Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Train Up Tuesday: Cuddlebugs
One of the things I love about having 3 boys is having 3 boys to cuddle with! :) One of the things that's hard about having 3 boys is making time to cuddle with each one. But, I think it's so important (not too mention, just plain precious!).
Cuddling gives special attention to each child. Each night before bed, I used to cuddle with my oldest as his little brother was being put to bed. Shortly before the birth of my third son, I saw the importance of letting the 2 older boys alternate cuddle nights with Mommy as their Daddy put the other to bed. When the newest baby boy arrived 3 months ago, it was hard at first, because that time always seemed to be needed for tending to him and his needs. We are back to our cuddle times now, thankfully, and the boys thrive in it (as do their Momma). They look forward to "their" night with me, and I get to squeeze and kiss them and tell them what I love about them.
Cuddling also helps soothe one who has been wronged and show love to one who has wronged. Sometimes when there has been a squabble (okay, a FIGHT!) between them, the one who has been wronged obviously needs attention (because they are usually the one crying first)....but the one who has wronged needs loving attention, too that speaks forgiveness and provides as close as an expression to unconditional love that we can give as parents.
One other thing I love about cuddling (and there are too many to post!) is the sense of trust that we establish with our little ones and the opportunities to teach that it provides. We all know that when they become preteens they begin to pull away a little, and by the time they are teenagers the mouths that we couldn't get to stop asking questions and talking to us about crazy things as little kids gets quiet and almost refuses to open up! I'm learning to use these quiet moments to verbally express my thoughts to each one, to talk to them about things they may not be ready to hear in the "heat of a moment" (i.e. when they are in trouble), and to hear their own thoughts about anything (as silly as it may be from a 2 and 5 year old).
I'm encouraged by the story of one mom that shared with my sis-in-law who is a hairstylist. They were talking about the struggles of getting little ones to sleep and this mom admitted that she would lay with her daughter each night until she fell asleep. When questioned and challenged by others about this being a potentially bad habit, this mother with emotion of any caring mother said that it was more than just getting her to sleep and having cuddle time with her. It was a time that the daughter felt that safety of being able to be herself and tell her mom ANYTHING. Fast forward about 20 years later, and when the daughter would come home from college for visits, she would lay on her old bed with her mom and tell her of her woes and hopes.
THAT is what I'm hoping for with my babies! They'll be teenagers and then adults soon enough and if I wait until then to get them talking and trusting, it will likely be too late!
One other thing I want to leave you with today that you can ponder over yourself is this: look closely at the paragraphs above and your relationship with your HEAVENLY Father. He is waiting for this time to "cuddle" with you, too ;-) It may even be when your head hits your pillow and you share your own woes, hopes, and gratitude with Him. As you cuddle with your babies, think about how you are mirroring a Spiritual love that you have with your Father and what you can begin teaching your children.
Taking time to cuddle,