Adding One More Thing to the Race Against the Bedtime Deadline
I look back now and think my mama had it so ‘together’. Every Sunday evening my sister and I had to have our clothes ironed for the week. That way there was never a need to pick through clothes or fight for use of the ironing board the morning before school. I have thought about doing this with my own children. Laziness, masked in my mind as procrastination, has prevented me from doing so. I know that having the kiddos prepare what they will wear for the week would not only save me time in the morning but also teach them how to prepare for the next day. It is such a logical parenting decision. But in my mama evening-night-before-school-realistic world, it just ain’t happening. The school year starts for us like a juggler adding a ball at a time. We have only school on our agenda for about three weeks. Then we pick up music lessons, soccer practices and dance class as we go deeper into the weeks of August. This means that sometimes we don’t get home until 6:30 or later. With dinner still to cook and homework still to do it is a miracle if I can get everyone into bed by 9:30 pm. And yes that means even the high schooler in the house. By 9:30 pm I am ready to clock out from all mamahood duties. Plus, in addition to showing the kiddos how to prepare for the next day I also want them to understand the importance of having enough rest. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that middle and high school students receive 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Recent research by AAPP also detailed adolescents who get enough sleep: have a reduced risk of being overweight or suffering depression are less likely to be involved in automobile accidents, have better grades, higher standardized test scores and an overall better quality of life I have always done pretty well on getting the kiddos to bed at a decent hour and when I had two children I was able to iron all clothes for the week. With the third child I have still been able to accomplish the former, never even tried the latter. Mainly because it’s been six years since I had my third child and I am still trying to catch up on just about everything (there’s a floor waiting on me to be swept and clothes waiting to be folded right now). Instead of ironing clothes for the week for the two youngest and spinning myself into a manic state of craziness by arguing with the teen as to why she should do so, I am shooting for just ironing the night before. I see it as my version of having it ‘together’.
How are you doing with meeting school bedtimes?