While we all adore our children (most of the time) there’s no denying that by the end of the day, we’re all clock-watching – just waiting for bedtime to roll around.
Some parents are pretty chill when it comes to when the kids toddle off to bed. While others have a schedule of particular times when each tot is tucked in. Each to his own right? But one mum has started to wonder whether her strict sleep schedules for her four children aren’t age appropriate.
The mum explains that it’s been a running joke among her close group of friends that her children’s bedtimes are pretty strict. “There’s no animosity in it, and we’ve never felt put off or offended by it, but I’m starting to wonder if my friends have a point,’ she explained on reddit. “Is this schedule not age appropriate?”
- 5 y/o twins: bedtime 7:30 pm, wake up 6:30 am
- 3 y/o: bedtime 7 pm, wake up 7 am, nap from 1 pm to 3 pm
- 18 m/o: bedtime 6:45 pm, wake up 6 am, nap 11 am to 1 pm
The mum admits she and her husband get picked on for the early bedtimes and early wake times.
“The other school age kids in the group (none older than seven) all go to bed between 9 pm and 9:30 pm. I feel like that’s so late for a little kid! The 11-month-old in the group goes to bed later than my 3 y/o.
“I will deviate from the schedule if it’s truly important to us or if it’s really important to a friend. Otherwise, nope. For example, one of the babies in the group recently got baptised. It was right during nap-time, but we went anyway because supporting them was more important than sticking to the schedule. Conversely, we turned down an invite to a football party because we didn’t care enough to disrupt the naps and had already had a crazy busy weekend.”
‘I prefer myself and my kids when we’re all well-rested’
She explains that everyone else in the group is far more relaxed about their kids sleep, preferring to live life and attend functions rather than worry about their kids’ sleep.
“I just know these things: I love how I feel when I’m rested. I prefer how my children act when they are rested. I deeply value the time after 7:30 pm when I have a solid two hours to decompress, connect with my husband, tidy up, etc. This time is life giving for me, and allows me to refuel as a person and a parent.”
And while her friends are generally lighthearted about the strict schedules, she’s often the subject of many jokes.
“Everyone was really busting on us back in July, when we had a big backyard party for my daughter’s 3rd. As I noted she goes to bed at 7 pm. The party was still going strong at that point, so around 8:15 pm I snuck away for 20 minutes to bathe her and put her to bed. When I returned our friends were in hysterics that the birthday girl couldn’t even stay up for her own party, and, ‘she wasn’t even in a bad mood, she was having a great time’. In my eyes I’d already kept her up over an hour past her bedtime, so I was doing great.
“Part of me says, this works well for us, so why question it. But another part says, maybe all this peer pressure is for good reason, maybe we need to ease up and start to stretch the kids a little more. Any insight or experience here?”
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