Bed Time Expectations vs Realities

Bed Time Realities
Bed time.  You know…  That glorious time of the day where your children fall into their innocent dreams and you finally get some much needed peace, quiet, and alone time—probably at the expense of your own sleep.  Yeah, well, I hate bed time, and I know I'm not the only one.
Sure, some nights are exactly like that mom fantasy.  Some nights the kids are even asleep early enough where I’m not sacrificing too many winks of my own for a little me time.  However, there are many nights (like tonight) that I loathe bed time.

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We shared a bed with our youngest for most of her infancy and a large majority of her toddlerhood.  She’s two and half now and still sleeps with us…whenever.  There’s no real “rule of thumb” here for whether or not that’s happening one night a week or all seven.

Sometimes my expectation for bed time are met, but with three kids, it feels like there’s always that one that has to make it difficult at the end of the day when I’ve almost hit my max moming limit or it’s a day I just really need the munchkins to go to sleep.

Here are some expectations versus their alternate realities at my house.
Night Time with Kids

Cosleeping Expectation

Toddler and I (and maybe one or both of the boys) snuggle in together and loll into a dreamy, loving sleep surrounded by those we love.

Cosleeping Reality #1

Toddler rolls around for 30 minutes, cries about not being able to find her cup of water, kicks me in the rib cage, argues over whose pillow she’ll sleep on (mommy’s or daddy’s), and an hour later I’m wondering why I didn’t just put her in her own bed and will I ever get to sleep?
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Cosleeping Reality #2

All of #1 plus add in one or two more kids, being hot and squished and possibly peed on and really thinking that going and sleeping on the boys’ bunk bed is a better idea.

Crib Sleeping Expectation

Put toddler in her bed with her sippy cup of water, pillow, blanket ,and probably a baby doll.  Sit in chair next to crib for 10 to 30 minutes while she settles and falls asleep, possibly requiring you to hold her hand.

Crib Sleeping Reality

Toddler cries because she wants her sippy cup (it’s right next to her).  She practices her awesome jumping skills.  She might even be quiet for forty five minutes but starts crying the second I exit the room.  An hour and a half later and I wish I would have just waited an hour to put her to bed.
Bed time with Kids

Older Kids Bed Time Expectation

Tell six and ten year old boys to go to bed.  They have bunk beds but prefer to share a bed and will chat for awhile before falling asleep.

Older Kids Bed Time Reality

Wrestlemania is happening but only after each have taken their turn peeing, getting a drink, interrupting you trying to put the toddler to bed, and so on.  They are acting like they each just had an energy drink and being so loud you have to separate them to their own beds as punishment, but in 45 minutes they’ll come ask to be reunited and actually go to sleep like you told them to the first time.

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When it’s good, it’s great.  But bed time can be a real PIA and days like today, I’m feeling the struggle.  I just want to say forget it and let them run rampant until they’re exhausted and we all pass out.  Unfortunately, I have to be up at 5AM and bed time has to happen.

Bed Sharing Safety Tips

Safe Sleep Practices
Bed sharing, a lot like breastfeeding, is still a very taboo parenting choice in many Western countries.  Of course, this is when you’re out in public or talking to your pediatrician.  The reality is, a lot of parents have shared sleeping space with their infant, toddler, or older child…probably quite a few times!

It’s one of those parenting choices that comes with so much judgement!  Also, everyone seems to be an expert and there’s so many conflicting facts and even more opinions, that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and maybe even guilty.

The most important thing…

The most important thing I can say and stress is that parents who bed share should do so intentionally!  Many dangers can be eliminated simply by making the intentional choice to bed share—sometimes called co-sleeping, though co-sleeping can be room sharing or bed sharing.
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Bed Sharing Safety

Safe sleep surface

If you’re going to host the family bed, then the bed needs to be safe for your little one.  Eliminating risks of entrapment, suffocation, and falls is the priority here.
  1. Take your bed off its frame, so it’s closer to the ground.
  2. Make sure you have a firm mattress.
  3. Keep room at a comfortable temperature, so you can eliminate excess blankets, pillows, etc.
  4. Pull bed away from wall and remove other risks that might provide opportunity for baby to become trapped.

Don’t be a risk factor!

Part of being an intentional bed sharer is knowing what conditions and choices can make it inappropriate and, most importantly, dangerous for you to sleep with your baby.
  1. If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including many prescription drugs), then you shouldn’t bed share with your infant.
  2. If you’re obese, then it can be dangerous to share sleeping space with your baby.
  3. If you’re overtired, your child is safer sleeping solo.
  4. If you’re a smoker, you shouldn’t sleep with your baby because of the increased risk of SIDS.
Safe Cosleeping

Never ever, ever…

Couches, loveseats, recliners, etc. are never a safe place for baby to sleep.  This is true for parents who sleep with their babies, as well.  There are lots of reasons, but at least one is all the crevices where baby can slip or slide and become stuck and strangle, suffocate, etc.

Where to learn more?

If you want more information about bed sharing, room sharing, co-sleeping, or just are seeking general knowledge about family sleeping arrangements, then here are three links that can help you!
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There is no one “right” way to do this parenting thing, so if you’re considering bed sharing or maybe bed sharing has chosen you, then safety is what is important!  Finding what works for your family is what’s important and remembering that all children are different is helpful, as well.
Nothing in this post constitutes medical advice and I’m not give medical or “professional” information.  I’m simply a mom sharing info with others who, hopefully, find it useful and thought provoking.
We love bed sharing in our home, but it’s been different with each of our kids.  How do sleeping arrangements work in your home?

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Lego, Minecraft, Playdoh Charlotte Mason Inspired Narration Cards

Charlotte Mason Narration Cards

This year is our first year homeschooling.  The “meat” of our curriculum comes from Build Your Library, a secular and literature based curriculum that is inspired by the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.

