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Monday, March 19, 2012

My kids stay up late and I'm OK with that

Written Sunday but seeing as I've already posted today (a post about losing my son's toy at the shops) I'll schedule this for Monday morning. That way I can link up to week 12 and be an early bird instead of sneaking in on Sunday of week 11. Better late than never though, right?




Simplify your life challenge weeks 9 and 10. Simplify your life is hosted by Deb at Home Life Simplified. 

Week 9: go easier on yourself.
Challenge was: see if there is anything in your life where changing your expectations / standards / approach could change your life.

I'm a few weeks late in posting but early on I realised what my answer was. Bed time. My children are natural night owls. They stay up late. It was fine for our family because Corey gets home late and they want time with him. They then wake later in the morning which is good because neither Corey nor myself are "morning person"s.

Somewhere along the line Corey and I decided we needed to get the kids to bed by 7, 7:30 at the latest. I think we were doing it for little other than social convention. Yes it would be ideal to have them "out of the way" early to get more time together but they are such light sleepers that it was just causing too many problems. We found ourselves trying desperately to get the children to bed earlier but they just weren't taking it well at all. So we fought for hours, woke up cranky, and never got anything constructive done in the mornings anyway. It was putting too much pressure on me to get everything done during the day while Corey was at work and I found myself resenting having to do everything myself. Trying to hard to do everything during the day meant I wasn't spending enough fun time with the kids which meant they weren't sleeping well, etc etc.

We kept persevering with the earlier bed time because everyone we talked to said "they'll get used to it. Be firm. They'll adjust. You're the parents. Overtired kids are harder to get to sleep." It took many days of sobbing (for hours each night) to get it across to Alexis and every time we had one later night the whole cycle started again.

So eventually, recently, we decided "stuff this". We know our kids better than anyone else and we don't need to answer to anyone else. If we want to keep them up later so be it.

Yeah it is hard when the kids are up late and I want to go to bed myself. Yeah it's hard knowing that if I go out the kids will probably be up waiting for me. Yeah it's hard to not get time to myself. I could wake up earlier but um, no. Although I'm up earlier than anyone else today, that's the only reason how this post I wrote a week ago is finally getting posted! It is however nice to have family time every night and to have the dishes done before bed without waking the kids up. It is very nice to not have a two hour tantrum from Alexis before bed. If we put her to bed at 9 she goes to sleep no problems whatsoever and sleeps til 7 ish, sometimes 8. She also has a day sleep no problem either. So what's the big deal?

When it comes down to it if my kids being up late becomes a problem then I will adress it. I will no longer, however, bust my boiler trying to "force" Alexis to go to sleep early just because it is what "everybody else" does. There are far too many challenges I face as a mum of young kids. A consistent bedtime routine is a great idea but if we do that a few hours later than others it doesn't make me a bad parent.



Week 10: face your fears

I'm very tentative when it comes to posting about my kids' sleep habits for two reasons. So posting this post is facing my fears so to speak. The little "fears" are

1)  being seen as an irresponsible parent. It's not like I leave my kids up til midnight while I sit around on facebook, much. ;) I do let them watch TV while I do the dishes but if there's another way to do the dishes I haven't found it yet. They go to bed around 8:30/9 and they do get enough sleep, yet some people won't see it that way. Some people think that kids sleep better if they sleep with the sun. Seeing as hubby gets home after sunset that's not going to happen with us. I need his help to bath the kids at the moment. Maybe when they're older this will change. When it comes down to it I can own my decisions and it doesn't matter what people think of me, within reason.

2) usually when I write about how good the kids have been sleeping lately we have a few rough nights. I hate to "jinx" it. Yet there's no place for superstition or silly little fears in life. Considering I couldn't sleep til 1 this morning and was up for the day at 6, I think the fact that William slept through til 7 is going to make for an 'interesting' day.


Anyway that's my dodgy facing my fears post. I'm allowed to be a little dodgy at times yeah? ;)

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3 Comments:

At March 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM , Blogger Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

I think bed time is a personal decision. For me, my kids are in bed by 7. I need time out then, fair and simple.

I'd just be careful with making sure that even if it's late, you choose the bed time not them.

 
At March 19, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger SportyMummy said...

I completely agree with you on this one Karlee. My kids have never seemed to need as much sleep as the are 'supposed' to and a bedtime of 7-7.30 results in a 4-5 am wake-up! My kids go to bed at 9 (and just about always have). Even though other people, particularly family, insist I'm doing the wrong thing.....

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM , Blogger Casojaha said...

Bedtime here is 8.30-9pm. My kids also all go to bed at the same time, they are 14, 11, 3 and 1, and 3 of them even sleep in the same room!! (14, 3 and 1) so there are more unconventional parents out there, believe me ;)

I think you're doing the best job of parenting if you do what is right for YOUR kids. Not everyone else's. Well done to you and your hubby!

I think being able to be honest is great but it definitely comes with the fear of being judged for me as well.

 

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