Bedtime rituals with Co-Founder and Mother of three, Emma
Our Co-Founder, Emma, shares with us her bedtime rituals with her three daughters Lucia, Daisy and Fern. There was lots of laughter and giggles coming from this little bedroom in their family home as the girls got ready for story time in their robes.
You'rE a mum to three girls, what are their ages and personalities like?
Lucia Belle is 6 years old. She is sweet, thoughtful and dreamy. She works to her own clock and never seems to be in a rush for anything. She thinks creatively and her dream situation is ‘craft’, non stop, craft.
Daisy Darling is 5 years old. She is sunshine and laughter at all times. If she had her way she would either be naked or in her pyjamas. A quirky thing about her (although it's hard to pick just one) but she loves her shirts tucked and her pants pulled up high!
Fern Honey is 1. She was the softest baby. Her cry seemed so polite, as if to say "excuse me, might I have a feed…just when you get a chance”. We nick named her 'Saint Fern'. So far she seems to have a quiet determination and affectionate nature.
How would you best describe parenting?
A rollercoaster you can never get off for the rest of your life… exhilarating, out of control...yet extreme joy!
What does bedtime look like in your household?
The girls are dance obsessed!!! They have never had a class in their lives, which I kind of like, but Josh and I get the best evening shows after dinner and it never disappoints. After that we wind done with brushing teeth and into bed rituals. One of my favourite parts of the day is when we say our favourite things of the day.
With Lulu (Lucia) it’s often hard to get much out of her. She is just so dreamy… So this nightly ritual gets her to think about her day and include Josh and I into her world for a moment. With Daisy, we can't get a word in! It's hard for her to pin just one great thing about her day… and what about the bad things??? You get it, she has a lot of words. She likes to go last so she can just keep going. Josh and I say our highlights of the day too. There is actually science behind saying positive things about your day as it releases happy endorphins and forces you to focus on the good in life everyday. I want to teach the girls to always see the good daily. Dr Caroline Leaf has a number of podcasts that are great for this.
What was it like transitioning the girls into their own single beds and what advice would you give for other mums in this season?
Lucia was like one of those elephants that had lived in a cage all her life and then was released into the wild, but didn’t know she could go any further than the cage distance. She was in her big girl bed for 8 months before she realised she could get out herself. Ha! She would just call me in the morning and I would literally walk in and lift her from her big girl bed onto the floor. I explained she could get out, but she just kept calling... she eventually got it. Whereas Daisy started climbing out of her cot at around 18 months, so I figured we should put her in a big girl bed. Every kid is different, just go with your gut.
A few things I found helpful was to place the bed in the same spot as the cot. Not to do a big bedroom make over. So it's not too over stimulating for them. I also found it helpful to show them friends who had a big bed and what it was going to look like for them. I also kept all their comforting things in the new bed so it felt like their cot.
Bedtime can be a particularly hard mission for some parents, what’s your advice on winding kids down in the lead up to bedtime.
Daisy has been my most challenging sleeper. She still comes out with the usual suspects, “I need a drink (me too girrrrrl!)... I’ve seen a dinosaur... Dad your heads getting bigger… Mum what happens at the start of me... can you get an oyster cut inside your tummy... can I cut holes in my pyjamas because I just need some fresh air"... I could go on!
I figure she is just a night owl…who also wakes up early???? We just remain consistent with her. She is still in bed at 7:30 but she just seems to take longer to wind down. We have found bedtime rituals help. We do the same thing most nights, have dinner, baths, books, 'best parts of the day’ chats and bed. I love this time with my children. I think motherhood is more about quality of time, not quantity. I would rather spend 3 solid hours where they have my full attention than all day where I have to get loads of work done with them in tow. Let's face it, we are all busy, but putting aside time to just focus on them, fills their little love tanks.
Mother to three, can you leave us with some wisdom for those just starting their motherhood journey?
Trust your gut and leave mother guilt at the door. No one is perfect, you will never be a perfect mother. Love is all you need, love and consistency. My mother says, "let your yes be yes, and your no's be no". That actually makes young children feel safe and secure and that you are in control, not them. My husband and I made a ‘mantra’ if you like of the women we are raising. I pray we can teach them to be the best version of themselves, that they are unique and like no other, to be creative thinkers, courageous, generous, conscious and strong. It's a powerful thing to write it down and keep it in mind when parenting….Good luck fellow parent community, this is not for the faint hearted!