Included in the curriculum your purchase are a wonderful collection of narration cards for your kids to draw or choose from.  My kids really love Minecraft, Legos, and Playdoh, so I’ve created 20 more cards to go with the ones included in our Build Your Library curriculum.

Printable Narration Cards

I print mine on bright colored cardstock and laminate them.  Then I cut them up for the kids to choose from on days we’re doing narration.

These could be used separately from the Build Your Library curriculum.  They’re straightforward enough to be used in any homeschooling environment.  Simply have a child do his daily readings—or you read to them—and then draw a card.  You might get:

Build your favorite character’s home in Minecraft.

It’s fun and helpful to have discussions before, during, and after these kinds of activities to help build on what the child heard, remembers, learned, feels, thinks, etc.


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5 Printable Planner Pages—Arrowhead Themed Coral & Brown

Free Planner Printables

School is back in session or about to be for children and adults alike, which means the summer relaxation season is wearing off.  Before we know it, it’ll be the holidays and extra curricular activities will be in full swing.  Calendars will be full, if you’ve been fortunate to use one.

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If you’re still looking to put together a planner for the busy season of life—really, what season of life isn’t busy, though?—then here are five free planner printables just for my awesome readers!  This is a first for me, so let me know how you like them or if you find any mistakes!

Meal Planning Planner Printable

I’ve included a daily, weekly, and monthly planning page.  In addition to those two pages, there’s also budget and meal planning pages.  What other pages would you like to see in future free offerings?  What are your favorite planner pages?

Free Editable Planner Printables

These pages are completely editable, as well.  You can change many parts of them, and I highly encourage you to experiment and let me know how it goes.

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Soon, I’ll be adding lots of other options to my Etsy shop.   But don’t worry, freebies, sneak peaks, and discounts will all continue right here!


What would you like to see for the next freebie?

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Motherhood from the Bathroom

Motherhood from the Bathroom

When we bought our house, there was my husband, myself, our Kindergartener, and our toddler.  Three bedrooms.  One—large—bathroom.  Now, we’ve added our daughter, a cat, and two large dogs.  Suddenly, our house—and especially the singular bathroom—doesn’t feel quite so large, or big enough at all, really.

However, based on what all the other moms (and some dads, too) are saying…I don’t think it’s the one bathroom that’s the issue.  It’s just the reality of parenting, where you have one or four bathrooms, one or six kids.  I’m not the first to notice. 

Patti of Insane in the Mom Brain, who is totally hilarious, and a collection of other bloggers published I Just Want to Pee Alone in 2013, which went on to be a four book series.

Now that I’m up to three kids, three pets, and a husband…Well, bathrooms—or bathroom, singular, rather—do not equal privacy in this household.  We didn’t even have a door on our bathroom for at least two months after the last one literally came off the hinges.

Bathroom Realities of Motherhood

Eating in the bathroom.

I don’t want the kids to eat anymore cereal.  I want cereal.  I’m hiding in the little “cove” our toilet sits in, eating a bowl of cereal while the tea I’m boiling on the stove boils over and karma bites me in the butt.

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Everyone’s bladder is on the same schedule.

I’m seven months pregnant and I have to pee.  Suddenly, I’m racing a toddler in a diaper and my six year-old to the only toilet in the house because everyone else now has to pee, as well.

Motherhood: Racing children to the bathroom

The tub doubles as a toilet.

While my kids have never peed in the sink, like some of my friends have at parties, it’s probably just because they’re too short to reach it.  The tub, on the other hand, regularly gets peed in (see last point) by kids and adults, alike.  My toddler may have finally grown out of pooping in the tub every time she takes a bath.

Can I join you?

I hope you don’t mind the close proximity of toddler hugs or a neglected cat who wants to be pet while you’re trying to poop.  Because since you’re sitting still for a few moments, everyone is demanding to take that time to get in some snuggles.  Or maybe you’re in the shower and the only way the baby is getting bathed is with you.  Even my cat likes to live life on the edge—of the tub—while I’m trying to shower and the dogs try to sneak in and get a lick of the delicious shower water.  If I try to shower by myself, I’m “caught” 99% of the time by an already-half-stripped small child demanding to get in the tub for the fifth time today.

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All eyes on you.

Maybe this one time, you actually don’t have a small child trying to sit on your lap or a feline who is taking advantage of the empty space for some quick petting.  Well, if they’re not sitting on you, they’re staring at you.  I hope you don’t have a shy bladder, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dog laying at my feet staring up at me or a kid watching me for no particular reason.

Real talk.

My kids always have the most pressing questions when I’m on the toilet or in the shower.  If they’re miraculously otherwise occupied, my husband absolutely has to show me the “funniest” YouTube video ever or tell me that same story he told me yesterday.

Kids & husband need to talk in bathroom

Sure.  Lock the door.  I dare you.

Before our door came off the hinges and we replaced it with another, the bathroom door was the only interior door with a working lock.  First, I can’t tell you how many times I was locked out of our only bathroom because a kid had messed with the lock and then closed the door when exiting.  Second, when you lock the door as the parent, all the previous points still apply except you now have kids and pets on the outside of the door in a state of panic because they can’t reach you.  The littlest children are probably crying and hysterical and the older ones can just yell their questions through the door or tattle on each other or narrate exactly how upset the littlest is.

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Basically, the bathroom stops being a place for private, long, hot showers and sexy time with your significant other.  It stops being where you spend an uninterrupted hour getting ready—makeup, hair, etc—every day.  It’s almost as much a family gathering place as the dining room.

Maybe that’s not your reality.  But it is mine.  What’s motherhood from the bathroom like at your house?

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