An open letter to the parents who do bedtime alone

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To the mom (or dad) who is doing bedtime solo tonight, ⠀⠀

Solo parenting at bedtime is hard.
I see you cleaning up dinner while you try to grab a bite of your own now cold dinner.

I see you looking at the sink of dishes and wondering when you’re going to get to them.

I know that ache in your feet from sitting down at the dinner table only to get back up 100 times to fetch milk, a towel for the milk that for spilled, a fork, etc. ⠀⠀

The frustration of herding children out of the dining room after you cooked dinner, served it, cleaned it up off the floor only to hear “I want a snack!” after all of it.
I see you wrestling each kid exhausted cranky baby out of their clothes and into jammies like conveyor belt. “Come here so we can get ready for bed!” Shirt off, shirt on. “Can you please put your arms up?” Diaper off diaper on. “Stop rolling around.“ Teeth brushed. ⠀⠀
Sound machines, pacifiers, blankets, bedtime stories, hugs, kisses, I love you more’s, repeat. ⠀

That moment of silence where you finally get to put another bite of cold dinner in your mouth only to hear “mama….mama….” I know the frustration you feel. Those fleeting thoughts:
Why can’t I just finish my dinner.
Why can’t they just go to sleep.
What could they possibly need.
I wish my other half was here.
And the feeling of exhaustion after an hour or two of fetching water, running them to the potty, replacing pacifiers and tucking them in again and again. When they’re finally asleep, you sit on the couch over junk food and feel guilty.

Guilty because you lost your temper at dinner. Guilty for not reading the story one more time. Guilty for not soaking up those sleepy baby moments because you yourself are sleepy from doing a job that requires more than one set of hands. ⠀⠀

I’m writing all this to say- I see you. ⠀⠀
And no matter what happened at bedtime you tucked those babies in warm, safe beds and you managed it alone. Whether you fly solo for bedtime every night or just tonight it’s no easy task but you did it. Now go binge some Netflix you earned it!


from a fellow solo parent at bedtime

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