Friday, June 27, 2008

Why bedtime's such a bear

I hear a lot of moms bemoan bedtime. "It's so hard to get Susie and Johnny into bed at night! They have a dozen excuses for getting back up, and I can't believe how much energy they still have!"
I've put my finger on why bedtime is such a trial. It's not really that the kids are doing anything out of the ordinary, anything they don't do at other times of the day (I mean really, how many other things can your kids find to do when you ask them to feed the dog?). It's that WE, the parents, are tired, too.
By the time bedtime has rolled around, we've put in a full workday. We've put in overtime as wife, mom, chief cook and bottlewasher. We've fed the dog, entertained the kids, answered what seems like five million questions from every direction. We've worried about money and weekend plans, about nutrition and tooth decay. We're ready for fifteen minutes to ourselves before joining the little ones in the Land of Nod.
And they're ready to play.
So we enforce the bedtime ritual. We humor the first couple of calls for "mommy, I need..." Then we get stern. Then we threaten. It's all tears and guilt trips from there. If only their bedtime were preceeded by a powernap - for mom.


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