It’s Bedtime!

      This week has been an extremely hectic and tiring one as most weeks usually are when we return to back to school routines.  There are two staples in the program that either make or break us in terms of surviving through the week, they are the morning and evening routines that we follow.  Lately, I feel that my morning routine has been pretty productive and we have all been getting out of the house prepared, in a timely fashion, and ready to tackle the day ahead.  However, our evening routine could use a little tightening up because it can be stressful sometimes due to a fluctuating bedtime.

    As I have stated in previous posts, my husband works nights and I work days.  This arrangement has its pluses and minuses and we have done a good job of maximizing on the benefits of this schedule.  I usually arrive home from work anywhere between 4 and 4:30 p.m.  When I arrive at home, my children are already doing their homework because my husband makes sure that they start their work when they get home at 2:30 from school.  As soon as I walk in the house, I look through their folders to check for letters from the school or their teachers.  Then, I look over their homework assignments and supervise the completion of their homework assignments.

    Once homework is done, we all take showers, one after the other.  Once everyone’s shower is done, we eat dinner together and spend some family time with one another before the kids go to bed and before my husband leaves for work at 9 p.m.  Now, I generally try to have the kids in bed by 8:30 the latest but, unfortunately, even with the best intentions, this does not always work out.  You see, sometimes baths take longer than they are supposed to and, sometimes, we are all just so exhausted that we drag our feet going through the motions of all the things that need to be done such as laundry, dinner, paperwork, chores, etc.

    This brings me to the question of what an appropriate bedtime is for my children to have on weekdays and on weekends.  Although I try to have my boys in bed by 8:30 on weekday evenings, I really don’t impose any kind of a bedtime on them on the weekends.  This is probably because I don’t feel like I get to spend the time that I would like to with them, during the week, so I like to spend as much time with them as I could during the weekend.  I’m not sure if this is actually hurting our evening routine in the long run.  Maybe it would help if the boys went to bed every single night at the same time.

    I was curious to see what other Moms’ thoughts were on this issue so I posed the following question on my Facebook Fan page:  What time should children below 10 years old go to bed on weekdays and weekends?  My friend, Alison, had this to say about bedtime routines, 
 “I would love to say that I had the perfect answer, but it really all depends. I try to have the kids asleep between 9:00 and 10:00 so that they are getting almost 9 hours of sleep a night. On the weekends, it depends on what we are doing and when we get home. I tend to be a lot more flexible on Friday and Saturday nights. Keep in mind that my kids are 10 and 12 though.”

    Alison is also a working Mom so it made sense that she would engage in some of the same bedtime practices that I do despite the fact that her children are older than mine.  My boys are ages 4 and 7 so it makes sense that they both be in bed before 9 p.m.  I agree with Alison about being more flexible on the weekends because the kids need to have some down time too after being part of the rat race all week.

    One of my fellow bloggers, who is the author of the blog,, also gave me her opinion on what her bedtime experiences have been…She stated that,

 “When we were kids it was 8:30 – 9. Maybe a tad later on week ends. I think our parents needed the adult time.” 

    This also made me reflect on our current bedtime practices because there is the element of having some special time to spend with my husband on the weekend and maybe, letting the kids stay up late on Friday and Saturday night, is throwing a monkey wrench into that quality couple time.

    In the end, I think parents should impose a bedtime on their children that allows the children to get enough sleep before having to go to sleep the next morning and that allows parents to have “Me” time or “Couple” time after the kiddies go to sleep.  In my case, I might continue to be more flexible on weekends because I am a working Mom and I am eager to maximize on the time that I can spend with my children outside of work.  Basically, there is no right or wrong answer to this question and it really depends on the individual needs of each family.  I suppose the ultimate goal of imposing a bedtime routine is making sure that, at the end of the week, Mommy maintains her sense of sanity!

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. This is definitely one of those situations where we have to do what works for our own families but it is nice to know what others are doing. I stagger my kids bedtimes, with my daughter asleep by 8:00, my younger son down by 9:00 and my 13 year old by 10:00(ish). He doesn't go to school until 9, and doesn't get out until 4 so I feel he needs more time. Their bedtimes are the same everyday unless there is something special going on.

