The Battle That Is Bedtime


Copy of Pick-Your-Own farms

I have not had a good night’s sleep in almost five years. From the moment I became pregnant with my first child until present day, I have not gone to bed peacefully and slept through the night. Having children who are not good sleepers is really, really tough.

There are COUNTLESS books on how to get your baby to sleep through the night, most of which I have read, and one of the first questions you are asked right after you have a baby is, “How is he sleeping?” It seems like once you have a baby, you and everyone you know, become obsessed with sleep. I will never forget when my son was about 12 weeks old and still not sleeping through the night. I was sitting on the couch reading a “how to get your baby to sleep” book with tears streaming down my face and my husband comes around the corner and said, “Honey, it’s time to throw that book in the trash.”

So I did. Not because it wasn’t helpful information. It definitely was. But it also said if you follow these steps, your baby will sleep through the night and if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night after doing these things, you are doing something wrong. Well guess what? I was doing everything the book said. And my baby was still up every three hours. He eventually did start sleeping, and what a glorious day it was, but it didn’t last. He is now creeping up on being five years old and at about 6pm every day I start dreading it…it being BEDTIME.

I am not here to give you tips on how to get your baby, toddler, or child to sleep through the night. What I am here to say is that you are not a failure because your child doesn’t sleep. Being a momma is tough. Whether you are a stay at home mom with kids at your feet all day or a working mom tending to endless tasks and then coming home to everything “home life” entails, at the end of the day, we are all exhausted. We want to do whatever it takes to get the kids to bed as painlessly as possible so that we can get a minute alone to sip on a glass of wine, zone out on Pinterest, or veg out and catch up on some Netflix. I mean really, is that so much to ask???

After dinner, I can feel it coming. As we are cleaning up, the whining begins and I think, “Oh dear, here we go…” Bath time goes ok. Putting on pajamas and he is on to me. Bed time is here. He starts in with a request for a snack. We do the snack. Then, ok, it’s time for bed. And here come the tears. We go back and forth on who gets the privilege of putting him to bed. We do the hugs and endless “I love yous.” We head up for teeth brushing. Most days it would be easier to brush my 13 year old grouchy pomeranian’s teeth than my four year old’s. We start walking to his room and, yup there it is, we forgot his water. We head back downstairs for the water but then of course that brings on another round of “good nights” and probably a few more tears.

We crawl into bed and begin the reading of the books. Ohhhhh the books. Then we pray for pretty much anyone he has ever met or is going to meet in his life just to put off, even for one more minute, actually going to sleep. Finally, it is time to close our eyes and he drifts to sleep. I tip toe out, praying that I don’t get caught. After crawling in bed myself with my monitor on my nightstand for my 19 month old, I fall asleep only to be woken up a couple hours later to the tip toeing of my sweet boy crawling into our bed. And I’ll just admit it. That’s where he sleeps the rest of the night. Every single night. Because you know what, I’m just too tired to deal with it! Does it make me a push over?  Maybe. A bad mom?  I don’t think so. He kicks me all night long and it drives me crazy and but at the same time, I don’t care.

It won’t last forever and one day I will miss it.

The bottom line is this. Sleep is crazy important. There is a reason there are 9,000 books written on how to get your child to sleep through the night. If you have a baby, toddler, or child who is a great sleeper, I seriously could not be happier for you. I mean that. Being a mom is so much work and we all deserve a great night’s sleep at the end of the day. But, if you are like me and have two kids for whom night time is not their shining moment, I feel for you.

You are doing a great job. One day we will sleep. I don’t know when that will be, but one day it will happen. And when it does, I think I will miss those knobby knees digging into my back at 4am. Then again, maybe not that part.


  1. Gurl. Our daughter was well over a year old when she started sleeping through the night. Now, at the ripe old age of 3.5, she has every trick in the book to get up repeatedly once we put her to bed. Luckily, after the 3rd or 4th (or 5th or 6th) try, she stays put- but that sometimes doesn’t happen until 10:30 or 11:00 and we’re so tired we can barely make it through the latest DVR episode of the Real Housewives. Or whatever trashy TV we try to sneak in at night. It’s frustrating, but you’re right… when she’s 13 she will no longer be asking us to read Hop on Pop (for the zillionth time). And it’s not a bad book, really 🙂

    • Haha! I’ve so been there! We just have to try and somehow embrace this time and get through it the best we can! Hope you get to catch up on your DVR at some point! I know I sure am trying! Haha!

  2. I feel like I was writing this myself, my 3 year old is the exact same way. I think he has only slept through the night a handful of times. He usually ends up in bed with us most night even though we have a gate in his doorway (I can’t handle the crying at 2 in the morning!)
    I have a 12 week old and he’s already a better sleeper than my 3 year old ever was…lets pray it continues! I don’t think I could handle two bad sleepers!

    • I feel your pain! It really is tough having a child who isn’t a good sleeper and can feel so defeating! I hope your new baby continues to sleep well!! For everyone’s sake!

  3. Kids this age do really well with rewards and consequences. So setting up a chart that lists all the things they would ask for before bed, is useful. For example, getting pee and poop out, getting on diaper, brushing teeth, reading books, cuddling, drinking water, putting on band-aids, etc etc etc. Anything that they would ask for, put it on the list and do it and check it off. So once they start asking for that and stalling, you can say, ‘we did that bud, you’re good, good night, I love you, see you in the morning’, and leave. Promise a sticker or special treat in the morning if they stay in bed without asking for any more things. Plus the ‘teach me time alarm clock’ is beneficial for those kids that get out of bed too early.


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