Our family’s sleeping schedule has been pretty crazy from day 1 and it got even crazier when we welcomed our baby girl home a little over a year ago.
Before I gave birth I had this beautiful picture in my head of finally having a solid routine for me and the kids. I mean, how hard was it to program a baby’s day, right?! AND if we nailed that then it would be pretty easy enough for my son and I to ride along that ‘on schedule’ daily grind train, right?!
NOPE. WRONG. NOT EASY. Hello?! What went wrong? Why didn’t that awesome game plan work?!
Simple. When it got challenging to ‘stay on schedule’ and be firm about the day’s routine, I quit. I just said “we don’t need this kind of stress putting the kids to sleep. Instead of battling it out every night, can’t we just enjoy our time together as a family….(at 2 or 3 am)..’til they’re finally tired enough to sleep?” As I was typing that line I felt like a total hippie stuck in the 70’s.
So for months I guess you could say I was a hippie mom. There were several days when I’d be firm about our 8 year old son’s bedtime, but then he’d see his 1 year old sister still playing at 1or 2 am. Not good at all, I know. What’s worse is we’ve been waking up at noon or even around 2pm! Half our day gone down the drain 😦 This whole sleeping-waking up situation was getting out of hand. Things needed to change and it had to start with…me. gulp
If I want our kids to grow properly (growth hormones are released around 9pm til sunrise, according to our doctor), I need to be firm and get them in bed by 8-9pm and get up early in the morning to enjoy Mr. Sun!
Tonight was day 1 dear reader. I am happy to say that by 11 the kids were sound asleep! The tv was switched off, we said our bedtime prayer as a family, we sent our son to his room, my husband and I made it obvious we were sleepy too, I nursed our baby girl and I’m pretty sure we fell asleep before she did. I guess when she saw that there was no one to play with, she gave in and just slept. WHEW.
Too good to be true, I thought. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna wake up again when she sees that her dad is up and in the living room rehearsing a few songs for work this week. She’s gonna want to be part of that and play as well. She’s gonna fight a good fight and scream and cry. I was totally psyching myself. I was also coming up with my own battle plan. Then it happened. A little before 1am she woke up, got all excited when she saw her dad wasn’t in bed, then she tried to get out of bed but I made it pretty clear that tonight she wasn’t going anywhere but lala land. She cried and screamed and cried some more. Sorry neighbors. 😦 We gotta do what we gotta do. 5 mins later, when I felt it was ‘safe’ to nurse her, I cradled her in my arms and kissed her goodnight, she started feeding and that was the end of tonight’s battle. Half an hour later she was sound asleep. Whew.
It’s 2:17am. The kids are sound asleep. Soon I’ll be on my way to meet them in the land of Zzzzzzzzs too. This seems too good to be true but we want this kind of good for our kids, so I’m choosing to believe that this is gonna be what’s normal for us from now on. 🙂
Goodbye hippie mom.