I have had this conversation with many moms, discussing the pro and cons to having a child with a late bedtime. As things come full circle for my family and we welcome a new member soon, we may do things a bit differently. Being a nurse gives me the opportunity to spend four days a week off with my family, while still working full time, but those days on the job are long. Twelve hour shifts are nothing to laugh at and after having my daughter, I knew I could not go three days a week without seeing her before she went to bed. So my husband and I made the conscience decision to make her bedtime a late one. And by late, I mean 10 o’clock, which can easily turn into 10:30 or 11. I know, it’s crazy but it works, for now. I don’t get home from work until after 8pm and the thought of not seeing her sweet face before I reached home just seemed too much to bare.
A late bedtime has presented it’s share of pros for our small family.
I get to spend time with her every night before she goes to bed. If I had a regular work schedule things would be much different, but it was important for me to have the opportunity to put her to bed, especially during her nursing days. Another pro has been being able to do things as a family at night. I know many families with 7 o’clock bedtimes and it keeps them from experiencing things. For example, 9 o’clock fireworks for the 4th of July, no problem. A movie in the park that starts at 7, we’re there.
Not rushing home to make her bedtime has made our lives a lot more laid back. My husband and I are by no means night owls, but it has fit our lifestyle not having to run home to get her to bed. As long as she gets the proper amount of sleep at night, we’re ok with it. The biggest pro of all, she sleeps in. Need I say more? Not having to get up at 5 or 6am with my toddler makes me one happy mama. She sleeps until about 7:30am and I can not tell you how valuable this is to me. I have never been a fan of seeing the wee hours of the morning and I could jump for joy the mornings she sleeps until 9!!
Like I said late bedtime works, for now. But with baby #2, I have to be honest, we may rethink that 10 o’clock time.
As much as I love putting her to bed, I wouldn’t mind it being an hour to an hour an a half earlier. I’d love to spend that time with my husband before we turn in. We do a lot of date nights and spend as much time alone together traveling as we can, but there is no substitute for time spent at night after the kids go to bed. Having two kids will make these things more challenging and being sure to make time for each other will have to be more deliberate. The other con, I can’t hang. I am the queen of turning in early. When I get sleepy, it’s a wrap and waiting for her to be ready for bed is torture at times. If my shift is especially exhausting, I could shower and eat and be ready for bed by 9. If my daughter isn’t quite ready, my wonderful husband will stay up with her and put her to bed, being pregnant has made this a much more frequent occurrence.
Getting two children to bed seems like a daunting task, the earlier we can start the process I’m sure will be better. I don’t know if it’s possible to move up her current bedtime, but I will certainly try once little sister comes along. Though a late bed time worked for us the first time around, we will make the necessary adjustments to make sure that our family dynamics work. Sorry little sister, no party time for you.