Childrearing

Don’t Make Me Feel Guilty For Hating Bedtime With My Kids

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bedtime with kids

I love my kids. I really do. I wrote yesterday about how I am happy to let my role as their mother define me for this brief period of their childhood but that does not mean I am relishing every moment. For example, I have read pieces before about the wonder of bedtime and laying down with your kids for a little bit before they drift off. Often, little kids get chatty at bedtime and apparently, I am supposed to find that magical instead of annoying. These essays make me feel awful because I can’t relate at all. I am not proud of hating bedtime with my kids, but it is what it is. I’m going to own it.

For some moms, mealtime is the worst part of the day. If my kids were picky eaters, I might be one of them. For others, it’s bath-time. Or that awful witching hour between dinner and bedtime. For me, it’s bedtime, without a doubt. By then, I am itching to sit on the couch and take a breath while my kids come up with one stall tactic after another. I love them dearly and I love hearing their little stories but where are these stories when they are buzzing all over the house after school? Where are they during dinnertime when my husband and I try to pull information out of them while they stare blankly and claim “nothing” happened at school that day? The fact is, wanting to talk to me at bedtime is slightly manipulative on their part. They know exactly what they are doing.

Now, before you all think I am terrible and rush out of their rooms at bedtime like a house on fire, I am patient. I do lay with them and listen when they have something to tell me. I want to hear what they have to say and I want them to know I care but, WHY GOD can’t they do this at 5:30 pm? Why do they wait until I am at the end of an ever-fraying rope after being up for 14 hours to spill their greatest hopes and dreams?

I know they are only little and one day, they will hole up in their rooms with their iPhones and stay up late and not give a single shit whether I kiss them goodnight. I also figure if I show them I care now, they will hopefully feel they can tell me things as they get older knowing that I will listen. I am trying very hard to be “in the moment” and to know that these years will fly by and one day, I may very well regret dreading bedtime. I keep all of this in mind so my kids won’t have memories of me being miserable and short on patience at the end of the night, but that doesn’t mean I am going to enjoy it. And I don’t think that is anything to be ashamed of.

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