Bedtime Duties

Christopher and I didn’t read enough books this week for me to write a Juvenile Pile post for 2 reasons.

  1. We’re continuing with The BFG and Little Shaq Takes a Chance.
  2. I only put him to be 2 nights this week because we had a babysitter and because of how Jim and I split bedtime duties.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain our system. It took us many years to settle on it, but I think it works really well for us.

When Christopher was much younger we didn’t really have a system at all. We had a bedtime routine of course, but we didn’t have a system for figuring out who would put him to be when. I honestly can’t remember much before we moved in 2012. So we’ll start there.
When we first moved, we tried all being involved in bedtime if Jim and I were both home. But we quickly learned that Christopher would try to play us off of each other (even at 2 years old), so we decided to alternate nights for bedtime. This every other night deal lasted for a couple of years, but it was complicated. If I had plans on Wednesday, and Jim had already done bedtime the night before, then we’d try to swap nights. We couldn’t assign bath night as certain days of the week because then what if someone was always giving him a bath. We have a serious obsession with fairness and equal parenting in our house.
So, finally sometime when Christopher was 4 I think, I came up with the brilliant idea of assigning specific days of the week to each of us. I think the only reason we didn’t do this sooner was that there is an uneven number of days in the week. To be magnanimous, I said I’d do the extra day as long as I never had to handle bedtime on Sunday nights. I am super cranky on Sundays after weekends without alone time. My introverted head rears something fierce on Sunday nights. 
We decided that Jim would do bedtime on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I would take Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Jim plays video games with friends online on Monday nights, and he often goes out on Thursday nights. I have book club meetings on Wednesdays (and at the time I also had girls nights on Tuesdays once a month). From then on it was super easy for us to make plans with our friends because we always knew which nights we were free. Genius, right?! 
The only trading came into play when one of us was out of town. If we got a babysitter, then that person just didn’t have to handle bedtime that night – no trading to make up for it like we’d done before. Another reason I didn’t mind Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is that we usually have babysitters on those nights because of monthly game nights or date nights on the weekend.
A few months ago we switched Mondays and Tuesdays because Jim wanted to start going to a weekly game night with some new friends, but since my girls nights haven’t been happening, it worked out fine. He is able to put Christopher to bed before he plays online with his friends.
Because we only have one child, this schedule works well for us. I know our friends with two children usually both do bedtime duty and each take one kid. 
Anyway, all this to say because we had a babysitter on Tuesday night this week, I didn’t read with Christopher until Thursday night (after I wrote this post).
How do you handle bedtime? Do you still have a long bedtime routine? Do you love or hate putting your kids to bed?
On the blog last year…

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  1. I always wonder how parents handle bedtime duty haha. It definitely helps to just have one kid, but I suppose it could be easy with 2, like you said! I think it makes sense to do certain days of the week based on your schedules.

  2. 3 kids but bedtime is the easiest part of my day: I don't do it! It's all my husband, every night (unless he's out for something or working, which happens a few times a month.)

    I do mornings, always, so if he's not working he sleeps in. He'd rather always take bedtime and never have to get up and get them breakfast/deal with them in the morning.

    Oh, the other exception: when my kids were still nursing I'd do an evening nurse / get them in pj's and put them down myself, but once they're weaned they're all daddy's. šŸ™‚

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