I absolutely dread the whole bedtime thing. I enforce getting the children to bed because I know that they need their sleep but I also know that I like to have some unwind time in the evening. As a mother to five children ( YES I SAID 5 !!) I am quite worn out at the end of the day as I'm sure almost any mother is, unless your "Superwoman MOM". The kids drag on bedtime for hours and hours, and now I sound like the terrible, horrible, no good very bad MOM!! But I assure you I am not, or at least I like to think that I'm not. Here's a sample of the bedtime HOURS in our house :
7:00 pm ---- Okay kiddos, time to come in and get ready for bed. Let's get our teeth brushed, go to the bathroom, and put your pajamas on. While in the meantime I have little 5 month old baby brother, who I'm trying to feed (a.k.a nurse the baby) and get him ready and into bed by 7:30 if I'm lucky but more like 8:00. So between nursing the baby and trying to get the other children started on the bedtime "ROUTINE" a lot of TIME slips by. What I thought was only 20 minutes ends up to be over an hour!!
8:00 pm ---- So now I have to repeat the same instructions because my children didn't do anything the first time. Luckily for me the second time around they seemed to develop their sense of hearing again and actually go forth and finish the task this time. But they don't do it in about 5 minutes like it should take maybe 10 if you have to take turns using the one toilet in the house. They take at least another 45 minutes !
8:45ish --- Okay lets say our prayers --- oh boy, what did I just say?? Now we've tacked on another 10 minutes just to get them all gathered in one location for the family bedtime prayer. Then you have to deal with all the giggles and the wiggles and the "She hit me!!" "DON'T DO THAT!!" and a list full of other reasons of why it can't just run so smooth like a hot knife slicing butter.
By 9:00 -- We've managed to get all of the teeth brushed, most of them have used the bathroom, hopefully they are still in some form of "PJ's" -- My kids often strip extra clothes off and want to sleep just in their underwear. (We're trying to break them of that habit before they start looking more like mommy!" We've said the prayer now we say "GOODNIGHT!!" to everyone. This mission alone takes at least another 10 - 15 minutes -- I can't seem to figure out why yet.
By 9:20ish -- I'm really getting "short" with them, because now that they are needing to lay down in their beds -- the nighttime routine of "excuses" starts. You know, "I need to go potty!!" "I'm thirsty!" "It's hot/cold" "I'm hungry!!" " I didn't eat any breakfast today!" and the list goes on and on!! So everytime they ask I tell them to stay in their bed, and they can do "whatever they want at the moment" in the morning. I turn off their lights and the talking lasts for hours easily. I'm constantly going in and telling them to stop talking, and stay in your own bed.
By 10:00 they sometimes are still awake, I'm going CRAZY by now!!
Maybe the problem isn't with them but more in myself, since children seem to expend so much extra energy when I tell them they need to go to bed, I should put them to work and then not let them go to bed until the "CHORE" is done. Maybe I need to wake up myself around 5am and wake them up after I've taken my shower and maybe that will cause them to go to sleep by 8pm at night.
I mean really, there just kids -- they are supposed to be full of energy, so why would it even be a natural thing for them to slow down and go to sleep? But I'm a MOM, and the mom knows best!! I was once a child, I have taken some child development classes, and now I have children, honestly I do know best.
I know that if you want to keep MOM happy you need to go to bed when Mommy says so or you will be
1. Still tired in the morning
2. Not want to get up in the morning.
3. You'll be cranky tomorrow.
4. You could get sick because you aren't getting enough sleep.
5. SORRY!! WHY? BECAUSE I SAID SO
But why should they be SORRY? Sorry for what? - that I'm not getting my "relax/kickback/hanging with Dad time?"
And from this I wonder why did I become a mom? And why did I decide to have 5 kids?
I'll tell you why? Because when I'm so tired that I cause myself to be upset by their misbehavior I get one child that comes out and gently walks over wraps their arms around my neck, (because by now I'm sitting and watching a little TV or I'm on the computer checking email or blogging or something) and tell me in the most innocent, sweet, childlike voice, " I love you Mommy!" Which fills my whole body with a tingling that can't be duplicated in any other way. Their eyes are so innocent and full of love for a person that has been "quite loud" or "yelling almost" at them and occasionally a swat on the bum -- for fighting with a sibling, and they have completely forgotten about that, and it's only been within the last 20 - 30 minutes or so.
It's just one of those things that as moms we have to deal with, some moms have it down as an art and some really struggle with it, to others it isn't that important, and yet to others it can be easy some nights and hard other nights. But just know that the little child you are a mother to, loves you all the more. So make sure every night you hug, kiss, and tell them "I LOVE YOU".
So every night I repeat this almost the same, some nights being great, some nights are worse, believe me it can get worse, but I'll do it because I'm a mother and I love my children, and I like getting hugs from them.