Get to bed, kid.

I have a thing to say about bedtime.

I can’t help it, I’m a compulsive putter-to-bedder when it comes to my children. In the wintertime, we have lights out by 7:00 for the baby, and 7:30 for the boys. In the summer, the boys usually get an extra hour, but unless cousins are present, they go to sleep with the sun still high in the sky.

I can remember getting sent to bed as a child, with the late summer sun still running for the hills. There were nights that I hung around in bed for what seemed like hours, peeling wallpaper (sorry, Mom) and counting flowers on my quilt. But this was a critical step in my upbringing. I knew, from the time I was an infant, that I was a less-important person in our house.

My parents were so smart.

When kids get to stay up as late as the adults, the cycle of “I’m just as important as you are” begins. This is a dangerous loop. Once your children figure out that they actually have worth, it’s all over. Better to keep them humble and ignorant as long as humanly possible. There will be plenty of time for them to think they know as much/more than you, and think they deserve the same/better treatment.

But under the age of ten? Get to bed, Kid, before I turn into a pumpkin and jack-o-lantern all over your little bare bum.


  1. AMEN! Once you get a teenager they want to stay up until the butt-crack of dawn. My old bones can’t handle that anymore.

    Go to bed already.

  2. Ah.. now I understand.

  3. I remember being in bed with my dad still mowing the lawn. It helps when your mom drags you out of bed at 6am to weed the garden though….does your mom’s garden need any help? They can really get the feel of living on the farm then.

  4. We also went to bed early. But again you are a genius!

    Oh and that Real World Venus vs Mars blog… we would LOVE for you to be a contributor or guest post ANYTIME! I LOVE the way you write! 🙂

  5. I am so with you. I just don’t understand people who let their kids stay up till 10. Don’t you want some peace and quiet?

  6. I am taking copious notes.

  7. It’s true. let them stay up late and before you know it they think they should get as big a piece of cake as you, pick what they wear and be in charge of the remote…it’s a slippery slope.

  8. I have never thought of it that way. That makes so much sense! Love your blog.

  9. What a great post, that makes so much sense! We were actually just talking about bedtimes here, I’ve been an awful bedtime mommy and I’m bound and determined to make it better! We are going to buckle down and get it done! Mommy needs some peace in the evenings since dad is gone!

  10. Very true words. And yet it seems like the lesser important individuals in this house seem like they should also have a right to defy bedtime EVERY night, just in case I cave this time. Like that’s going to happen – GIVE IT UP KIDS.

  11. We put them to bed and then pull out all the fun things, like cheetoes and soda. Then we have a party without them. That shows them how truly unimportant they are. And they can hear all the fun they are missing.

  12. My mom was from the same school of parenting. She actually used to say, and I quote: “I just don’t love you after 9:00!”

    I remember childhood summers of laying in bed while I could hear the basketball bouncing outside (the hoop was in front of our house- since we had the earliest bedtime- go figure!) and my friends voices still playing…

  13. Sing it sister!

  14. We were in bed when it was still light out in the summer. My sister does the same and I taunt her about it. She actually wonders why her kids don’t go to sleep! hahahaha….so I sympathetically add……what? like us when we were little? hahahaha!! So glad mine are grown…..gulp, sniff, sniff….NO I’M NOT!!!

  15. Oh sweet slumber, be thine to mine own offspring.

  16. Hear, hear. I’m careful to get my kids in bed AT LEAST two hours before I go to bed because I literally turn into a witch if I don’t get my me and the husband time. And also my me time. And especially my NO KIDS time. I don’t know how people handle putting their kids to bed really late. I’d go nuts. I want a quiet house after 9 at the very latest.

  17. I love bedtime and am a very old fashioned mummy in that respect. I don’t care if it is winter or summer, school holidays or not, bedtimes do not change in our household. They are strictly related to birthdays and until the age of baptism the time is 7 p.m. Seriously, I need grown up time, quiet time, time to see my husband (which is a joke as he is always at church). Our eldest is nearly 13 and has a 9.oo.p.m. bedtime, but it will not be going up this year on her special day as I don’t think I can take the strain.

  18. I love Michelle’s comment, “I just don’t love you after 9pm!” So true, so true. I’m going to be pulling that one out in a time of need.

    I used to think bedtimes were fluid things when I was a babysitter; I’d get the kids in bed at least before mom and dad got home. Now I just need my sanity. My 21 month old goes to bed at 8 on the dot. For now, it’s really lovely to have time alone with my 2 month old until I head off to bed myself, but soon she’ll be going to bed early, too. BTW, I still think babysitters should have some leeway with bedtime. A babysitter is as much a break for the kids as it is for the parents :o)

  19. Joe Fagerstedt says:


    This is great stuff. This particular entry is excellent, but all that you have written is awesome. I think I will be checking back on a frequent basis.