Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm a Sleep Freak for My Kids {and I admit it}

As a mom, there is nothing quite more infuriating than unsolicited advice -- especially from those without children. And for me, there's nothing quite more infuriating than unsolicited advice about my kids' sleep. 

If you've read my blog for a while now, you know that both of my children were on BabyWise beginning pretty early. {You can read those posts here and here.} Something that was and still is very important to us is sleep -- for every person in this household. The older I'm becoming and the more years of this mom thing I have under my belt, I'm realizing that it's true what they say: "To each their own," and, to be honest, if someone isn't doing it the way you do it or think they should do it, it's not wrong; it's just not your way. 

All of that to say, I'm a sleep freak for my kids, and I admit it. My kids are on sleep schedules and have been since the {almost} beginning. It's what works for us. My kids are in bed by 7 p.m. {GASP!} every night and, for the most part, have been sleeping through the night since they were three months old. And here's where I'm about to get real crazy: my children never slept in bed with us overnight, I rarely make exceptions for the time they go to bed, and my 3.5-year-old still takes a nap. Again, it's what works for us. I'm the sound machine blasting, note to the mailman to kindly SHUT UP on the front door writing, sleep sack donning, box fan blasting in the hallway, blackout curtain hanging, "sshhhh, shhhhh"-ing sleep freak mama. 

I can't tell you how much I've heard about my kids and their sleep. Sure, there was a ton of stuff at first when Walker was tiny, my favorite being a family member asking when they would be able to come over since Walker was "always sleeping." That same person told me last year what a great sleeper he was. I also heard, "You're letting the schedule run you," But, I think I've gotten it more the second go-round with Knox: "He needs to learn how to nap on-the-go," "What's 15 more minutes of them being awake?" "When my subsequent kids were little, I didn't give them a morning nap because it didn't work for our schedule," "My kids dropped their naps at 3," "My kids never have a set bedtime." Notice a theme there? I, I, I, me, me, me, our, our, our. 

I realize there are parents out there who don't put their kids to bed at a certain time; who think sleep schedules are for the birds; co-sleep with their kids; and think naps are stupid. Hey, no judgment here. You do you, man. I'm just not one of you. 

I'm in the category of "Crazy Bedtime Psycho Mom." We eat dinner at 5:30 p.m., start baths at 6:15 p.m. {yes, even in the summer}; we read a couple of books and we put the boys to bed by 7 p.m. They sleep, they're awake at 7 a.m. {Sometimes earlier (Walker) but we don't get him out of his bed until his clock turns green.} Yes, it sounds harsh, but sleep makes all of us happier people. No matter what time I put my kids to bed, they'll still be ready and rarin' to go by or before 7 a.m. So if they're going to get up early anyway, they're going to go to bed early and get the good rest they need, and the good, quality time I need with my husband without a toddler interrupting me every .067 seconds telling me to look at his LEGO creation for the 506th time that day, or a one-year-old quite literally climbing up my legs while simultaneously screaming his head off reaching for me. Because, you know, witching hour. When they sleep, they're happy. When they're happy, I'm happy. When I'm happy, my husband's happy. Sleep = Happy in this household. 

And on that note, some suggestions I've received regarding my kids' sleep: "Just put them to bed later. They'll sleep later." (Wrong.) "Try to get rid of the nap. They'll sleep later in the morning." (Negative; just a cranky toddler from about 2-7 p.m., but thanks for the suggestion!) "It's cruel to not get them out of bed when they wake up in the morning." (Ummm, I'd be up at 4 a.m. some days and yeah, that's not happening.) "I think he will be fine going down 30 minutes later tonight." (Uh, 30 minutes is a lifetime in child time, and if you'd like to come wrangle them in the bathtub while they're slippery and screaming and overtired, then please, be my guest.) 

All of that to say, one day we'll be fun again and get to do fun things again. This isn't forever, but it is our life right now. One day I'll get to let my kids go crab hunting on the beach at night; or stay up and have a family movie night; or allow us to not turn down an invitation to a family dinner that begins at 7 p.m. But today is not that day. 

Sleep. Blessed sleep.

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

23 comments:

  1. i could have written this post! All the praise hands for sleep freaks! I'm such a nazi about sleep schedules and get a babysitter often for Graham specifically because I want him going to bed at 7 haha.

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  2. We are right there with you! Sleep is everything and messing with my schedule means a rough day for everyone. I did just ask Clint, what will it be like when our kids are awake at 9 pm? Sometimes I think it will be fun to enjoy that season and other times it makes me sad to think that alone time with my husband will be long gone!

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  3. Amen sister!!! Our lives are a whole lot more pleasant and (dare I say it) FUN, when I have a well-rested toddler on my hands! Plus, kids THRIVE on consistency and a schedule and knowing what to expect! Bravo ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

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  4. You're so right, everyone has their own way of doing things and it's not wrong, just different. I've always been a sleep freak and my husband always has something to say about me not wanting the kids to get up until, umm a decent hour like 6am! He thinks I'm mean for making them stay in their room LOL. My almost 3 year old still naps, thank goodness but I can tell she's on her way out and I will just cry when that happens (she's our only napper) - and our kids never sleep overnight in our bed but we let the older 2 fall asleep in our bed on Friday nights, it's like a special little treat for them. We move them when we come up to go to sleep. Keep on being a sleep freak Mama, we need our darn rest!!

