Bedtime has always been one of my least favorite parts of parenthood. And I admit it: it's my fault. I've helped my kids create some ridiculous bedtime habits. I am happy to report, though, that I'm over it. I'm done with two-hour-long bedtime fights, and having children sleep in my bed every damn night. I'm done with sleep training and co-sleeping. Mostly, I am done with missing out on time for myself and time with my husband. Honestly, there are so many reasons why I don't put my kids to bed anymore, and simply being "done" is arguably at the top of the list.
Now, logically I know that my kids need to sleep, and someone needs to help them achieve that goal. But I also know without a doubt that the best person to manage bedtime, isn't me. I'm not ashamed to admit that my husband is way better at bedtime than I am. Because when I try to put them to bed they want me to snuggle in bed with them, or stay in their rooms until they are asleep, or read them 10,000 books. Sometimes twice. And if I can't dedicate hours of my time and energy to these taxing routines, they will yell, cry, or continue to call for me. For hours. So, I have an awful choice between fighting with my kids at bedtime or having them staying awake well into the night.
I know "they" say that your kids are only little once, but I've been doing this bullsh*t for almost nine damn years. And"they" also say that a sign of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. So, yeah, I'm done with putting my kids to bed. Here's why:
Because My Husband Is Way Better At Bedtime
My husband is way better parent, at bedtime, than I am. He is a bedtime rock star. He can put the kids in bed, sit with them for 10 minutes, tell them to go to sleep, and they actually do it. We believe in playing to our strengths, and that means I've happily assigned my husband bedtime duties, at least for the time being.
Because Bedtime Sucks
Bedtime is the worst. I hate it. My great kids turn into needy, crabby little dictators. My son insists that I sleep in his bed with him, but only if I wear a tank top because he "likes to touch my arm." My daughter claims to be afraid of everything at bedtime, and demands that I sit in her room. Then our youngest wants to sleep in our bed, which is nice, until I end up getting kicked in stomach or punched in the head.
Because It Takes Way Too Long
Our bedtime "routine" was turning into hours of special requests, drinks of water, and bad sleep habits. I broke all of the experts' rules about bedtime, and totally regretted it.
Because I'm Tired
I am tired. I am tired all the damn time. I haven't slept more than five hours in a row since I was pregnant with my daughter. She's almost 9, people. Nine years, you guys. I am also figuratively tired, as in fed up about not getting enough sleep because I am trying to help my kids get the sleep they need. My sleep matters, too.
Because My Anxiety Can't Handle It
My husband sleep trained our baby in three days. I am not exaggerating. My anxiety couldn't handle hearing him cry. I sucked so much, and he needed sleep.
Because I Almost Always Yell
While normally I try not to raise my voice with my kids, my fuse is always so short at the end of the day. So when I was taxed with getting my kids to bed, I would almost always end up yelling and, as a result, feeling like the worst mom ever.
Because I Miss My Husband
I used to look forward to the time between my kids' bedtime and my bedtime, because that was "adult time" for me and for my husband. With me managing bedtime, however, that time was lost. I would put my kids to bed and then have to head straight to bed myself. If we tried to have sex after I failed at bedtime, a child would inevitably walk in on us. It was the worst.
Because They Need To Learn How To Sleep On Their Own
Learning to sleep is important. I am a 39-year-old, grown-ass woman and I still haven't mastered falling asleep on my own. It was time for my kids to learn, though, and they couldn't do it with me. So now my husband handles bedtime. And, to be honest, there are times when we tell them to go to bed and absolutely expect our kids to put themselves in bed on their own. With the exception of our youngest, who still sleeps in a crib, we don't feel like it's too much to ask.
So, yeah, I don't put my kids to bed anymore, and I am so much happier. I 10/10 recommend it, and am not at all sorry.
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