2 Important Bedtime Rules for Moms

I find Margaret Wise Brown’s “Good Night Moon” extremely evocative. The beautifully drawn pictures are full of home, of bedtime, of safety, of warm beds and peaceful sleep. The language reinforces this with its beautiful rhythms and rhymes.


But even here, in the middle of a story of a very simple bedtime, I have found wisdom that I hope can make me both a better mom and a better person.


In keeping with the simplicity of the story, these lessons are simple too. I think the two key ones are that  a bedtime routine is important and that saying good night is essential. 


Bedtime routines are important

I know some of you are gnashing your teeth in violent disagreement – and that’s fine if it works for you to not have structure and routine around bedtime.

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However, I have found it invaluable in setting the tone for a calm lead-up to bedtime and having the children understand that this is actually not negotiable. (That is not to say that they don’t try and that there are often a procession of requests for extra stuff: some water, a snack, a cuddle…) Nonetheless, the framework is clear and we do usually get the children into bed even if there is some resistance and bouncing around.


And that leaves the evening open for some blessed adult or me time…


And the kids will hopefully get their full quota of sleep in, which makes the mornings slightly more pleasant than terrible.


Saying good night is essential

I strongly believe in saying good night, every night, for two reasons.


The first is that it draws a line under the day. Today is done, we need to be grateful for the blessings and the lessons and close the book on the hurts and disappointments. We need to be ready to welcome tomorrow and what it holds. And we really really should take the chance for one last bedtime cuddle before tucking the children in and kissing them goodnight.


But more importantly, one of the sad things about adulting is the key truth that tomorrow is not promised. And I hate the thought of not having said good bye if I shouldn’t wake up tomorrow morning.


Do you have any thoughts on what other life lessons you can draw from the iconic “Good Night Moon”? Please tell us in the comment section.


And please use this link if you want to rediscover the magic of “Good Night Moon” for yourself or pass it on to the special kids in your life. 


The other alternative is this: watch and listen to Susan Sarandon’s beautiful reading of this tale on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yu_g5x3ZoQ


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