Singing Your Child to Sleep: A Sweet Motherhood Opportunity


Last year, I re-evaluated everything about motherhood based on a lip-sync performance of this song: “Stressed Out” by twenty one pilots. Our friends performed it at a talent show. It was funny. It was cute. And it rocked my world.

“Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out
Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.” 

My kids watched the performance with me and they picked up on the chorus right away. It broke my heart to hear them sing, “when our momma sang us to sleep…” knowing that I rarely sing them to sleep… After all, it’s the end of the day and – good grief – I love efficiency and “into bed with you!”I know, I know, it’s just a silly little song about Blurryface and a funky handshake, but it was the catalyst of a refreshing transformation in my motherhood.

It helped me to see my children as children.

It gave me permission to dive full-steam into the pleasures of motherhood. Until now, there had been something I was missing… something I was holding back.

Stress steals the joy of motherhood. Too often, I hand over the immeasurable pleasures of motherhood for a dose of efficiency, productivity, or retreat. I’m so thankful that God used this silly song to remove the veil from my eyes, causing me to see that all of the distractions are not worth it.

Maybe I’m not alone? In our modern world, we mommas are busy. We are creating, writing, organizing, administrating, selling, buying, planning… and we don’t often savor the pleasures of motherhood and childhood. I’m being sentimental, but I think that before we had so much productivity potential, mommas enjoyed sweet little things like singing to their children at bedtime. Well, I want it back.

If God has given me a voice, let me sing. Let my children know my voice well. Let them remember me accounting God’s faithfulness and grace in the evening before they fall asleep.

So, I started singing to my children at bedtime. (As it turns out, it doesn’t take much time. It just takes a warm heart.) I sing hymns, show tunes, or made-up songs. I try to end with a song about Jesus so His name is echoing through their thoughts as they drift off to sleep.

This month, I want to learn “A Mother’s Prayer” by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I printed out the lyrics to ticky-tack to the wall by our 3-year old’s bed until I have it memorized. (Of course, she is known to remove and shred things like this during nap time, but I’ll have a heart-to-heart with her and see what I can do.)

I’ll sing it to her as I tuck her in at night. It’s so lovely and true.

Do you sing your child to sleep? What do you sing?