My bullshit threshold has gotten incredibly low in the last few years. I hear that patience comes with more children, as well as age, but I’m still waiting (impatiently).
After I work in 45 minute spurts throughout the day, listening to kids argue, run all over the city, and prepare food for them to turn their noses up at, I still having to at least pretend I like the people that I live with.
But I legit cannot do that after 7:30 pm.
In the past few years we’ve worked hard to instill a bedtime routine, and stick to it. Start time varies but we always aim for somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30, depending on my ability to drop a project and get dinner ready.
I’m not throwing shade at anyone who does it differently, but early bedtime works for us and here’s why.
They wake before 6:30, regardless when they go to sleep
Yep. At some point in time my two youngest decided to start waking up annoyingly early. If we go out for evening festivities and they don’t get in bed until 10:30-11…they’re still up at 6:30.
Because of this, it doesn’t make sense for us to allow them the luxury of occupying space after 8 pm. An early bedtime helps to insure that they get enough sleep, and we my husband and I don’t have to spend our evening struggling with them instead of having quality time with one another.
My kids are terrible sleepers
All three of my children, but especially my oldest two, have been lifelong shit sleepers. As infants, the two oldest both screamed for most of their waking hours, and spent more hours awake than asleep. I spent so many days crying and wondering what the actual fuck I gave birth to, because I read they should be sleeping. Not mine.
Number three is a much better sleeper than her older siblings, but as she’s still only two, she’s not yet in the habit of getting herself back to sleep if she wakes at night.
We’ve actually woken to the girls, who share a room, reading books in ed at 3 am because the older girl woke the younger up because she couldn’t sleep. I wish I could say that only happened one time. “But You Should Watch Your Kids!” Yeah, but I should also be sleeping at 3:30, as should they sooooooo…
I’m tired of them by 5 o’clock
If you’ve never been an asshole to your kids, kudos to you. I don’t believe you, or you have one child who’s pretty young, but okay.
I love my children. I would do absolutely anything in the world for my children. But my children are not the only people and things who exist in my life.
Because I am woken by 6:30 am every day, and because I have one child who is only able to speak/shriek at max volume, I’m pretty over it by dinner time. For the sake of us continuing to have a positive relationship, I need a break from my dear kids as evening approaches.
Being a parent is the number one most exhausting thing I’ve done. I maniacally laugh as I look back at each of my children’s infancy’s, thinking how hard it was. It hasn’t gotten a bit easier. Early bedtime is my savior on those long days when nothing goes right. I know that because we already have this routine established, it’s not going to be a fight, and it’s not a punishment. It just is what it is and I get to reap the rewards.
It’s impossible to have a conversation with my husband
When Aaron comes home at 4 pm, we all want his attention. From the moment he walks in the door, until bedtime, he’s all in with assisting in whatever and giving them the attention that I’m tired of giving.
During that period between him getting home and the kids going to bed, we typically get the chance for a quick hug and kiss, and to share a few words before some tattle-ass walks in to let us know that the baby took off her diaper and peed on the dog.
For the sake of our relationship, it’s important to us that we get some time alone each day. For us, that’s aided by an early bedtime for the kids, or at least starting that process early, so that we have the chance to spend some time together before one or both of us passes out.
Aaron is charged with girl bed duty each night and reads to them and lays with the youngest until she sleeps. 6 out of 7 nights he also falls asleep, regardless what time we start this process. My odds for getting him to stay up late enough to rub my feet increase the earlier we begin the kids’ bedtime routine.
Sitters are expensive, but I don’t want the kids at my party
Pre-kids, Aaron and I loved to go out on weekends. We’d go to baseball games, dance, go out of town. All sorts of fun stuff that we can’t do now because securing a sitter is often too pricey or difficult.
To get our people fix and still feel like we have actual lives, we love to entertain people in our home. If we have people over before our kids are in bed, this pushes the entire process back by hours. They suddenly need drinks every 10 minutes and want a chance to be given attention by people who aren’t burnt out on giving attention.
By putting the kids in bed early, we can have people over for 8 pm Cards Against Humanity and booze, and STILL go to bed by 11 ourselves, like the decrepit old people we actually are.
Do Your Kids Have an Early Bedtime?
Have you found a routine that works for you? Whether it’s putting them down early, or keeping them up late, share what works!