21 things standing between me and “reasonable bedtimes”

by renegademama

Last week a super handy chart took its 10,000 laps around the internet and I once again realized either: a.) The whole fucking parenting world is batshit; or b.) I am worse at this than formerly thought.

You see, the chart in question outlines the times a kid should go to bed based on age and what time he or she wakes up in the morning. For example, a 6-year-old waking up at 6:30am should go to bed at 7:30pm.

Seven. Fucking. Thirty.

Mmmkay. This sounds amazing. This sounds amazing because if my little kids went to bed at 7:30 and my big kids at 8pm, my husband and I would have like two hours of KID FREE GLORY to ignore each other together on the couch while watching Netflix but actually just playing with our phones.

Truly, do we have no soul left? What is wrong with us?

I hate myself.

Anyway, my kids never go to bed at 7:30pm even if one of them has strep. Lies. They go to bed at 7:30pm when they have strep.

Why are we talking about this? I hate this conversation. Getting my kids to bed “on time” each night is somehow the hardest goddamn thing I do each day. I realize that probably means I have pretty nice days.

I try people I TRY. And every day I feel the sun kissing my face with the promise of a new day, a new chance to get my kids to bed before 9pm. Or 9:30pm.

GET OFF HERE IF YOU’RE JUST GOING TO TELL ME HOW I’M RUINING MY KIDS WITH MY LACK OF CONSISTENT BEDTIME.

Nobody likes you.

We eat together at least 75% of the time though, so there. Leave me alone.

 

It’s hard, you know. And seriously, 9:30pm is late even for us, but SEVEN FUCKING THIRTY? Come on.

Usually my evenings go like this:

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Do shit

Relax…

REALIZE IT’S 9:15PM HOLY FUCK HOW DID THAT HAPPEN EVERYBODY TO BED NOOWWWWWWW

There are just so many things standing between me and reasonable bedtimes. For example:

  1. Absolutely nobody under the age of 30 is as interested in reasonable bedtimes as I am. I made an infographic to convey the complexity of the situation:

BEDTIMEsit

  1. And yet, they are the ones whose bodies need to move to their beds. And sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with them. Here’s a pie chart of things I’d rather do than deal with four bodies who aren’t interested in bed:

bedtimeratherdo2

  1. Also, we’re supposed to eat dinner before bedtime.
  2. And I am supposed to make that dinner.
  3. Or my husband is supposed to make dinner and he sucks at it as much as I do.
  4. Also sometimes I realize we have no food and it’s 6pm so instead I sit on the couch in denial about dinner.
  5. Or I “run to the store” but once I get there, start enjoying the alone time, so I spend an hour gazing at earth-friendly toilet cleansers, which gets me home at 7pm, and ruins everything again.
  6. After-school “enrichment” activities including but not limited to Boy Scouts, swimming, dance classes, random teen “fun” events. HOW THE HELL DO YOU GET KIDS TO BED AT 7:30pm IF OTHER KIDS NEED TO BE SOMEWHERE UNTIL 8PM?
  7. All the kids are sitting quietly somewhere and I’m enjoying the silence so much I can’t bring myself to disturb them by demanding they get up and go to bed.
  8. Fights with my husband. Look, you never know when a good clean fight needs to happen. I can’t control nature people.
  9. On the other hand there is a small possibility I can control when I fight with my husband.
  10. Forgotten homework at 7:45pm. The fucking worst.
  11. Forgotten project at 8pm. Never mind this is the worst.
  12. Trips to urgent care because I’m sure he’s got swine flu this time. I AM SURE OF IT.
  13. Baths, because there is only so long you can push it. You know?
  14. Random total parental failure.
  15. Temporary lapse in judgment.
  16. We’re at my mom’s house and I like it there because it’s clean.
  17. We’re at the farmer’s market eating lamb shawarma. Have you ever had it? One does not simply leave lamb shawarma. I don’t give a fuck who needs to go to bed.
  18. My child needs her 75th glass of water and a new sleeping arrangement or that one stuffed animal or possibly a new life entirely, but definitely the glass of water. 
  19. WE ARE ENJOYING EACH OTHER AND HANGING OUT FOR ONCE AND FRANKLY I DON’T WANT TO FUCK WITH THAT.

