Bedtime. Also read: oife;oiajdfbkasjdf;oaiwej;oigvh;sifkjasdkfj 😭😭🙏🏻💩😈👻😳😡😩💩🗣💃🏼🍼🎤😭💀
Oh yeah, me either … My kids are angels at bedtime. 😉
For months, our nights were going like this after the bedtime routine was completed:
Mommy, I need to go potty! Mommy, I need a drink. I’m scared!! I can’t find my bottle (in her hand). I want the door cracked open! (sobbing) She looked at me!! I need to go potty again. Will you sing me a song? I need another hug and kiss. I need to go poop and I’m prairie dogging it! Will you tuck me in again? I can’t find my BOTTLE!!
Mom locks herself in the bathroom crying with a (2 liter) bottle of Dr. Pepper and Eminem album.
I hate this stereotype of children. I honestly do. I don’t like to complain about my kids. I love being a mom. And I don’t expect my kids to be perfect robots. But holy curse word. Two toddlers pulling these shenanigans at the end of a very long emotional and estrogen filled day was more than this pseudo single mom could handle most nights!
My biggest problem with bedtime was that I felt I could never say, “no”. Not because I don’t know how to say it. I am no pushover. But because I felt a lot of the requests were “justified” to a toddler. And because I believe that their needs and feelings deserve as much respect as mine. How could I say “No, you can’t use the restroom” to a potty training 2 year old? How could I deny them another drink – what if they were really thirsty?! How could I say, “No!” To my sweet baby who wanted more hugs and kisses? I felt all sorts of #momguilt about not tucking them in again, not singing another song, not cuddling for another minute …. or seventeen. And then there’s the requests that require me going up and down the stairs. 😭 Who the heck needs cardio when you have a toddler and bedtime. If I said, “Sorry! You’ll have to find your teddy bear yourself!” It would start with me trying to stand my ground for 10 minutes and an exhausted toddler sobbing uncontrollably (and illogically) about a teddy bear she’s never even played with, and end in me giving up and finding the stupid teddy bear myself and wondering how I can actually stand my ground! I finally realized, however, that while I was trying to respect their every desire, I was neglecting my own feelings and desires.
SO! What you really came her for! My solution.
I developed this “system” and we brought it to their attention at a family meeting. I explained how I had been feeling about bedtime and how we needed to make some changes. I then explained our new, fun, super cool, exciting new bedtime system. Lucky girls right?
We created a Bedtime Chart to make sure we could visualize our bedtime routine and make sure all the girls’ bedtime needs were being met before leaving the room. I haven’t attached it because obviously everyone’s bedtime needs are going to be different. However, it was cheesy and super easy to throw together with google clipart and free fonts. #classy It included: Potty, Pajamas, Bedtime stories, Prayers, Stuffed animals, Drinks, Hugs and kisses, Night lights. You could even draw something pretty for your kiddos. We hung it in their bedroom where they could see exactly what we do every night and in the exact order. No pulling one over on these witty kiddies.
AFTER the routine is complete (round of applause and poppin’ bottles.) Each girl gets 2 bedtime passes. We use these as hall passes or, as I like to call them, inconvenience mom passes. The girls know they only have 2 and to (try to) use them wisely. When they have a special request after they’ve been tucked in, they have to use a bedtime pass. And here’s the important part – be consistent. Day 2, Gwen had already used both her passes and then told me she needed to go potty. I told her she didn’t have any passes and therefore she couldn’t leave her room and would have to pee in her pull up 🙈. Now you can mom shame me all you want, but I wanted her to know that I was serious and she was not going to sweet talk her way into an extra bed time pass. Did she pee in her pull up? Of course not. She had just been potty per our bedtime checklist. Has she made the same mistake since that night? Nope.
To make it even more exciting, we added a reward chart for each pass they have in the morning. We decided to give the girls a sticker for each pass they bring to breakfast and when they reach 10 stickers they get to choose a reasonable prize from the store. Knowing my girls they will choose a bag of beef jerky and tampons. They think tampons are mysterious and luxurious because only Mommy’s get to use them. I’ll let them believe it so they think I am cooler and more “luxurious” than I really am .. especially on the weeks when I am going through bags of jerky and boxes of tampons.
Let me know if you have a bedtime system that has worked for you!