Bedtime Routines

I am probably a little too interested in everyone else’s parenting styles. I want to know what you feed your kids (and honestly how in the world do you get them to eat anything other than chicken nuggets and grapes?), how often you bathe them, what their nap schedules are, how you put them to bed, and whether or not they actually sleep at night. I think I might possibly make people uncomfortable though, when I ask personal questions. Those conversations usually go like this.

Mom in the park, who I literally just met: How old are your kids?

Me: They are 4 and 2. What about yours? I see that you’re expecting, when are you due?Β Are you doing a natural birth? How was the first one birthed? Does she know she’s going to have a new brother or sister? How did you tell her? Are you going to coordinate their nap schedules so you can get a break in the day? Will you breastfeed?Β 

Mom: Ummmm…. (slowly backs away)


One time, in a hotel, we put them to bed in the same bed at the same time. HOURS later, they finally fell asleep.

Yep. I’m nosy. So I decided to use my blog for my questions. That way I won’t have to see your uncomfortable-ness. So let’s talk about bedtime. Our bedtime routine is a little crazy. And changes constantly of course, as I’m sure yours does too as our children grow. Let me map out for you what it looks like right now.

At 8:something either Tim or I will look at the clock and exclaim, “Oh, it’s bedtime. Pajamas, everyone!” Then begins the great pajama dressing which involves a lot of clothes flying around and boys running away and being chased and caught and pinned down while pants and shirts and zippers are put into place. Whew.

Then we read a book that each child picks. They are starting to realize that the longer the book the longer they can put off bedtime. They pick books like, A Fly Went By, The Digging-est Dog (seriously the stupidest book in existence), or anything written by Virginia Lee Burton. Sneaky boys.

Next comes a song and then prayer. Every. Single. Time we pray, bedtime, mealtime, naptime, random times throughout the day, Little brother wants to pray for Aubree (his cousin) and YaYa (my mother-in-law). He doesn’t just tell us this. He screams it.

Daddy: Okay, time to pray. Who do you want to pray f-


Then to bed. They share a room but can’t be put to bed there at the same time unless we want shenanigans. Therefore one kid goes to his bed there, the other goes into our bed (Jim Gaffigan refers to this as the “holding cell”). If you think this is the end of bedtime, you probably don’t have kids. Or maybe you drug them (no judgment here, the end goal is sleep, right?). For the next hour we put up with giggling boys who have sneaked into their brother’s room, multiple appeals for water (I’m always amazed that my kids survive the night as they are most definitely going to die of thirst if I don’t let them have one more drink), diaper changes, and requests for us to “tuck me in again,” or “put my blanket back in a square.”


They finally go to sleep. We get an hour or two of peace before we turn in. Then the real fun begins. Most likely one or both boys will end up in our bed at some point in the night. Sometimes I roll over and almost scream because there is a child standing right by my bed watching me sleep. He then will silently climb over me and snuggle in between us. Sometimes I’m not even awake enough to know which boy this is. After a few hours of getting kicked in the back or head, we will move said boy back to his own bed. This is just in time, of course, for the next one to silently creep into our room and end up between us before we realize what’s happening.

Somehow, somewhere in all of that we manage to get enough sleep to make us coherent.

How does your bedtime routine go? This is your time to interact with me. I honestly want to know what your bedtime routine is. If it’s as silly (or worse. Or longer. Or somehow incredibly short and easy.) maybe I will let you be a guest writer on the blog and share it with everyone. So don’t be shy, hit the reply button and let me in on your ways.

Otherwise I might meet you in person and corner you at the playground. Awkwardness will ensue.


7 thoughts on “Bedtime Routines

  1. Pingback: Halloween Candyland | The Dependent Life

  2. Bonnie Randol

    We have a crazy bedtime too. It stats with “Mom Im hungry” Me: you had a good supper. Boys : so you want me to starve and you don’t care about me? ” Boys: Fine ill starve. Boys: Im thirsty. By this time Im frusturated. When we finally get to the bed and tucked in one of them says ” I forgot to give Dad a hug or my favorite one My beds not made correctly or I don’t want this on my bed so theres another thing that puts bedtime off longer. By the time the boys are in bed its time to read our story which at this time I pick so its usually a short bible story or a short book. Then we all have to each pray and sometimes (usually)Joshs prayers is the longest so then I say a short prayer and during this whole time all im thinking of is bedtime, bedtime, &bedtime cause this mommy is tired!

