anyone home soon and have no one keeping them accountable. Instead of keeping an early bedtime, some wives use after bedtime hours to stay up late doing meaningless, fruitless tasks, and are not ready to take care of the needs of their families when there are nighttime interruptions.
What about the times a little one comes crying to your bedroom door because of a bad dream? A bloody nose? A bathroom accident? You can be pleasant at these times too. Why do your little ones come to you at these times? Because you are Momma, and no one else will do. They have that God-given expectation that you will help them, comfort them, soothe them, in their time of need. Should you give them help, or angrily thrust them away for disturbing your sleep?
Yes, mothering is a 24/7 job. To help you be better prepared for this:
Don't stay up late watching TV, reading romance novels, or playing on the computer. Before electricity, people would go to bed much closer to the sunset, and they had to, for there was much work to be done in the morning. Don't use the time after the children go to bed to indulge yourself into the late night hours, but maybe have some alone time with your husband before you go off to bed. If your husband is not home at this time, what a wonderful opportunity you have to spend some time with the Lord or put some last homemaking touches in the house before you go off to bed.
Prepare yourself mentally by reminding yourself that motherhood is the care of these children who are with you 24/7, to raise, to train, and to nurture in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Much like our Lord never goes to sleep or leaves His guard over us, we must realize that our job is constant, and doesn't end at a certain hour of the day. Yes, thankfully, most nights come with a rest from the days toils, but sometimes the children will need us beyond these hours, too.
And that is okay.
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