  2. I agree, you definitely have to establish your kids' bedtimes based on what works in your own household. I like the fact that you have an individual bedtime for each one of your kids based on their age. Children should earn the privilege of having a later bedtime as they get older and they prove that they are responsible enough to prepare for school the next day and be well rested enough the following morning.

  3. You have exhausted me! I'm heading for bed now….ha! I think you sound very organized and efficient, and that your routine is going well. I always find that my kids are happier with more sleep than their friends seem to get. My 16 year old is in bed around 10 on school nights and up at 7; my 12 year old about an hour earlier to bed. But I do know that some people don't seem to need as much sleep! I always felt like my kids were getting enough sleep if they woke on their own each morning…..but that's not always the case.

  4. Snugglewasteland says

    The older I get, the more lax I am with bedtime. I think they have just worn me down. My kids are 10 and 8. They stay up till 10 (ish) on the weekends. During the week I try to have them both in bed by 9:30 but somehow the 10 year old usually stays up till 10.

  5. Hi, Sherri. I have found that my boys are both different when it comes to how much sleep they need to function. My older one will generally wake up early, regardless of how much sleep he got the night before. My little one needs a full night of rest to be able to tackle the day. I also need a lot of sleep to function well even though I never seem to have enough time to rest. I think my little one takes after me in that respect.

  6. We do tend to get lax with bedtime from time to time. I think as long as you have a general time that the kids are supposed to be in bed by, it's okay to deviate from that sometimes. It would probably be unrealistic to expect the kids to adhere to a strict time schedule. Life has a funny way of foiling our plans most of the time.

  7. This is something I struggle with. My kids are 3 and 2. Since it's been getting dark earlier, it's starting to be easier. I try to have baths at 7:00 so pajamas are on and books are being read by 7:30. Usually kids are asleep before 8:00. It all depends on the naps they had (or didn't have) earlier in the day though. I'm just hoping it gets easier some day. I'm a new follower from the blog hop, by the way!

  8. Hi, Cathy. It is definitely a struggle because we, as mothers, always question whether we are making the right decisions for our children. As they get older, it is a little easier to get them used to household routines. However, life has a funny way of changing your plans at the last minute. I am so glad that you stopped by from the blog hop.

  9. I don't have kids but I have trouble regulating my own bedtime. lol I don't like going to bed without having done any sort of work whether it is a simple tidy up, updates on my blog, my laundry, accounts, etc. I like to be on top of all things and I don't like to be lagging behind. So I end up having too little sleep. Hubby always says, work will always be there whether I sleep early or late so I might as well have quality sleep from time to time.

    When we were kids, we went to bed at about 9pm. As we got older, we went to bed a tad bit later. On weekends, we get to stay up a bit late – maybe until 11 and have a long lie-in. On weekdays, our time is quite structured as well. Homeworks, chores, shower, dinner, chit-chat, etc. Weekends are fun days either with the family or with friends.

    Hope you had a great weekend. 🙂


  1. Maria says:

    NEW BLOG POST Tough Cookie Mommy: It's Bedtime!
    #fridayfly @mommylebron

  2. Maria says:

    @FrAmericanDream Thanks for answering my FB Fan page question. I linked your blog and response to my new post

  3. timethief says:

    RT @ToughCookieMom: NEW BLOG POST Tough Cookie Mommy: It's Bedtime!
    #fridayfly @mommylebron

  4. Maria says:

    @FrAmericanDream Thank you, I'm glad to see you too! I quoted you on my new blog post!

  5. Jami says:

    RT @ToughCookieMom: NEW BLOG POST Tough Cookie Mommy: It's Bedtime!
    #fridayfly @mommylebron

  6. Amanda says:

    RT @ToughCookieMom: NEW BLOG POST Tough Cookie Mommy: It's Bedtime!
    #fridayfly @mommylebron

  7. Maria says:

    It's Bedtime!:  
          This week has been an extremely hectic and tiring one as most weeks usually are when we ret…

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