Thursday, September 30, 2010

Breaking-In Mommy: Bedtime

Bedtime! The one word that could strike fear into the hearts of many a child and their parents.

This area of life is on the areas that cause me the most concern. Am I putting my kids to bed at an appropriate time? Are they going to get enough sleep so they won’t be grumpy tomorrow? Will they be getting the amount of sleep a growing brain needs.

Then, there are my selfish concerns. Will I get enough sleep? How much can I get done after they go to bed before I go to bed? I need to clean the house, but the kids need to be in bed first.

The list for both sides of concern can go on and on. I’m a little overly anxious about the sleep thing and trying to do things “right” as I will describe in a later post, I am sure. So, what has been my solution for bedtime?

We do what works for us.

Other mom’s say they put their kids to bed around 7pm in their own room with something to help calm them to slowly fall asleep.

Sometimes that makes me feel really bad and that I am doing something wrong because my kids don’t get to bed until 9:30 or 10 and won’t fall asleep until 10:30. Additionally, my family members will say, “You will have to change that sleeping pattern when they start school.” In the past, this has caused me to worry more, but no more!

I have finally gotten over feeling guilty about this area. We are a different family. My husband and I both work from home. My work from home jobs only take about 10 hours a week and they are pretty flexible. I can work on them when I have time. With a 4 month old and 23 month old, that is usually at night after they are asleep or during a nap. My kids also wake up later, which is not possible for others families that have to be at work at a certain time. So, we do have a little bit of luxury in that regard.

As for changing their sleeping patterns, I don’t worry about that either as I have decided I will homeschool my children and that is a few years down the road in either case. How many times will their bed time change between now and then? How many different sleep schedules will we begin and end in that time? I am sure it will be too numerous to count.

We have just started implementing a routine, which seems to help keep things a bit more constant for the kids. We all get in mom and dad’s bed and turn off the light. Daddy reads a daily devotion and sometimes we discuss it a bit. By this time, the 23 month old is starting to fall asleep. Then, I nurse the 4 month old in the bed while I sing and hum “Jesus Loves Me”. This routine has been used for about 6 months or so and seems to help my oldest son a lot. The younger one is still ruled a lot by the needs of an infant. As he gets older, I think bedtime will be something where he knows what’s coming and be able to sleep like his brother.

Bedtime “time” no longer makes me feel guilty. All that matters is everyone is in bed and asleep, peacefully.

What kind of bedtime routine or time works for you?

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