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  5. I'm with you girl! Sleeping is HUGE and if you can get them to be good sleepers it makes all the difference (or at least as far as I can tell at 7 weeks old haha). What I've learned about this parenting thing is that everyone and their mother (get it?) has an opinion. You just have to do what works for you and your kiddos. If people want to sleep with their kids, that's their M.O. but it doesn't have to be mine.
    I'm glad that you guys have figured out what works for YOU--that's what matters most!

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  6. Yup, we're the same type of Mama. Andi goes down at 7:30 and always sleeps until 7:30 or 8am and has slept through the night since she was about 3 months (I mean give or take I'm sure but you catch my drift) My Mama always told me how important sleep schedules are (even when we were nursing) and she was totally right! Love this and cheers to sleep making a happier family! (and wine)

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  7. We love our sleep!! I want to get the baby into a good sleep routine as soon as we can! Definitely checking out BabyWise..

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  8. Good for you. Doing what you need as the mom for your kid is paramount.

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  9. Slow claps for this post. I think it all boils down to strangers/family members don't know your kids as well as you and also don't have to deal with the ramifications of disrupting their schedule. I never argue with friends when try to plan around nap or bedtime because they know their kids better than me!

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  10. Preach, sister!! I'm right there with you!

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  11. Mama I can SO relate to this post. I haven't mastered sleep quite as well as you, and most nights we fight Jackson until close to 9pm. I so desperately wish I could get him down earlier, but no matter what we do, even a skipped nap, can't get him in bed before 8. Lincoln was sleep trained and basically goes down at 7pm on the dot and it is AMAZING. All that being said, my family is a bunch of night owls, and I almost always have us skip birthday dinners, or going up to the lake, or numerous other activities, because they don't start until my kids are winding down for bed. You are totally not alone, and one day we will be social normal people again! In the mean time, at least we get to sleep through the night ;-)

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  12. YOU GO GIRL!!!!! I seriously hope to be this way when we have kids - routine and schedule! I'm definitely looking into babywise when we have a baby. This lady needs sleep! lol I guarantee I'll hear everything you said above from my in-laws though, it's going to be a huge wake up call for them

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  13. My second child was the worst sleeper. I tried everything! Once I went back to work I wanted more time in the evening with them so bedtime went to 8pm. It worked great for us! You're right, to each their own! My kids are big kids now and I am still very attentive to school night bedtimes. It's a must for attitudes! :)

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  14. I was working on a post about sleep this week too! I always wonder what I talked about before kids because it seems like sleep takes up a good chunk of conversation these days haha.

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  15. Yes girl YES!!!! My Vivi girl already thrives on a schedule (as does her mama) and she is sleeping from 8p-6:30a and I am already considering moving her bedtime earlier. I am a sleep nazi too and I know it will just get worse as she gets older. My sister's kids are PRO sleepers thanks to her strict schedule and she has been giving me instructions haha!

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  16. I am the EXACT same way!!!

    Katie www.livehalffullblog.com

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  17. All the praise hands!!! This is us. And until my commenting friends and family want to take my kids for a week to try their suggested plan, we're sticking to mine - the one that's tried and true, and the one where I get sweet comments about how happy and content my babies are! You go, Momma!

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  18. AMEN. We could be crazy-sleep-mom-twins! My three girls are on this exact same schedule - and sometimes my 5yo naps the weekend because she also gets cranky! And this works so well for our family - everyone sleeps like a dream and is so happy. you keep rocking this sleep story mamma, it won't be forever x

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  19. Girl, I have already decided that my daughter's sleep schedule is going to be VERY important! How can we survive as parents if she isn't getting proper sleep?

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  20. Yes! I totally agree with your sleep freak. We're obsessed with it over here, and we do a very similiar schedule to you. However, I will say it gets rocky when you have an older child (6) has is own schedule and we have to run him around. Also, our 3 and 6 year old share a room, and for the first time are really playing, talking, and staying up super late - like 9 pm!

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  21. I love this post! And just like Caley, I too could be your crazy-sleep-mom-twin (well now I guess we are triplets!) ;) My 3 babes are all on sleep routines and considering my baby girl is only 4mo I guess this will be our "normal" for a few more years yet... but WE HAPPY too :)
    Thanks for this post ! Needed it this week x

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  22. I'm kind of the opposite but am now wondering if it would have been worth it to be more of a sleep freak, since we were all getting prettttty sleep deprived around here! I think it's great if you can stick to a schedule, it seems like kids operate much better that way! Great post!

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  23. Girl, SAME. I have always been strict about following a schedule with Hadley and have gotten many a comments from friends & my husbands family (his sister literally did the opposite) but I've just shrugged them off because it has worked for us! Granted she didn't sleep through the night until 9 months (and I tried EVERYTHING.), but now she does a consistent 11 hours at night with 3-4 hours of naps a day!

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