I get it. Sleep matters. All this parenting stuff matters. But seriously, fuck these charts.

I COUNTER YOUR CHARTS WITH RIDICULOUS INFOGRAPHICS.

You know, sometimes evenings are really the only time we all get to BE together. Just hang out. It’s the end of the day. There’s nothing to do. We can chill as people who like each other. We can sit around. We can calm down.

It can’t be all business all the time. Right?

Plus, it’s 7:30 somewhere.

It’s a reasonable bedtime somewhere. And that’ll have to do for now.

more stuff I shouldn't have said out loud:

  • Mary

    I was the WORST at bedtimes for my kids. They are well adjusted (ok, I think) adults now. I have no idea when their bedtimes were. They don’t either. WHERE WAS THIS SALTY SUPPORT (YOU) WHEN MY KIDS WERE GROWING UP????

  • Danielle Barnsley-Cervo

    That chart always pops up at this time of year and every year I look at it and I think, “DO THESE PEOPLE DO ANYTHING WITH THEIR LIVES BETWEEN 5-9PM?!!”

    Bedtime is the worst.
    I love you.
    Let’s eat dark chocolate together while our kids don’t go to bed on time. OKAY.

  • Mere

    Once again Janelle – yahhhs!! Thank you for your sane voice, just when I need it – again!! The ONLY way my kids would be in bed by 7.30 is with a pillow held over their faces and that hardly seems ‘reasonable’!

  • Mere

    P.s. That pie chart is GOLD!

  • Marnie Plunkett

    YASSSS! My 2 yr old goes to bed at 9:30 and my 12 yr old at 10. The 2 yr old sleeps till 7:30ish. It works for us. I wish the world would leave us be.

    • julie peterson

      thank you.. needed this. we’re all over the board at this joint.. older just teen girls 10pm, 11.. who knows i’m out by then. 8 year old 9:30ish, toddler next to me usually about 10 minutes before i conk out. it’s a tie between me and the 8 year old!

  • Anne

    So much. This.

  • Krystal

    The struggle is sooo damn real! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in it. I try, I swear I do! My oldest is in middle school this year, which has it’s own learning curve, but we’re getting it. Note to self: if kids aren’t asleep before 10 they fall asleep in class the next day. Try harder! LOL I hate most the groans I get when I mention the time and appropriate responsibilities, and i’m like “I didn’t invent TIME, OKAY?!” 🙂

  • Rose

    Yes!

  • Debra

    You are my soul sister in so many ways. I suck at bedtimes for almost exactly all the same reasons.

  • Tarcela

    I started with scheduled bed times (and I have twin boys!) mostly because I was EXHAUSTED by 7:30pm. Maybe I think I fell asleep and so I just assumed they did too! haha!

    As they got older than 6 years old and started going to school, I think they became tired!

    Then the divorce and at my house I let them go to sleep when they got tired NLT 9pm though on school nights. My #1 rule was “if you chose to go to sleep too late at night, you do NOT get to complain when I wake you up at 6:30am so chose wisely.

    Their dad, and I swear he still does it, made them go to bed at 7:30pm at his house. Like you mentioned, we’d be eating something at 7:30pm watching a cool movie that accidentally ended at 10pm on a Wednesday! Oops!

    Needless to say, my kids are well adjusted and growing everyday and in high school. They laugh when we talk about “dad’s bedtime”. I think they laugh “at” dad now when he tries to get them to bed at 8pm now!

    They won’t die, they will grow up and they won’t remember the actual bedtime, they will remember the memories you created that were fun and those moments you spent together watching that awesomely bad rated “R” movie! That’s what life is, small moments of time you’ll never get back! So I’m with you,SCREW mainstream and society norms!

    Do what works for you and the kids! Only you know what’s best!

