I previously wrote about my favorite time of the day.  Well, today I write about my least favorite time, and it may be surprising.

It’s brushing my girls’ teeth in preparation for bedtime.  It’s such a small task, yet can feel like such a big burden.

By that time, I am usually exhausted from the long day.  An average day with three little children is tough work, but add to that one or more of them having some cranky fits along the way, mom is usually beat!  Getting teeth done is the last step to freedom.  Pajamas are usually already on, so once the teeth are done, I can usher them off to their room and crash downstairs on the couch (or cleanup the kitchen that still has breakfast spewed about).  So my goal is to complete the mission ASAP, and get on with the night.

Only two little people stand in my way.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kids.  They are fun and funny.   They are a blessing and I love being home with them.  But, kids are exhausting.  They have more energy than me, and they out number me!  Often, bedtime is the only time that I get to come up for air.

At teeth time, my oldest often want to chat between spits.  My middle child, our goof, wants to be goofy.  I just want to finish the job.  Their chattiness and playfulness is not appreciated (to my shame).

It’s a daily struggle for me to not rush the bedtime process.  A struggle to appreciate my children and their personalities.  To engage my ‘chatty cathy’ at a time when she wants to connect with words, and I just want quiet.   To play with my goofy girl, when my self interest sees her goofiness  as an inconvenience.

I would love for teeth time to become a joyful time for me.  I wish I could just flip a switch, and just go with the flow.  But I suspect it won’t be quite so easy any time soon.  I suspect it will continue to be a struggle, and a challenge to say ‘no’ to my own selfishness, and to sacrificially love my children in the way they most need.