Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sweet Dreams!

I read once that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so why is it that after 365+ (my 1+ year old) to 4745+ (my 13+ year old) these children still have not figured it out!

I have to admit that bedtime is one of my least favorite times of day. It seems that no matter what I do there is some sort of battle or at least a whole lot of dilly dallying that drives me crazy. When is it that you cross the line from fighting 'the awful' sleep time to longing for the precious sleep time?!

Our routine has pretty much been the same, forever. Dan and I go to bed when the kids do ... sometimes one or both of us will get up after they are asleep but in general we all go to bed! It goes something like this:
After dinner we usually chat about the rest of the evening. As we usually eat fairly late and time after dinner is limited I want everyone to have an idea of what is happening. Most of the time it is dinner clean up and relaxing time. Maybe some TV, a movie, or internet time.

Then at 9pm we head to bed ... now this can vary depending on things like watching a movie, presidential debates, baseball games, etc ... but in general it is 9pm. I or Dan always inform everyone it is bed time, lets get ready ... brush teeth, get pj's on, get a drink, everything. Then we read to the younger children, the older girls read to themselves. We hug, kiss, tuck in and go to sleep!!
Well that seems easy, but apparently NOT!!!

It seems that even after all these many days of practice this routine just is too tough! Despite how consistent I am with sticking to the schedule, there is always at least one plea to stay up longer, there is always at least one plea to skip brushing, and there is always at least one person who has to get up and turn the lights on because they forgot something. And there is most always one mommy who gets frustrated.

I dream of the day when I announce bed time and all the children jump up, get ready and go to bed ... no fights, no "I am hungry", no nagging to brush teeth, no "I am not tired", just a happy, loving bedtime.

Sleep is so nice, after a long day it seems like such a pleasure to climb into bed and relax, what is it about this that children do not understand? Even when they are so tired that they can no longer function, they seem to fight it.

Do you have a successful bedtime routine?

P.S. I should say that I may be a little dramatic about this, my children are wonderful, this is just a time of day that is tough for me! Now mornings are another story, everyone is happy and life is good! So I will admit to being a large part of the problem, by bedtime I am just done for the day!


Tricia said...

We've never been able to stick to a bed time, and although our routine is the same, the time varies depending on the day. It's strange but I've found that morning routines affect our night routines. My little guy is a sleeper and if I let him sleep too late, it makes it harder to help him wind down at night. On the reverse, the more tired he is at the end of the day, the more difficult it can be for him to settle. I like your sweet dream of everyone jumping up and heading to bed...

Amy said...

As I read back through my post I realized that I started it last night at 10pm while I was up with Rick eating a PB&J (he did not eat dinner) and apparently I was much more cranky about it then I am this morning.

This morning I just sound like a great big old complainer!

Brenda ND said...

Really? Is it only 21 days? It seems like it should be longer. Good luck with the night time rituals.

Jen said...

Ahh, we're so lucky with this. Bed time is typically a breeze here, but I've only got two!

We do dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 most nights. Then it's family time, which usually consists of the four of us playing around. 7:30 starts bath time. In bed by 8:00, no exceptions. Nana gets to pick out a movie to watch (provided her behavior was good) and she usually turns it off herself by 9 and goes to sleep.

I really hope you find something that works for you!