10 Ways I Survive Bedtime With All Of My Marbles... Or At Least A Few...

For today's Top 10 Tuesday Post, I'm going to do a fair bit of bitching enlighten you to the things I think about during bedtime to keep me from losing my shit busy...

OH MY GOD YOU ALL!!!!  Bedtime.

I hate bedtime.

Hate. It.

I have enabled my son to become this incredibly annoying, manipulative, energy filled, wild-toddler monster at bedtime. He will yawn through dinner, but the second his head hits the pillow, it's like he is zapped with a RIDICULOUS amount of energy.  He is up and down, jumping and laughing, asking for water, begging for more cars to take to bed, wants to read one more book, needs more water, needs a blanket, then doesn't want the blanket, cries for daddy, cries for the cat, doesn't like his pajamas, needs to go to the bathroom, wants to sleep in mommy's bed, his foot hurts... then finally, he asks to be cuddled and rocked to sleep. This is EVERY NIGHT!

Please, if you learn anything from me, do not play into the toddler bedtime bullshit. If you've already failed like me, here are 10 things to think about during the struggle... Because, counting to five-hundred EVERY NIGHT...  TWENTY TIMES!!!!  Will surely make you crazy. Trust me, I know.


Without further ado... 10 things I do to maintain my sanity during bedtime. No, no, that's not true... I'm totally nuts by the end of bedtime. The following are 10 things that help me to prolong the insanity from setting in...

1. Invent a toddler bed capsule that keeps kids safe and busy while they are trying to fight bedtime. I dream of a bedtime bubble babysitter type thing that goes around the bed... Something that is Child Protective Services approved, plays music, smells like lavender and allows for recordings of your voice that alternates between, "GO TO SLEEP!" "Mommy loves you" and "Please, honey, mommy is losing her mind, it's sleepy time." Or whatever you normally say one-thousand times a night so your kid will feel comforted by your voice.

2. Dream of sleepovers away and summer camps.  Just knowing there is some hope for bedtime free nights, helps.

3. Make a Five Year Plan. With an hour a night that is mainly filled with nonsense, I work on my five year plan. Mostly, it's about maintaing my sanity through the next five-years of bedtime. Still, using that time to think about bettering the future is so much more productive than thinking about how much bedtime sucks.

4. Cherish the time. I try SO HARD to do this. I try to tell myself this will pass. One day he will stop wanting me to hold him, or need me for bedtime, and in some seriously jacked up way, I will miss the hour long struggle. But no matter how hard I try, after 45 minutes I'm ready to trade my soul to get the kid to go to sleep easy forever starting that minute.

5. Be the bigger asshole. Let's face it, bedtime sucks because our kids are, out-assholing us. Since they are the bigger asshole, they are getting their way. I know this. If I was an asshole, stood my ground, put him right back in bed a million times like that Super Nanny chick says, my life would be easier. Whatever, fine. Noted. I'm working on it. It's just that it takes practice to out-asshole a toddler for an hour straight. 

6. Get an audio book. Play it through the smartphone or mp3 on headphones while rocking away.

7. Learn to meditate. Imagine reaching enlightenment instead of insanity!

8. Set up a tag team system. On the nights Ollie is making me wish I lived in a padded room with forks with corks on the end, I call for FTD.  And vice versa.  We have to stay in contact on the hard nights, so we can "tap out" when the kid has won.

9. DO NOT COUNT! In order to keep me from thinking four-hours has passed when really it's only been two-minutes, I count.  I am SO SICK OF COUNTING.  Counting does not help.  In fact, it just pisses you off when you get to a predetermined number and your toddler is still singing the Micky Mouse Club House theme song.

10. Know that you are not alone. Knowing it's not only my kid, helps. There are hundreds of thousands of other parents across the world yelling, "GO TO SLEEP".  I'm totally comforted by that... Schlafen gehen! 去睡觉!Aller dormirVe a dormir! Спи! לכו לישון! Ga slapen! <-- I have to say, the Dutch "Go To Sleep!" is my favorite, becuse it says what I am thinkning... Go to sleep or mommy Ga Slapen!!!!

What do you do to keep your sanity at bedtime?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com