Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Merits of Early to Bed



 The boys and playmate Jaxon explored the creek around Lion's Park.

 Looks like a bath night!

Cooper found a dead fish in the creek that he desperately wanted to bring home.  When I demanded he return the fish to his watery grave, Cooper looked at the dead fish and said, "Goodbye fishy.  Have a nice day."  


I'm thinking it might be too late.


I lounged in a lawn chair on the sidelines of the T-ball field.  Another Dad parked his chair next to mine.  He was also a parent of four children and we instantly commiserated over the busyness of raising multiple children.  As we compared summer schedules, he admitted that he puts his children to bed early.  He said, "We have to put them to bed early just to have some down time and some couple time."


Amen.


Early and routine bedtimes are the key to my maintaining my sanity and happiness.   I felt SO relieved to find another parent that endorses the same philosophy.  As the boys have gotten older and daylight hours have grown, I've relaxed the bedtimes just a bit, but my boys are still tucked into bed before many of the neighbor kids.   Some nights I feel guilty.  I listen to the squeals of neighbor children frolicking outside well past twilight and wonder if my boys are missing out.  I certainly want them to savor every spare moment of summer.  But they are enjoying summer, lots of it, mostly in the daylight.


I think early bedtimes can be compared to airline oxygen mask procedures.  Flight attendants instruct parents to place the oxygen mask on themselves before assisting a child.  The reasoning:  A parent whose about to lose consciousness cannot help a child.  I think it's the same for rest and down time.  In my experience, a mother (or father) parenting without down time and proper rest cannot effectively and pleasantly assist multiple children and nurture a marriage.  If mama or papa is exhausted and run down, the parenting will sag and suffer and the children will reap the effects.


Last night, I tucked the boys into bed while the sun still hung in the sky.  This morning, we all woke up refreshed.















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