    Bonnie Randol

    1. The Dependent Life Post author

      It’s amazing the different stalling tactics they come up with, isn’t it? And we always think to ourselves, “I’m in charge. I’m the mom. I just need to say what’s gonna happen and make it happen.” But when it really comes down to it, we are just so exhausted by the end of the day we will do anything as long as they will go to sleep, right? My favorite quote ever was a couple years ago, Big Brother comes out of his room and says, “I have to get out of here.” Umm, okay…where exactly do you need to go? Thanks for commenting!

  3. Jacob Mogler

    Bedtime in the marine corps is very variable. I like to read a book or watch a movie for the last hour or so before I rack out. The time varies also depending on whether I need to be up at 4, 5, or 6. Usually about 20 minutes after my head hits the pillow, and my eyes are teetering on the brink of rolling back into my mind, the bass kicks in. Yes the bass. Next door my neighbors are getting tanked just like any usual night and in their inebriated state, like to listen to horrible rap music with the bass up and it vibrates the hall. They’re not the real troublers though, they’re usually quiet aside from the music. The troublers are in various other rooms about my floor. A little while after the music stage when every one else is good and lubed up, the halls fill up with loud drunk obnoxious 20 year olds (ages vary but I decided that the average maturity age of a Marine is about 20 regardless of age). Fights (yelling matches) yelling cadences (left right left right), banging on doors, etc. etc. This carries on late into the night. And yes, this is every night. I felt so old the other night as I went to bed about 1130 when every one else was just getting started, and felt very annoyed by them. But I mean, come on you know? It’s Monday night past midnight, and we have to wake up at 5 to go PT (Physical Training). Ahhhh bedtime with children, a love/hate

    1. The Dependent Life Post author

      Hmm, yeah sounds like you deal with children too. My littlest guy passes out soon after his bottle empties some nights, seems like your guys need seconds or thirds most nights. Have you tried rubbing their backs and singing (some Kanye, maybe?)? That works well for us in desperate situations.

  4. Diana Oman

    πŸ™‚ reading this give me a small degree of happiness that you too have a crazy routine!!

    We to look at the clock only it’s around 7:30 knowing or will take at least a half hr to get Sissy in her diaper, Pjs and her soppy cup around. Then to get Big sissy to use the potty, get dressed (and stay dressed) and find her soppy cup that we had two seconds before!

    Then we both take child in their rooms and attempt to sing the each a song, give hugs and kisses and leave! Well sissy will not go to sleep with our a hug and kiss from big sissy. Knowing this we make sure they get all the hugs and kisses from each other before we take them to their rooms. Yet it never seems good enough so we take one of them to the others room and start the whole process over. After doing this two or three times one of us finally calls it quits and is the most awful parent that night!

    FINALLY!!! They are down for the night…. Or are they? NOPE! Big sissy makes every excuse to have us come back in her room. She bangs on the door making the most aweful noise you ever want to hear at 8:30! After Hugs and kisses and “last ones” and a loving threat of a spanking all is quiet…. Until around midnight when sissy feels the need to crawl out of her crib and crawl in bed on my side so I get squeezed in the middle. πŸ™‚

    When my arms get numb from lack of movement and I can’t stand being cramped anymore I bring her back to her room and get a few hrs of sleep until Daddy leaves for work and then Big sissy wakes up just because, so she crawls in with me so I can get a few more hrs of beatings πŸ™‚ or umm rest.

    That is the craziness of our bed time! πŸ™‚ nice to know the craziness isn’t just in our family!!!

    1. The Dependent Life Post author

      That is so funny! Your girls are so sweet, though, to want to kiss on each other. For my guys they most likely would need “one more wrestle” or something. Thanks for sharing your routine! It made me smile. Miss you!


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