I take 3 of our girls to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 and I stay there with them until morning. Sometimes we read or watch some TV before falling asleep. They get up a million times to go to the bathroom, or downstairs to bug their dad for snacks and drinks. When they are asleep, I use my phone to read my own book or catch up on whatever show I'm behind on. Once a week, I leave the house and my husband gets to do it.
Lately, Kennedy has been having difficulty with nightmares and has been sleeping at the bottom of Stella's bed. When this started, I had a new appreciation for a family bed, or in our case, a family room. When I was a kid, I dreaded bed time. I was so scared to lay in my bed with the door closed. Every noise was some unknown monster coming to get me. Every night, I would lay in bed and wait for my mom to turn the tv off. When she did, I would slowly and quietly make my way out of my room, across the living room and into her bed. This took a while because if she woke up, she would send me back to my bed. I love that my children don't have to do that. They don't have to be afraid of the dark because I'm right there with them. Every time I start to doubt our nightly arrangements, someone will wake up in the middle of the night and say "mom?". When I answer, they go back to sleep. If my being there reassures them, I will do it until they go to college. Ok, maybe not.
Every couple of years, our sleeping arrangement changes. I won't always sleep with my children. Someday soon, Stella will be big enough for her own bed and Kennedy's nightmares will stop. I'll be back in bed with my husband and he'll have to finally address his apnea issues. For now, though, I will cherish this time and what makes us different from other families.
What does bedtime look like at your house? Do you get that coveted time to yourself before you go to bed? Do you or would you sleep with your kids?