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I wish I could hold you all night long

Bed time is hard at my house, not for my toddler, but for me.


It starts just after dinner time. I life my toddler out of his high chair and wipe his chin clean, “Lets play cars!” I suggest with gusto, “or sweep with your broom!” “No mama,” he responds, “’Alk!” he wants to get our evening routine going, to take our nightly stroll around the block. As I roll him along in his stroller he points out airplanes and birds, dogs and dandelions. We stop to smell the flowers, to count the clouds in the sky, to watch the big kids riding bikes in their driveway. When we get back to the yard we play for a few minutes, my boy lugs rocks across the yard in his wagon, I water the plants. When he starts to rub his eyes he parks his wagon in its spot, tucking the handle in just so, and heads towards the door. I try to lure him back, “look buddy! A bunny rabbit! Do you want to keep playing? We can chase!” but he persists, knocking his little fist on the front door, ready to go in for the night.

As soon as the door opens he heads for the stairs and makes his way up, headed for his room. I know he’s going to gather his pajamas, his blanket and his books but still I try to convince him to play. On the stairs I nudge him with my head, blow raspberries on the back of his knees; he giggles and dances but hurries on his way. In his room I pull out his favorite toys, and sometimes he stops to play- his puppets delight him for a few minutes, his stacking blocks for a few more, but soon, sooner than I’m ready for, he has his pajamas in his hands and is heading for the big bed, the spot where he gets ready for his days and his nights.

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“Bat now” he asks, peering into the bathroom, after laying out his clothes “teeff please” he begs before I have the chance to get out his toothbrush. I drag out tooth-brushing with silly songs and try to make bath time last as long as possible. I splash, push his boats around on the water, and frequently hop in with him so we can blow bubbles and swim kick together. It’s not long after hitting the warm water though that he gets drowsy, “done” he says as he stands. “just a few more minutes” I beg, but he shakes his head and rubs his eyes, his knee is over the side of the tub and, before I can even wrap him up, he’s toddling towards his pajamas.

Putting on jammies is a game, my boy identifies his body parts and I cover them with kisses. I’d be happy to keep kissing him forever but as soon as he’s dressed he rolls over and points to his books. He always chooses a pile of books but, after just one or two, he takes my hand and begins to slide out of the bed. “Just one more?” I plead, “no mama” he yawns as he pulls me toward his room.

“Bed mama bed mama bed mama” he repeats as I lift him into the crib. He rolls around as I give him his kisses and he closes his eyes, play snoring and giggling as I sing our song and gently close the door behind me.

And then bedtime is over. I wait outside his door in case he calls for me but he rarely does, some nights I peak back in barely a minute later and he’s already fast asleep.

I know that usually it’s the little one’s that beg for 10 more minutes or one more book but, in my family, I’m the one who drags things out. Evening time is so sweet, everyone is full and happy and sleepy and I have such difficulty letting the time end. Some babies get cranky or irritable when they’re tired, my son gets cuddly, silly and wild, he is playful and joyful and his little tummy and thick knees become irresistible as the sun goes down.

I went back to work when my baby was just eight weeks old. He had been on this earth a mere 56 days before I handed him off, packed up my pump and walked out the door. I’ve always wanted to work and truly, I love my job, but it shook me to realize that I spent more time with my officemates than my own child. I struggled in those early weeks back at work to find my balance and figure out how I could be a competent mother and a competent worker at the same time. There was so much that someone else did for my son during the day, I wanted something that was just for us. Nursing was our mommy/baby lovefest time when he was little and it was that, his evening nurse, that grew into the drawn-out, giggly bedtime routine we have today.

After my boy is asleep I go downstairs and clean up from dinner, I pack the diaper bag and lunches for tomorrow, I pay bills and work on projects. Often I sit down and put in a few more minutes or hours of work. In the morning we wake up and get dressed and rush out the door. I work all day and he plays in the care of his wonderful babysitter. And then the time comes for me to pick him up. I take him home, I feed him dinner, and we do it all over again, slowly, giggly, wonderfully.

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

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