During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/
Monday, April 16, 2018
Night time with six kids. Where do we start? Dinner time has always been a bit varied, depending on different schedules and all, but we have always tried to eat together most evenings sometime between six and seven pm. Hopefully the kids all clear their own places and load the dishes into the dishwasher. Sometimes someone is assigned to help clean up the food and put that away. There may be evening activities or meetings at church or school or extended family. Hopefully most of the homework has already been done, and the water is running in the bathtub for a quick scrub and a splash. By about 8 or 9 pm we can gather for family scripture reading and prayers. We have always tried to read a chapter of scripture together as a family every evening, followed by kneeling together for a family prayer, each family member taking their turn to read and/or pray. If kids aren't in pajamas by now, they'd better do that pretty darn quick. If a snack is needed, do that quickly too . . . maybe milk and cookies or crackers, possibly ice cream or cake, depending on what Mom happens to have around. Brush those teeth now. Make sure to get the ones in back and all around.
Finally it's story time. Mom usually lets each child choose one story, maybe two depending on how many kids are involved. Possibly a chapter or two from The Box Car Children for the older kids. Yes, Mom has many of the favorite picture books memorized; the kids probably do too. No, let's not read that one tonight, it's a bit too long, and right now it's too late. Let's find a shorter one instead! Yes, Mom of six has actually been known to nod off while reading bed time stories to the kids, and end up talking/reading in her sleep, much to the hilarity of the kids!
Once the stories are done, each child says their own individual prayers, then climbs into bed. Gather the dollies and the teddy bears. A hug and a kiss. Pull up the covers and turn out the lights. We might sing a song or two, and maybe if needed Mom will lie down next to someone for a minute, and hopefully the kids will fall asleep before she does.
Of course this routine varies depending on the ages of the children. Older children and teenagers may be up much later doing homework or dating or attending school activities. Older kids might be allowed to stay up later reading in bed. Some new babies are definitely night owls, and the minute the siblings and Dad fall asleep, Baby Dear is wide awake and ready for fun! Or teething or down with the sniffles and unable to sleep. There may be a scary dream or a nightmare, or heaven forbid, an upset stomach. Some nights are very long for Mom. But one thing is certain, there are very few nights when Mom has trouble falling asleep once in her own bed with her head on the pillow.
Nite Nite, Sleep Tight!