Missing bedtime once a week has made me a better mom.
Whether you stay at home with your kids or work away from the home, I think we can all agree bedtime is one of the most emotionally conflicting times as a parent. My patience is at its lowest, their emotions are running amuck, we try to jam fifteen different activities into a half hour window in the name of preserving routine. Then I close their door and walk down the stairs to where my heart nearly aches because I miss them so. (Wine helps this particular ache, FYI.)
When our girls were little, bedtime was incredibly overwhelming. Thankfully, some wise moms who had been before me tipped me off to Precious Little Sleep and we pretty quickly found a routine that worked for us. As they’ve grown, it’s become challenging in new ways. Where once we had to figure out how to feed two newborns simultaneously, we now have to trap two toddlers in a bathroom so they’ll “brush” their teeth.
In a moment of sheer genius, my husband and I agreed that once a week we each get a free pass to miss bedtime. Whether we need to work late, go to happy hour, run to Target, or lock ourselves in the bathroom, once a week, he handles bedtime solo and I avoid the chaos entirely and then we swap a different night. Let me tell you, it has made me a more patient mom. Every night when I’m wrangling toddlers up the stairs (because HEAVEN HELP US if I try expediting the long ascent to the second floor), wiping toothpaste from the mirror, wrestling them into diapers and then pajamas, I am basically reciting under my breath, “Tomorrow you’ll get a break. Tomorrow you’ll get a break.”
It’s one night a week. They don’t miss me. It’s a little more work for my husband and vice versa, but it’s not something we can’t handle for one night. I have been truly amazed at the recharge missing bedtime gives me. I feel accomplished because I’ve been afforded the time to check something else off my list: time with friends, wrap up that project at work, wander the aisles of Target alone, you know, the good stuff. The morning after I miss bedtime, I’m excited to go kiss their little faces.
Missing bedtime once a week has been a game changer for us. So tell me, parents out there, what other little self-care/recharge hacks have you found that don’t take a lot of effort but do wonders to restore your sanity?