  • Ilja

    I on the other hand I would love to be able to sleep in. What time do yours wake up? Mine wake up at 6am if not earlier. Also throughout the ENTIRE summer break.. One of the downsides of having your kids in bed early.
    School starts at 7.30 am here though (St Maarten, Caribbean). And sun sets no later than 7pm year round. Plus sunrise is 6 am or earlier. Basically they go with the flow of the sun.

  • Krista

    OMG!! Once again, THANK YOU!!!! I love how people with 1(not downing the one child household, just the ones who try to dictate lol) or no children are the ones who are the damn experts on this bed time shit!!!
    I was all about the bed times, even up until i had 3… Then sports became involved… Homework became involved… Cadets and shit became involved!!!
    Do you know how many times I dragged my sleeping whatever month old out of the car at 10pm because cadets for my 12 &14 year old ended at 9 but announcements and bla bla bla went to 9:30 and the drive was 1/2 hr, not to mention my 8 yr old with adhd bouncing around in the back…. At that time!!!
    Fuck those charts!!! Those people know jack about parenting besides what THEY think is reasonable and their Calliou family traditions, or for you older mamas, full house, or the partridge family!!!
    Fuck them all!!!
    If they want my(now) two year old and my(now) 9 yr old in bed by 7:30, then they can come and babysit, and enforce the bedtime routines!!!
    Or, wait…. Should we all work 9-5, eat at 5:30(food has to digest) and sit on our thumbs till 7:30???? Im confused! 😳🙄 cause Im in nursing… 9-5 does not exist, and neither does 5:30 dinner…
    Hmmmm……
    Lmao thanks Janelle!!!!

  • Catherine

    I only have one and she’s barely over a year old and we’re overshooting bedtime on the reg. I can’t imagine multiple children. It simply isn’t possible. Also, screw the research. I mean. Let’s be honest, they’re going to change their recommendations in a few decades anyway, so I can’t live by that shit.

    • Krista

      A few decades!? They change their mind every 3 months hahaha good on ya mama… Just do what you can, screw what “they” say!!!! Xoxo

  • Karen

    Yep. You nailed it again, per the usual. Bedtime, Shmedtime. Sleep when you’re dead.

  • Kim

    I just fucking love you! I didn’t become a parent until right before my 40th bday – there are things I can’t change & my kid is a night owl too! He started kindergarten this year & every handout, chart, graph tells me I’m doing it wrong! So far he seems pretty damn well adjusted- maybe because he’s used to doing things differently because he’s a child of divorce… He knows different houses different rules but always mummy’s rules at school, public etc. his dad thinks candy is fine for dinner (reason #8467 we aren’t together).
    So you rock!!

  • Ali

    Thank you!

  • Kristol

    I read this as my 2 (almost 3) year old is snuggled in my arm pit…he may fall asleep prior to 930 tonight. Glory!!

  • Kerry

    I don’t know what you’re talking about (just kidding). Seriously, though, I can GET my 6 year old to bed by 8pm (it helps that I only have the one). There is no guarantee, however, that he will stay there or actually go to sleep on time.

  • Olga

    We shoud be talking about how early you have to wake up to get them in school on time…start school and work later…’problem’ solved.

  • LYDIA

    To hell with charts. We are all surviving on 2 hours, 10 hours or a full 40 minutes!! No one REALLY “knows” what’s best.I mean c’mon. There are no “real” experts out there. Except us moms who know our babes the best… and those who watch “Broad City” religiously….. I almost feel justified for my crap parenting

    • Krista

      Lmao!!! Love it!!!

