Bedtime is sacred around here. The girls are in bed by 8pm sharp — every day of the week. I’ve been criticized for being too rigid, called out as overprotective, and encouraged to loosen up and let them be kids on more than one occasion.
But, here’s the thing — it’s not even about them.
Sure, my girls get up at the same time each day no matter what time they go to bed, and a strict bedtime creates well-rested children. But, a strict bedtime has many more important benefits. Not the least of which is my sanity.
A standard bedtime means we never have to think about when to start the bedtime routine. We never have to reset their schedules after a holiday or school break. We never have to worry about what day of the week it is.
Bedtime starts at 7:30 every day. Period. We supervise the girls as they clean their room and lay out their clothes. We help them (okay, fine — we coerce them) to brush, rinse, and floss each night. Then we tuck them into bed by 8:00. And, I clock out.
With parenting duties behind us, I get to be me for a bit. As soon as the girls are quiet, the hubby and I go our separate ways for an hour or so. I take a bubble bath with a
crappy good book. He plays video games or watches some awful movie I’d never want to see. It’s a chance to decompress and wash away the day.
Afterwards, we’re able to spend some time together as grownups. It’s a system that has made our marriage stronger over the years. We each get a chance to relax and pursue our own interests, while leaving plenty of time as a couple every evening. That time isn’t always used well (crappy television, anyone?), but it’s ours.
And, if you’ve ever spent 20 minutes trying to get 3 kids to take good care of their teeth, you know we’ve earned it.
I received products from Johnson & Johnson as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Kids Cavity-Free School Year Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Click here to see more of the discussion.
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