“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face” –Mike Tyson
I hate the whole nightly bedtime ritual that we go through with our kids. It sucks and it’s my least favorite part of the day.
You would think that the kids would be tuckered out after a long day. Nope. The truth is that in my 9+ years of being a dad, my kids have never been happy (not even once) about going to bed.
It’s a battle. Every. Single. Night.
A typical night in our house goes down something like this:
The 30 minute warning
- We tell the kids that they have about 30 minutes to watch a TV show before we go up to bed
- We give them a 10-minute warning
- We’ll say something like “you guys have until the next commercial” OR “when this show is over, we’re going up”
- We turn off the TV and say “alright, it’s time to go up”
- Cue the screaming and crying. It sounds something like this (in my head anyway):
You would think they’ve never had to go to bed before. It’s ridiculous.
On top of the screaming and crying, my 5-year-old daughter suddenly can’t walk and has to be carried up piggy-back style. I actually don’t mind this part because I know I won’t be able to carry her up for too much longer.
We finally get them upstairs
Once we get them upstairs and into their beds (after going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, etc.), we pray as a family. We ask each of the kids what they’re thankful for and who they’d like to pray for. Then either my wife or I will pray for the family. This part of the night can go smoothly assuming that they don’t fight over the order we go in or they’re not talking over each other. Sometimes when they’re acting crazy, we’ll have them do jumping jacks or push-ups to get some of the energy out.
It’s mommy and daddy time (or is it?)
Once we finish the prayer and go downstairs, it’s still not over, although it’s usually not too bad from this point. They will sometimes argue with each other and yell down at us. And then maybe three nights of the week, one of our two younger ones will come downstairs and ask for something. If they’re acting too crazy, my wife or I will have to go up and lay the smack down.
We’re learning that the earlier that we start the whole process, the more kid-less time we have before going to bed.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids but I need to spend time with the wifey or have some me-time. This is my favorite part of the day.
Maybe it will get easier as the kids get older but I doubt it. I will keep telling myself that though.