The Golden Hour

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Every single night at about 11pm I tiptoe quietly into the bedroom next to mine. I go to Hux first, who is always lying on his tummy, with his nose snuggled into his favourite smelly old muslin cloth. He has a little boy bed head and I bend down to sniff it and kiss his lovely little ears. 50% of the time his head will make it onto the pillow but the rest of the time he’ll be awkwardly sprawled width-ways across the cot. The bedclothes have always been kicked off so I try to tuck them tightly back around his little body without waking him up. The little houdini has worked out how to escape his pyjamas (and nappy!) so I’ve been putting him to sleep in vests and tshirts and I don’t want him to get cold. Raaraa is always there, as is whichever teddy Elfie has decided to gift him with that evening from her large collection.

I turn off the string of car night lights next to his bed and move over to Elfie next. I gently remove whichever object she’s taken to bed with her (last week it was a sketch book, yesterday her purse full of coppers) and make sure she has her favourite bunny within arms reach. She tells me every night before she goes to bed, ‘mummy you MUST kiss me on the forehead FORTY FIVE TIMES’, so I do what I’m told.

I scoot her over to the side of the bed nearest the wall because she has a tendency to roll herself out of bed with a thump and a wail; I shouldn’t laugh at this but it’s kind of funny. Her fairy lights remain on, and if they don’t she is happy to wake you at 5am to demand you jolly well sort it out.

When it comes to parenting for me this 11pm ritual is the most precious time of all. The house is quiet, there’s no pressure to cook dinner, make the school run on time, practice writing (Elfie, not me), reply to emails hoover up crumbs. Our days are busy and it’s time to take a bit of time to relax, reflect on the day and enjoy the silence.

There’s a quote I heard once when I first became a mother and didn’t pay much attention to, but as I travel further down this road of motherhood I come back to it time and time again:

The days are long but the years are short. 

At the moment for me there is nothing truer than this phrase. I might begin our days at 6am feeling grumpy and short-changed on sleep and finish them at midnight after ploughing through work in the only bit of free time I have but these precious moments, they won’t last forever. Looking back at just how small my babies were only a year ago it astounds me how much they’ve grown: how far we have all come.

This is why I have vowed to always take that extra ten minutes every night to stroke my babies’ chubby cheeks, enjoy their sleepy breaths and think about how much I love each little rumpled hair on their head. The days are long but the years are short.

32 Comments
  1. It terrifies me how fast time goes with children. How it was five years ago since I had my first I have no idea. The thought always knocks the wind out of me! I do the same ritual but mine sigh in an irritated manner as I stroke their faces!! X

  2. So true, I try to remember this when I am having a tiring or stressful day with them because everyone with older children always tells me how much they miss the baby days. x

  3. What a lovely post, my two drive me potty but that last moment I check on them before I head to bed is when I have to catch my breath and remember that Buddy (nearly 5) was Bubbles age (2) not so long ago and it’s going by so quickly. Love the picture of Hux, that looks just like Bubbles when he shouted for me at 3am, he instantly got back down with bum in air and started snoring again as soon as I came into his room x

  4. Awh what a sweet post and so true. The days can be really long and sometimes so, so tough, but the years really do go by, just far too quickly. I have never heard that little quote before – but now that I have, I won’t ever forget it x

  5. Such a great quote and post. I really need to remember this when we have challenging days! Going in to see both of mine before I hit the hay is one of my favourite times too, they always look so lovely (and quiet!) when they’re sleeping, and anything bad that happened during the day seems to disappear.

  6. I love this time of night too, my little one rarely keeps still so it’s lovely to be able to take the time to watch her for a few minutes!

  7. I love that quote, it’s so true. Cherry does the thing where she takes something different to bed with her each night, last night it was a Barbie magazine and tonight it was a her Queen Elsa doll, it’s so sweet! x

  8. This is so gorgeous and completely spot on. These moments are almost indescribable to other people but you just have to cling on to them and saviour each and every one. Mmmmm delicious rumpled hair kisses. Love them!

  9. Oh yes Alice you are so right. I do this too. I go in to see each of my little boys, look at them and try to take a mental photograph. Some nights I look at them and can’t quite believe they’re mine. Keep enjoying those moments and thanks for this lovely blog. Lucy x

  10. That quote is so true and makes complete sense when you have children. It’s a tiring journey but it’s amazing too and it flies by!

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