  • Nicole

    Ok, so I have great kids. I mean, seriously, objectively great. Like straight A’s, one “yellow-card-flip” or whatever in all of their school years, artistic, kind, crazy smart, fucking amazingly great kids. And my secret is this: I don’t have a clue how that happened, because according to the internet’s collective wisdom, I’m doing everything wrong. The closest thing we get to bedtime is when I go to bed around eleven and I tell the boys not to be up too much later. Even when they were in first and second grade they were generally still up around ten. They used to watch family guy, for crying out loud. That alone would get me strung up on most parenting forums. We almost never eat dinner together, because I work late and they’re home alone until I get here. My husband usually feeds them before he leaves to go to his overnight job. They play lots of video games. It’s what they like. I’m not going to argue. They don’t do any organized activities. No cub scouts or sports teams. Jesus, this really does sound like I’m doing a terrible job, but the truth is, we do lots of other things well. We go on bike rides and identify trees and play board games and have Mario kart tournaments and I volunteer at their school… The point is, no. Bedtime is not that fucking important. We’re human beings, even the little ones. Eating and sleeping are biological needs. It will all come out in the wash. They’ll figure it out. Do whatever works. Let go of the guilt. 🙂

  • Monica

    I’m in RI, it’s 10 pm, my 6 yr old just begged for another piece of pizza like twenty minutes ago and then crawled in bed with my husband. The 3 yr old just demanded more to drink about 15 minutes ago. Every.damn.day. I’ve been feeling like a bad mom becaus they never go to bed early, you and all those who have commented just helped me to let it the fuck go.

    Thank you!!!

  • BG

    I seriously love this. My brother and SIL religiously put their 2 yr old to bed at 7 and he religiously wakes up at 5:30 AM. He has dinner at 5:30 and “night lunch” (Mennonite for bedtime snack) at 6:45, and it is often cold oatmeal, not that that matters, but I feel like it kind of paints the picture of the sitch here. I used to have tons of guilt about not being religious about bedtime, but now our 2 yr old routinely sleeps from 9 to 9 (or 10!)and it’s kind of great. No guilt. Also, I read this out loud to my economist husband who is a little less flexible in these things and he did not laugh out loud, but I sure did!

  • Renae

    I don’t have kids, but I was a kid once (before all these shitty charts that make moms feel bad). I didn’t have a bedtime. We just went to bed when we were tired, which was probably 9 or 9:30, sometimes 10. Or sometimes we fell asleep on the couch watching TV and then my dad carried us to bed. And I turned out fine. My friends that had bedtimes aren’t better human beings than me. And they complain about having had an early bedtime as a kid. So fuck it. Your kids will be fine.

    • Krista

      Exactly!!!
      And I now(thinking about your post) remember falling asleep with the god damn dog during parties and get togethers…. Im alright… I think lmao!!!! We sleep when we need to!!! Mom or not!!

  • Cheryl

    I thought maybe we were on the good side of the bedtime chart, but alas, no. That’s the time the kid is supposed to be asleep. My 5-year-old is supposed to be asleep at 6:45 if he has a wake up time at 6AM. What are we supposed to do? Leave work two hours early?

    This is craziness. I only have the one kid, but when he was a baby, I got one “helpful” article from his pediatrician about how much sleep he should be getting and I freaked the fuck out for about 3 months because he never got enough. It stressed me out so much and I thought I was a terrible parent for never seeming to be able to get him as much sleep as he was supposed to have.

    So, I too hate all this stupid helpful bullshit information. Let ’em sleep whenever.

  • Lisa

    My kid was a night owl–it didn’t matter what time I put him to bed, he didn’t fall asleep until after midnight. Tried warm milk, warm bath, lavender, the whole shitbag of recommended sleep aids. The only thing that worked was Benadryl–but, hey, it was let him stay up or drug him every night. I let him stay up. He’s 26 now, normal, sweet, brilliant college grad who works full time….and still stays up all night 😄

  • Melissa

    What happened to, “acting like tiny walking exposed nerves”, that was in the email version?? Haha!!! You diagnosed my 3-year old perfectly and I can’t stop laughing/cringing! So perfect!

  • Madelief

    I have surrendered to the chaos of bedtime. When my older girls (13,11) were younger I was a single mom, living with my parents and my whole day circled bedtime. I challenged myself with how early we got to bed. Once, on daylight savings I got my kids to bed at 6pm….it felt like 5pm. Bedtime was an extreme sport for me.

