May 17, 2013

Let's talk about bedtimes

First, just a little administrative note.  Back when I was a more regular blogger, I kept up better with the maintenance of the comments.  Now I don't pay much attention and  sometimes this means I miss legitimate comments.  They get stuck in spam or missed entirely.  Way back when, I made it as easy to comment as possible to encourage conversation.  However I just cleared out 1000 spam comments because it's just too easy to for them to do.  So I'm going to make some changes.  I doubt this will make much impact since I'm not even sure who all still follows this blog.  It's mostly for my convenience so I don't have to do as much cleanup when I get around to it.

So bedtimes.  For me, this is the worst part of being a parent.  Well maybe not as bad as cleaning up middle of the night vomit, but that doesn't happen every night.  I'm definitely a night person, but I want this time for myself.  I need to unwind after the day and I need to do it alone.  This time is pretty much essential to my sanity, so putting kids to bed is frustrating because they stall.  The more they stall, the more I get frustrated and it's a not good cycle.  Fortunately, B can take the kids that are currently sleeping with us to bed with him.  This works out fine for me.  Babies can throw a monkey wrench into that, but only for the first year.  After that I'm free of kid duty again.  Only not really.

We read, we brush teeth, we give goodnight hugs and kisses, and then I send them downstairs.  They come back up.  I send them down.  They come back up.  This happens night after night.  There are books about this so I know I'm not alone here.  Why do they come back up?  Questions, concerns, worries, stories, thirst, bugs, art supplies, books.  Everything under the moon.  I try to be patient, but after about the sixth time I just want to scream, "Leave me alone!"

Today I was catching up on other blogs and I came across this one about the ways life got easier when she started homeschooling.  Number seven gets to me.  We've homeschooled for seven years and bedtime has never been easy.  Maybe I don't know what it would have been like if we'd had to put kids to bed for school and how it's easier to not have to do that.  Because other than that, I don't think I have it easy.

Bedtimes here don't mean going to sleep.  They just mean leave mom alone.  Seems simple enough.  Although I have a confession - I do want them to go to sleep.  Lately it seems like they are staying up later and later, way past when I want to be up.  Natural body rhythms are great, but there are things to accomplish during the day.  Sleeping until noon isn't always a good thing.  So I'm sort of stuck here.  I could make some changes, but they require me to change and I simply don't want to do that.  Maybe that's why that blog post got under my skin.  I want my kids to go to bed easily and early, even though I know it's hard for me to do the same.

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