POV: It’s bedtime and you’re trying to get your kids to bed. There’s crying. There’s screaming. There’s 3 trips to the bathroom for them and 3 for you to the kitchen to get them a glass of water. There’s monsters you have to scare away. It’s utter chaos. This is exactly what my house is like trying to get three children to bed on time. When we started the following bedtime routine we all got much better sleep.
Right after dinner we have bath time. Warm baths are soothing and will start the process of making the monsters sleepy. Add a little lavender oil or lavender bath tea to make it even more relaxing.
After bath time the kids do their homework. If they finish, they can then have quiet time reading a book or playing quietly in their rooms. The trick is to not let them watch TV. Blue light from screens can really inhibit sleep.
“Time to brush your teeth,” is basically our way of saying “last call!” It means it’s time for bed and they need to finish up. We have a timer for them to make sure they are brushing for an appropriate amount of time.
Melatonin has been a life saver for us. The kids struggled so hard to fall asleep or they wouldn’t stay asleep and would wake the other ones up. It was a huge hassle. Now we just give them melatonin 15 minutes before bed and it knocks them right out. While it’s kicking in we read them a short bedtime story.
Getting your kids to bed can be a complete nightmare, but when they are asleep that’s YOU time. Use that time to reconnect with your partner, read a book, binge watch Stranger Things; whatever you need to take care of you. It’s ok to feel a sense of relief when your kids go to sleep. That doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you exhausted BECAUSE you are a good one. Sleep tight.