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.

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