10.30.2011

My 3 Year Old Will Not Stay In Bed

Bedtime has continued to be trying around here. W refuses to stay in bed. We put him to sleep and he gets up and starts opening and slamming his door and then wanders out to find us. No amount of negotiating, crying it out, or ignoring him works. Ultimately, it takes one of us to go lay with him in bed until he falls asleep and we can quietly climb out.

Usually this ends up being Matt since I'm dealing with getting B fed and ready for bed. Some nights I put down B and then trade with Matt. So, the deal is: One of us falls asleep with W and the other cleans everything up and then wakes the sleeping parent up and it's time for bed or B has woken up. This gives us no time to get anything done (the best example would be this here blog) or spend any time with each other.

It's frustrating. Parents crave their down time after the kids go to sleep. And we're not getting any. It's easy to focus on how much this sucks, but I realized last week that in a way it's really very special...

This extra time we get laying in bed with W, cuddling and whispering to each other, is something we'll never get back. With both of us working full time, it seems that every minute of our days are scheduled and we have trouble just being with W. We rush and rush and rush, focused on all of the next things we have to do. But laying in bed with W gives us time to just focus on him. It allows us to connect in a totally different way. He asks amazing questions and processes his day in those moments. And we're there with him.

When you're in the thick of parenting, it's hard to keep all of this in perspective. The hours we're losing for ourselves are precious hours we're gaining with W. It's not ideal and every parenting book will tell you not to do what we're doing, but I'd rather pay for it later. Time moves fast. These kids are growing up and I feel like, even though they're still babies, I'm grasping at any opportunity I have to hang onto this time and squeeze everything I possibly can from it.

Emails aren't being answered as often, we've missed our favorite tv shows, my blog posts haven't been as regular, but there will be time for all that. Now it's time for go switch places with Matt.

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