posted in Parenting
When summer break begins and school is out, I officially become that mom.
I am that mom who puts her kids to sleep while the sun is still up. That mom who turns down invitations to parties. That mom who says “no” to movies in the park and catching lightning bugs. And I have zero regrets.
Just the other day we were at a cookout. It was getting dangerously close to 6:30 p.m. and I excused myself and our kids — to sideways glances and smirks. I have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. Our sleep routine is the linchpin to our very existence. If my kids go to bed late, they tend to fight sleep. A slightly late bedtime becomes a crazy late bedtime before I know it. We all know little kids don’t sleep in, so the next day we battle one meltdown after another.
So I guard my kids’ sleep like a precious crowned jewel.
I’m not crying about the fact that my kids are both asleep by 7:30, so why does this bother other people? I don’t mind cutting out of a party or barbecue early because my kids really need their sleep.
One summer, I thought I would let my son have an 8 p.m. bedtime — just for the summer, I assured myself. When fall rolled around it took forever for him to course-correct. This year, I’m not willing to risk it.
Little kids need a lot of sleep, depending on their age. Studies have shown that a myriad of sleep problems can be cured by an earlier bedtime. Late bedtimes have also been linked to disruptive behavior and less sleep attained overall.
An early bedtime for my kids is also crucial to my own mental health. My husband and I need that downtime in the evenings to do things that normal adult humans do: watch Netflix, have uninterrupted conversations, laugh at memes we saw on Instagram, and watch Netflix.
When my kids are older, I’m sure they’ll be more flexible with their bedtimes. But, for right now, I’m happy. The kids are happy. And my husband and I are binge-watching House of Cards.
What time do your kids go to bed?
Images by iStock
This post was originally published June, 2017