    Then I got married. And had a baby. And my girls became tweens and I could no longer get them to go to bed before the sun because of all the nursing and crying and lack of tolerance for all the reading and singing that I used to do in my extreme bedtime sport that I played.

    So now I go to bed before them at 9:00pm and tell them to be quiet. Or at least put their little sister to bed so I don’t have to. Unless she’s already asleep….in which case, just BE QUIET!

    My bedtime routine is like what has happened to my body after kids. Soft, flabby and sagging in all the wrong places. But I love this body, and I love our crazy bedtime, and mostly I love those moments you describe in #21: WE ARE ENJOYING EACH OTHER AND HANGING OUT FOR ONCE AND FRANKLY I DON’T WANT TO FUCK WITH THAT.

    Amen sister. Amen.

  • Carrie

    I love your #7: Or I “run to the store” but once I get there, start enjoying the alone time, so I spend an hour gazing at earth-friendly toilet cleansers, which gets me home at 7pm, and ruins everything again.

  • Anne-Cathrine

    Not to mention everyone are different by nature. My now 15 year old has neevr slept much – even as a newborn and baby. she was up a million times a night to breastfeed, and if I was lucky she would nap for 15 minutes a day. But she was bubbly and and thriving (I was a wreck however, living on such little sleep!). She is the same now – she can live with very little sleep, and it doesn’t affect her school or activities or anything. My soon to be 13 year old needs lots of sleep however and always has. Those charst are stupid because they assume we are all the same – grrr.

    Number 13 is HELL

    And as someone who has had swine flu – believe me, you will know. It is nothing like it, and a “normal” flu is like a teeny whisper in comparison. 🙂

  • Erik

    Anyone who says their kids are in bed by 7:30 is liar. The laws of physics simply do not allow it.

  • Shawna Henderson

    Oh, this. My kids fell asleep best in the middle of noisy chaos. I loved the evenings when we’d be out doing stuff or mucking about at home enjoying each other’s company and at some point one of them would clamber onto my lap or into my arms and happily fall asleep in the middle of our juicy lives, just like they were supposed to. Bedtime battles happened when I was too tired and cranky to be with. As a single parent, didn’t have much choice about taking myself to bed and having a good sleep when the smalls were still up and active. Mainly, I fell asleep with them, while reading a book. All snuggled together.

  • Katie

    Again, THANK YOU!!! My kid has NEVER slept as much as she is “supposed” to- thank God I stopped worried about that when she was about 6 months old and just paid attention to my kid. ‘Cause she was (and is) fucking awesome. I can’t help it that I birthed a child who keeps rock star hours. Except she does like to get up early. Usually on weekends. Little jerk. LOL

  • Amanda L O'Briant

    I love you. I love you. I love you. Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thank you. Hallelujah and Amen.

  • KatharineS

    OMG yes!

    My kids don’t need as much as the recommended amount for their respective ages, but they still don’t get enough. My daughter in particular who is 8 finds it hard to get to sleep before about 10.15pm, and I have to drag her out of bed at 7.30am. 5yo boy gets to sleep relatively quickly at about 9, and usually bounces out of bed at about 7am.

    Main issues for me:
    – I hate to disturb them when they’re playing beautifully together.
    – I hate to disturb *me* when I’m involved in something, whether it be with them or by myself.
    – Dinner was late (usually because of the previous two points), which means everything gets later and later.
    – My kids are star manipulators at ‘just one more xyz’, and I’m a sucker for it.
    – I get distracted by housework which I start doing while they’re dragging their feet, and I want to get it done early so I’m not packing the dishwasher and the washing machine at midnight like I used to do.
    – Getting them into bed requires effort on my part, and I’m just too fucking tired to get that momentum going.

    Usually I regret it when the kids and I are falling apart by the time I finally get them into bed, and also in the morning when I’m trying to get my daughter to get up and get dressed at something better than snail’s pace.

    And then, despite being exhausted, I end up staying up till 1am or later (like tonight), having this this lovely “me time” when it’s nice and quiet and I get to catch up on TV, social media etc.

    I’ve had a few better nights recently, it seems to work easier when they’re actually dressed for bed quiet early on. I don’t do baths every night (it’s cold here at the moment so they’re not getting too hot and sweaty), which helps. I don’t particularly like cooking, which doesn’t help, so it’s a lot of effort for me to get that happening at a reasonable time.

    I’ve got evening job lists, schedules etc, but it all still has to come from me!

  • Kat

    No. 7! once I get there, start enjoying the alone time, so I spend an hour gazing at earth-friendly toilet cleansers

    Snapshot of my life!!

    We start school here on Monday… Summer bedtime round our way is around 10. Kids getting up around 9… The chart doesn’t even cover that! Somehow we have to get up 2.5 hours earlier in 3 days. And get everyone to bed 2.5 hours earlier!?! Bedtime sucks, early mornings suck. You rock!

  • Lorna

    YES, YES, YES…

  • Keven

    OMG! YES! Especially #8,9,12,13 and 21! Love it when I get blamed for not remembering THEIR projects. 😕 Spot on! I have managed 7:30 and they will still be awake in bed until well after 9. Can’t force them to sleep!

  • Stacey

    Love this. Every bit of it.

  • Isabel

    I’m convinced the people that create those charts do no have a fucking life. I can’t get out of work at 4:30, drive home, get dinner, help with homework, bathe the dirty kids, read stories, and get them to bed at 7:30. I would need that freaking Time-Turner from Harry Potter to get all that done. I’m with you and I figure I will just do my best and fuck the chart. 🙂

  • Heather

    Didn’t see anyone mention Melatonin. Dr. recommended 30 minutes before bedtime to help them get to sleep. That shit works! Sometimes a little too good. It doesn’t put them to sleep like a narcotic, it just gives their already tired, yet overstimulated brains a push towards sleepy-land.

    My girls are night owls, but my son is an early bird. He wakes up about the same time everyday no matter what time he goes to bed. We learned very early on that if he stays up late, everybody pays for it the next day. Actually that’s true of all of them, but especially so with him. Bedtime is 8:30. Quiet, lights-out. 12 year old can stay up til 9. After 9PM is GROWN UP time…

    I’m a stickler for it and it stresses me out when they stay up late. Again, because I know how horrible they will be the next day. Whiny, annoying, cranky, brats.

    I don’t put them to bed early because a chart says it’s healthier for them. I put them to bed early because it’s healthier for EVERYONE if I don’t have to deal with whiny-ass kids the next day. It’s really a self-serving sort of thing that I disguise as being “for the kids.”

    No go the fuck to sleep. (great audio book read by Samuel L Jackson)

  • Jennifer

    My kids had a regular bedtime. They were in bed every night at around that time. Didn’t mean they were asleep and I was fully aware of that and didn’t particularly care as long as they were quiet. I was tired and I needed the scrap of down time before I went to bed. I was manic about upholding that bedtime and it’s how I survived single parenthood. As they got older it all went to hell, but they were older and could manage the sleep changes better.I can hear my neighbor and her kids banging on the walls until after 11 pm which makes me nuts – the noise, not the parenting so every family is different. You do you.

  • Melanie

    My daughter is up at 6am to get ready for daycare/school, and she needs a LOT of sleeps. So she’s in bed at 7:00 every night. I’m hoping that as she gets older I can start pushing that back a bit and enjoy some time with her during the week.

    It means she can’t do sports and activities on weeknights, and it means we rush between 5 and 7 to get supper, homework and bath time done. But it also means we have the rest of the evening to ourselves as grown ups, which is also nice. Mind you, we usually end up doing boring stuff, like cleaning and making lunches. But whatevs 🙂

  • Kate

    #18.

  • Heidi

    Can someone show this to my 8 month old. She thinks 7 is a nap and is up 2 hours later to party until 11….

  • Tracey

    Love it! Bedtime for our 2 (about to turn 5 and 7) has always been 7pm. 7.30 at the latest. The younger one needs 11-12 hours sleep and the older one needs 10-11 hours, or they can’t cope. 7pm bedtime doesn’t mean they are asleep – we still get the “i need a glass of water/to go to the toilet/why do the stars twinkle/i left my shoes outside/i need another cuddle – but they are quiet and usually able to wind down by 7.30. The older one is allowed to read for about half an hour before lights out. To each their own. Whatever works for your family and saves your sanity.

  • Lisa Cunningham

    What is a normal bedtime? The one where your body and brain say ..”we have worked enough today we will see you when we are ready to do it again”…I guess homeschooling helped in our lack of a routine bedtime. My kids dropped when they were tired and got up when they were ready to move again. We schooled or unschooled around that. Don’t worry — one of them has a fulltime job and is expecting my first grandson — so as an adult she has learned that because of a job sometimes you have to force your body to make a new plan…but as kids — I relied on their body and brain to tell them when to go to sleep. This also meant half the time they slept on the couch or on the floor. Yeah I was also “that” mom — throw a blanket over them and call it good.

  • Deanna

    I get my girl to bed at 530. That’s right 530. Lots of days my husband never sees her, She eats supper just her and me. At 4 pm. Like a hobbit.

    Bedtime is HORRIBLE if I get her to bed any later. When she was a baby she just shut down at 5. Has always been really sensitive. Also I can’t handle much longer of a parenting day.

    I think some kids do better with a rigid bedtime and some are just fine with a flexible life.
    I certainly don’t plan to keep this bedtime forever.lol and there’s NO way I could do it if i had more than one child.

    You’re fine. 🙂 Better than fine.

    Your comment policy is awesome.

  • Nicole

    I so majorly love you (typed as my children play in the tub at 7:49pm… and we haven’t eaten dinner). The end.

  • Laia

    Cheeers from Spain where I say my toddler goes to bed at 9pm and I’ve been told “this is because you want to turn her into a good proletarian” (meaning, poor girl why do you send her to bed so early).

  • Gretchen

    My husband’s family called me “The Sleep Nazi”…mostly behind my back, but only mostly. My 13 year old has “lights out” at 9:30PM – he gets up at 6AM and even that isn’t enough sleep for him. On the weekends he’ll got to bed at 10 and sleep until 11AM, if we let him – which we do because I equate the need for sleep as the same as the need for water or breathing. I think it’s healthy and it keeps everyone sane. If I had even one more kid, I’m sure that would all go straight to hell. But as a “one and done” parent, I wear my “Sleep Nazi” badge with honor.

  • Rachel Federman

    This made me laugh and I especially love the huge pie portion for eating chocolate & crackers (so me…I sneak it at exactly that time of night when I should be putting kids to bed and it’s like why can’t I wait until they’re in bed because I know I’m going to get caught and they’re going to want some too and they already brushed their teeth, etc. etc. but it’s like I can’t even face the marathon of bedtime without that refueling and so I set off a whole cycle of further breakdowns every time).

    I esp. agree w/ the point that it’s the only time of the day/night when you can just BE with the family. And sometimes (often) my husband gets annoyed that I’m letting the day drag out with one more thing..one more story or bedtime yoga pose or whatever instead of getting on w/ a functional bedtime routine but it’s also just so peaceful and so nice finally. Like you say – why f*ck with that?

  • Susan

    I call forcing kids to go to bed who don’t want to the “bedtime bullshit”.

  • Amber

    Thank you and amen. It is so very much bedtime for me, but I needed to be up, somehow. Was searching the web for voice-I-needed-to-hear, was up far too late remembering it was you. You are the voice I needed to hear, and now that it’s 1:40 in the morning and I have totally fucked my tomorrow, I will go to bed.

  • AshV

    Anyone who feels this way is apparently a renegade, because everyone I know puts their kids to bed between 7 and 8. Why? How? Do you even like your kids? If I put my 5 year old or 4 month old to bed that early the 4 month old would be up well before I even went to bed myself and the 5 year old would be up by 6. The whole thing is a huge chore! Also, I am right there with the bath thing! It’s always late and rushed and done just so that nobody will think they need to call child services!