“The bedtime war starts”

The GroAnywhere black out blind has been placed on the window, the blind pulled down over the top and the lights are dim. P1 is going to the toilet, getting herself undressed and brushing her teeth whilst I change P2s bottom and get her ready for bed. P2 is handed her half bottle of milk to drink whilst we read a bedtime book chosen by P1. Everything’s calm in the bedroom.

It’s just turned 7pm. The light gets switched off and both girls are put into bed. I feeds P2 her milk and listen to the sound of P1 drinking her bottle of water. Great big gulps. Then the bedtime war starts. P2 stops drinking after a couple of ounces, she wiggles and twists, turns and rolls all over her mattress. I’m laying on the floor propped up with pillows next to her mattress that’s laid on the floor. It’s uncomfortable. I frequently lay her back down, not talking and not making eye contact.

From beneath her bed, P1 sounds like she’s too having a fight with the ants in her pants. The bed is creaking at every move especially the sudden jolting ones. I have to frequently ask her to lay still as the racket is disturbing my attempts to keep P2 calm. This sparks conversation between P1 and I. A conversation about nothing. Excuses. Every excuse in the book. “I’m uncomfortable” “I’m thirsty” “I need a wee” “My leg hurts” “It’s really important though Mummy”.

What’s important to me right now is getting both my girls to sleep at a decent time ready for the next day. Ready for school in P1s case. What’s also very important to me is having “me” time and time with my hubby. Whilst my hips are in pain from laying awkwardly on the floor, I’m thinking of the washing up, the toys I need to clear up, the clean washing I need to fold and the floor I need to mop. But nope, our battle is continuing.

P2 is not giving up without a fight. I’ve huddled her close to me and watched her tired eyes roll and close, then ten seconds later she’s up again changing positions several hundred times. P1 is moaning, wriggling and still attempting a conversation with me despite the frequent requests to be quiet, each time my voice raising with frustration and therefore conflicting with the peace I’m trying to create for P2.

I check my phone, it’s been an hour and ten minutes now. It’s 8:10pm. I call hubby up to help with P1 because she isn’t clearly taking a blind bit of notice to me. He removes her from the room and asks her to stay in our bedroom alone until P2 is asleep. As if by magic, P2 finally gives in and is asleep within two or three minutes of her sister’s disappearance. I sigh but realise I’ve still got P1 to deal with.

P1 is replaced into bed with a firm warning that all her bedtime teddies will be removed if her behaviour continues. She’s reminded how important sleep is and that she has school tomorrow. Fifteen minutes of being back into bed and P1 is still attempting conversation, this time I’m ignoring and writing this post actually. There’s the sound of light snoring from P2 as she’s sprawled across her bed and the occasional yawn from P1.

At 8:40pm I can finally breathe. There’s complete silence except the soft breathing of both my daughters. I take a deep breath myself before making my way downstairs to fight my next battle… Housework vs Me Time! I’m longing for my own bed something that I wish my children would learn as soon as possible, preferably before number 3 arrives.

I wonder if this is all familiar to you too?

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  1. Oh gosh its so hard when they tag team you, isn’t it? Unfortunately this is familiar to me. I wish I could tell you when it all ends! x x

    • lifewithpinkprincesses

      It’s very tiring. Especially when pregnant. Hopefully bedtimes will improve… teenage years?

  2. Oh yes, I can definitely relate! One of us sits with our little girl until she falls asleep. It’s something that’s always worked for us and many times results in a lovely, calm bedtime – maybe 10-20 mins for her to fall asleep. I think every family does what they find best for them đŸ™‚ But we went through a stage about 6 months ago where she was really fighting it and it was taking AGES – so frustrating when you just want your evening! We started asking her if she was ready to go to sleep and, if not, we left the room with her reading and returned when she was ready to settle down. This worked wonders! We are thinking that we need to start leaving her to sleep on her own now as baby no2 will be here soon, just not sure if it’s the right time to implement a new routine…! Hope it gets easier for you #brilliantblogposts

    • lifewithpinkprincesses

      Definitely try a routine before baby arrives. That’s why I pushed for getting P2 out of her cot. It meant there was less of a change and adjustment when baby arrives.

      Thank you for commenting!!!

  3. With the lighter evenings my kids are not sleeping until late either and it’s so frustrating! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts. Please do add my badge or link back, thanks.

  4. Of course we all do bedtimes and parenting totally differently but I knew from the outset, that I would never cope with this kind of routine – hats off to you! I’ve never waited for my children to drift off to sleep, they were in their own beds from the outset and that was that. Yes it took stubbornness and a lot of effort but I’ve never really struggled with it. I know that many have though so I imagine you’re not alone. Probably wise to try and tackle it before your next baby comes along. Could they go into separate bedrooms at all? All the while you are there, I think they will try to get your attention by having conversations with you. Apologies for the essay!

    • lifewithpinkprincesses

      Thank you for your essay! You are totally right and thankfully since this post things have got a bit better. A tiny bit. P1 has always been really good around bedtime until recently, but P2 is very reliant on the dummy & milk. She’s actually slowly learning by herself to fall asleep without the bottle in her mouth, I was just hoping that I could get out of this routine when i can communicate with her to stay in bed. If that makes any sense at all.

      Thank you so much for commenting! It means a great deal.

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