It's not uncommon to feel as if your child's life revolves around sleep. And as a new mother I was told I needed to establish a bedtime routine right away, so I did. Unfortunately, as a result, my kids now relies on that carefully crafted routine to get even an ounce of sleep. Unless certain things happen in a particular order every night at bedtime, my kids won't go to bed. It’s ridiculous.
It didn't take me long to consider the possibility that their bedtime routines are too complex. Like, maybe they don’t actually need hours (and I literally mean hours) of baths, bedtime stories, drinks of water, snuggling, relaxing music, and my physical presence to fall asleep. It definitely seems like my partner and I have created a monster in the form of a complex bedtime routine that's starting to eat into my evening routine, too. I used to be able to spend time with my husband at the end of the day. "Used to" being the important part of that sentence.
I'm partly to blame for my current predicament, don't get me wrong. It's easier to give into their demands (no matter how unreasonable), or even let my kids sleep with me. But choices that seem easy in the moment aren't always good for the long-term, and I guess I knew bedtime was getting out of hand long before it started to become the most dreaded part of the day. If only I had stopped and looked for the following signs, then adjusted accordingly before it was too late: