In this house, we’re strict about bedtime…and we won’t apologize for it. We’ve actually been this way since our first child was born. When Harlyn was a baby, we’d sometimes have to say no to things because the fun we’d have in the moment would be NOTHING compared to the agony we’d be in having to pay for a missed bedtime.
Fast forward 5 years. It’s still the same. Our kids MUST be in bed by 8:15. No exceptions. Until about a week ago, Maverick was in bed at 7:15, and Harlyn at 8. But Mav’s been struggling a bit, so we have adjusted it back and aim for 8 PM for both kids, with 8:15 being the absolute latest.
I know. We’re so mean, right? We never let our kids do anything fun! How can they enjoy their lives when they never get to see a firework or stay up late watching movies? Well, I can promise you…the kids are alright. 😉
So, about a month ago, our church was having a kids movie event, but it didn’t start til 6:30 or 7, and we live 35 minutes away. Around 7:45, our pastor texted us to come on out for the family movie, and we had to be like, “Sorry! Kids are already in bed!!” Because that was when Mav was 7:15, and on any weekend night we can get away with putting Harlyn to bed early, we totally do.
And then a couple weeks ago was VBS at our church. Since it was from 6-8 PM, again…we couldn’t commit. Instead, Harlyn went to daytime VBS last week at her old preschool, which works out so much better for our family.
Even when my mom and step dad come to visit, they’ll head back to their hotel in the seven o’clock hour, because they’ve seen our kids in the eight o’clock hour. It’s not pretty.
WHY are we so strict, you ask?
1.Our kids thrive on routine
They cannot handle delaying bedtime without a breakdown. And since they are only 5 and 2, we accept that as part of our life right now. We’ll keep the routine as long as we need to.
2. We have things to do
Listen, when you both work full time, have a podcast, a blog, and have a household with 2 kids and 2 dogs, there’s always something to be done. And after the kids are in bed is when we can actually accomplish stuff. If they go to bed late, we won’t get a thing done.
3. We enjoy time together
If we aren’t working on something at night, we’d still like to hang out. Sometimes, it’s just TV or IG next to each other in bed. But whether it’s that or a movie or a game night, we like having time to connect.
4. We all get up early
Brandon gets up at 4, I get up at 4:30, and Maverick is usually waiting for us to get him somewhere between 5 and 5:30. Harlyn would sleep if we let her, but we’ve gotta get everyone out the door by 7:15…so no one sleeps in in this house! How in the world would we get enough rest if we didn’t make a hard rule for bedtime?
5. We work in the sleep medicine field
You guys. We 100% believe in the importance of sleep for mind, body, and soul. We manage a sleep center, for goodness sake!! We know that kids need their rest (and so do adults!!!), and we know that sleep routine is so important for children of all ages.
I do look forward to the day when we can pick a random Friday night and go get ice cream at 7 just for something fun. But we aren’t even close to that point yet, and that’s okay with me. The spontaneity will come with age. Eventually our kids will be able to handle later nights, and before we know it, they’ll be teens putting themselves to bed.
Do your kids have a strict bedtime? I have to know!!