Bedtime Nightmares or Simple Slumber?

*This post is based on a syndicated press release* 

How was bedtime in your house tonight?  Straight to bed without a fuss or endless requests for another few minutes, a drink of water, sheets tucking in, a cuddly toy, a bit more of a story?  You know the score right? 

I was really shocked when I got an email this week entitled “33% of Parents find Betimes Unbearable”  Unbearable?!  Heck that’s a strong word isn’t it?  Apparently, according to some new research carried out by Blinds2Go, a third of us find bedtime to be one of the most stressful times of our day.  The survey of 2,118 people with children aged 5 and under pitched bedtime as the top stress factor followed by shopping (28%) and eating out (18%).  At least shopping and eating out can be avoided to a point if they’re tricky for your family but the bedtimes just keep on rolling around don’t they?

Now I must admit that for me – the most stressful times in my week are the hour or so from getting up on a Wednesday or Thursday morning to setting off to work after I’ve dropped everyone off at childcare, and coming up a close second is swimming lessons on a Tuesday night.  Trying to get everyone where they need to be at the right time and in the right clothes with a smile on their face is hard work believe me.  (And the smile doesn’t always happen that’s for sure!) 
Bedtimes have had their moments, they don’t always go like clockwork, however I wouldn’t say they’ve ever been particularly stressful *touch wood*.  From Ben being just five weeks old we started a pretty solid bedtime routine and have stuck to it ever since, each child just finding their own place in the routine as we adapted it to accommodate their changing needs. 
Aside from the regular structure of our bedtime routine I think the other really important factor in our bedtimes running smoothly is that it’s a team effort.  Even when it was just Ben we treated bedtime as a bit of quality time, we did the bath together, got him ready for bed together and really enjoyed the quiet time.  With three it’s more of a necessity that we do bedtime together – usually with one of us getting Amy ready and the other sorting the big two, finding them their pjs and getting clothes sorted for the next morning. 

Bedtime is pretty early in our house with us going upstairs around 6.30pm and everyone being in bed for about 7pm.  Ben and Chloe might not always get straight off to sleep but they are happy to chat to each other or look at books if they’re not quite as tired.  Another factor mentioned in the Blinds2Go research is that parents are missing out on the chance to spend some time together of an evening by children refusing to go to bed.  I’m really grateful that thus far this isn’t something we’ve had a problem with.  By the time we’ve got everyone settled in bed we’re more than ready to sit down and enjoy our evening meal together, not to argue with our children about them going to bed.  I can see exactly why this would make parents feel stressed! 

What really surprised me was that of the 33% who answered that Bed Time was so stressful, when they were asked how they handled the situation 74% admitted to giving in to their child’s demands for an easy life.  Really?! Talk about making a rod for your own back?  Have they never watched Super Nanny?  Perhaps I’m being too harsh having never been in the situation myself but I do think you need to stand your ground and be the parent.

What do you think?  Is there a point in your week that makes you want to tear your hair out without fail?  How many of this list of top 20 most stressful moments do you agree with? 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Karen Monkeyfooted Mummy
    January 28, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    I find bedtime stressful on the days we have post school activities, some not finishing until 7 so we are getting in after normal bedtime routine starts!! But I do love that bit of quiet chat with each of them

  2. Janine Dolan
    January 29, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    We are keeping bedtime easy. I know my nearly 2 1/2 old son should be going off to sleep himself but he is being rocked to sleep since the age of 12 months. Daddy started it off. I don't mind as he does go to sleep within 20 mins and stays in bed when being moved. He does wake during the night now but that seems to be the case because of the changes me having another baby. He can sense that.

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