Okay, I didn’t manage anything very well today. I did manage to blow the leaves off of the driveway, start making our homework stations, and paint a brown picture frame black, but the rest of the day was not so great.
Since I’ve had two friends Facebook me about sleep routines and habits, I thought I’d share how we manage it at bedtime. First of all, S6 is the only napper right now. I’d love it if S3, S4, and S5 would also nap, but if they do, they sleep too long and won’t go to bed at night. If you wake them up after a short nap, it’s asking for trouble. So, we skip them. That is one of the down sides to having so many so close in age. If the older ones do something a certain way, the younger ones are ready to jump on board, even if they aren’t really ready. It makes the battle harder to fight. I could go head to head with them, but there are many other battles to wage, so this is one I let slide. Now, our bedtime is a routine. Most nights is happens pretty on schedule, but the order is the key. We have some type of dinner around 6:30 (another area I’m not managing well while pregnant, but it’s something I plan on correcting in a few weeks). They finish up and the baths start. Superman prefers bathing the boys together first and then the girls, sometimes after he puts the boys down. My preference is bathing buddies together. They don’t get as riled up that way. (S1 with S4, S2 with S6, and S3 with S5- I’ll explain why on another post.) Either way, the baths get done, pajamas get put on, and Superman heads off to the boys’ room with them for story time, songs, and a little snuggle time. I didn’t mention that Superman pretty much handles bedtime on his own. The kids are tired of me, they are thirsty for time with him, and especially while pregnant, I’m done by 7:00. He leaves them awake in their beds to fall asleep, and as long as they stay in bed, we leave their door open. The only tricky part is that the older two scream bloody murder with the door closed, but S6 prefers it to be that way. So, he usually cries/whines while the other two doze off, and once they are asleep, we close the door to their room so S6 will be happy. During the night, we open it in case they get up and need us. If we don’t, they scream to wake us up and usually wake one another up in the process. The goal time to implement this results in the boys being in bed by 8:00. We will read with the girls upstairs sometimes during the boys’ routine or after, if they are asking for their Daddy. The girls go downstairs to their bedroom by 8:30, 9:00 at the latest. S1 is a night owl, so she is almost always awake at 10:00, no matter what time we put her to bed! We have decided recently that she can come upstairs after her sisters fall asleep for some special quiet time with us. I honestly would love to be done with kids by that time, but with so many, it’s hard to get the one-on-one time with them without making some sacrifices with my own time. Not to mention, I enjoy it when I’m not exhausted. The problem is that when I am pregnant, I could go to bed at 8:30 and be happy!
So, that’s our bedtime routine. Most nights it works, some nights it doesn’t. By the time I wrap up this post, the girls have come back upstairs because S1 and S2 are talking so much that S3 has a headache. So S1 and S2 are now asleep in the guest room and S3 is in our bed, which isn’t a big deal since I am sleeping in the recliner for comfort right now, but it’s not a habit we want to start. That’s just how it was managed tonight.