Sometimes, I think I missed my calling in life to be the female version of Samuel L. Jackson. This is because I am a huge supporter of kids going the [bleep] to sleep.
I will proudly tell you with a sparkle in my eye that bedtime is my favorite part of the day. It’s not that I don’t love my children because I like carting them off to bed before The Voice. In fact, a bedtime routine is what keeps our family from imploding. My husband and I work full time and our kids get plenty of play and learning at school and daycare. By dinner, all four of us are barely capable of normal functioning, so bedtime is everyone’s saving grace.
Each night after dinner, the kids get 30 minutes to an hour to play. We try not to let them get too riled up but on occasion, there’s a healthy wrestling match or two. No matter what the activity is, the jig is up as soon as we start calling for pajamas and potty breaks.
I bet you’re wondering just how early we might be talking here? My 5 and 2 year olds go to bed between 7 and 7:30 pm on a normal day and 6:30 pm if they are overtired. Our goal is for them to be asleep by 8 pm for 10 hours of sleep. My 5 year old still needs at least 10 hours of sleep, she’s just that kid.
If I’ve learned anything as a parent, it’s that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is real and is a theory most evident in children. When you ensure that their basic needs are met, it just makes life that much easier.
In addition to our kids getting the sleep they need, my husband and I get the break we need too. We catch up on our favorite shows, talk to each other about our days and savor a few child-free moments before we start over again in the mornings.
And just to drive this idea home, here are a few of my favorite things about kids who are off to bed before prime time:
- You and your partner can discuss things like work, politics and money….and maybe even one another without interruption. If you’re single, you can have a few moments to collect your thoughts, alone, with or without the lights on.
- You get to pee alone!
- You can enjoy your favorite grown-up shows, whether you are a Game of Thrones junkie, obsessed with The Walking Dead, or are dying to see if Jane the Virgin will finally get to have sex.
- Speaking of sex…you can do that too! Or at the very least, make eye contact for longer than 5 seconds and point out the spinach in his/her teeth that’s probably been there all day.
- And finally, you can d0 responsible adult things like check up on your budget, make lunches for the next day and pick out your clothes for work.