Bedtime is Exhausting


Bedtime is a time of the day that I look forward to and don’t care for at the same time. Bedtime is exhausting. None of my three children hear the word “bedtime” and say, “Yay! Let’s read a book and hit the hay! I can’t wait for a great night’s rest!” They scream something incoherent and then give us a hard time. They take FOREVER getting ready for bed. 

a boy reading a book on a chair, ignoring his dad's pleas to clean up his toys


If we ask them to clean up before bedtime, we would need to start the process at noon because they act like their arms are broken, and they can’t possibly pick up everything. They sulk around the room, picking up one item at a time. One night I had a stroke of genius and turned on the Shark robot vacuum. They moved a lot faster because they thought the vacuum was going to eat their toys. My husband looked at me and said, “You are an evil genius.” 

Using the Bathroom

They don’t want to go to the bathroom, but once they get there, they watch themselves singing in the mirror as they brush their teeth for 30 minutes.


Reading Books and Prayers

It takes them about 10 minutes to find a book, and then I realize that they have picked one of those dreaded “search and find” books. I am not spending 20 minutes on each page waiting to find five different ice sculptures in Arendelle. The kids then fight over who will sit on what side of my husband or me while we read. They also proceed to punch us in the face or stomach at least 15 times. 


A boy in pajamas standing on his head in bed at bedtime


Actually Getting in Bed

My son requires five things when he enters his bed for bedtime. He needs his vitamins, water with ice, two tissues, Scout, and his Bear. His entire collection of Hot Wheels cars also need to be in bed with him. He knows if one is missing. He’s like Jesus knowing all of his sheep by name. He will leave the ninety-nine to save the one. When you come back from getting his requested items, you have to let him hide under his blanket and then act like you can’t find him. I’m not even going to start on what my daughter requires for her bedtime routine.


One of us has to wrestle the baby to bed. He likes to toss and turn in our arms while we rock him to sleep. When we are done putting them to bed, we look like we have run a marathon. We are not runners, so this is not something you want to see. I could have had all of the energy in the world before starting the bedtime process, but it sucks every bit of it out of me. We end up in the living room mindlessly staring at our phones or watching a sitcom before one of us starts to doze, and we give it up to get in bed. One day we will look back on it and laugh while we watch our own kids struggle to put their kids to bed as we peace out the front door, high-fiving and giggling about all the candy we gave them.