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being there for bedtime…

Being there for bedtime

Being there for bedtime

These days I can't say I'm the most social butterfly. I've learned that I don't have to say "yes" to every party, every invite, or every instance that someone asks to hang out. Sure, I'd love to go to everything. But I can't. And I choose what's worth it. Life with two kids has finally gotten a bit better (the first year was INSANE and I cried a lot). We're (mostly) in the swing of things, we have our new routine, and I'm able to take a bit of "me time" to have dinner with friends or go out and be social when I can. But I really limit what I say yes to and what I'll go out to.

My main thing is that I have to (need to) be there for bedtime, and all of my plans are based around that. I say no to 99% of things that conflict with bedtime and worry that I might seem lame for saying "no". But it's unless I am out of town for work or there's something exceptional going on, I plan date nights with my husband, dinner with friends, or any social events around my kids' bedtime. All of my friends know that once 7pm hits, I am free. But not a minute before. Often, I'm tired and eager to get them to bed because I am ready for some moments of peace, but it's often that time right before those moments of peace where the best parts of the day live. Seeing their sleepy faces, being part of the getting them bathed, PJ'ed, and off to dream about whatever kids dream about is such a treasured part of my day. 

I kiss their faces 25 times, I say goodnight…and just as I am about to close the door, Ruby whispers, "Mama, you're going to be home all night, right? Are you going to leave the house while I'm sleeping?"

Ha. Caught in the act.

{iPhone photo of sleepy Coco at 14 months}


  1. Ha, how cute. Ruby knows what mischief you are upto once they go to sleep 🙂 It’s great to hear that you have prioritized things around your kids bedtimes. It can be difficult specially since its bang in the middle of the evening. Do they usually fall asleep quickly or it takes a while to put them to sleep? Do you read to them?

  2. What a sweet post. Yay for early bedtimes. You could totally go out for a late dinner or even just dessert afterwards.

  3. Bedtime in your house sounds completely different than bedtime in my house! Maybe your next post can tell us about your magical bedtime rituals that end promptly at 7pm (that’s not sarcastic, I’ll take any advice I can get!). I have 3 kids 6 and under and I liken bedtime to whack-a-mole. I travel a ton for work and while I don’t look forward to being away from my kids, I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s something really nice about not having to deal with the madness of bedtime every once in awhile.

  4. Hi Shruti,
    Our kids are pretty good sleepers so we start bath at 6:30pm and by 7pm it’s lights out and in bed. They usually fall asleep within 15 minutes after we leave the room. Yes, we read one book before bedtime to Ruby (Coco isn’t in to books yet so she just waddles around the room while Ruby reads a story.)

  5. Isn’t the first year with two INSANE?!? I also cried a lot. My little one is now 20 months, and I can tell you firsthand that it gets easier and easier every month past age 1. You’re there!!
    And I’m the exact same. Bedtime is precious. I work full time and bedtime (though frustrating sometimes with the “I’m thirsty! One more book! One more story!”) is the BEST time of my day! I plan everything for after 7, too 🙂

  6. My son is 4 and every night at bedtime asks when mommy and daddy will go to bed. They totally know! Some nights when we have to go out are harder on me than them, but he always asks if I’m coming home to sleep with daddy or not. Ha!

  7. You shouldn’t feel guilty for saying “no” to events. I think all parents (especially with young kids) can relate! Our kids are only young for a short span of time. Your friends will be there when your social life takes a different turn. Thanks for sharing, Joy.

  8. I totally get this (mama to an 11-month old here!). I just want to say that I’m jealous that your kids have a 7:00 bedtime. We’re at 8:00 here, but I would pretty much kill for that extra hour. 😉

  9. Love this post, Joy! I am in the same boat as you… a 3 year old daughter and my baby is two weeks younger than Coco. Last year was one of the hardest ever (I cried A LOT too!) But, we survived and now we’ve got our groove. 7PM is the magical time for us too and I’m with you, I treasure it so much (for the precious sleepy kids AND the me time! 🙂 You are such an inspiration- an entrepreneur, an incredible designer, blogger, AND, most importantly, an AWESOME mother! I don’t know how you do it, but you rock! Keep doing what you do and enjoy that beautiful family and all of your successes!

  10. I’m not quite at the parenting stage yet, but I totally understand where you’re coming from when you say you don’t need to say ‘yes’ to every social event. It’s taking me time to learn how to say no, but I’ve learnt that my priorities lie in other places now, and not necessarily to dish out big bucks to go out and constantly socialize.

  11. Hey Lisa,
    It’s so good you’ve gotten to a good place with that now. It took me a while to feel okay saying no and worried I’d hurt people’s feelings but you’re right about how good it is to feel okay about it!!

  12. With a 16 mo old and a 2.5 year old, I totally understand the craziness of two, and the magic of bedtime. I hate missing my kids last couple hours of the day, and do the same as you, schedule around it as much as possible. Wouldn’t have it any other way! It is definitely an adjustment to say no, but it’s a good one and like others have said, it’s not forever.

  13. I’m expecting my second in a couple months, and expect a huge monkey wrench thrown into our routine. Our three year told sleeps quite a bit later since we get done with dinner closer to eight. But I agree that the rituals of bath time, reading, tucking in are so important. I say no to practically everything except for really big events when she sleeps over at her aunt’s or grandparents’. Never enough hours in the day, so every moment with them counts!

  14. I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who makes bedtime a sacred event in our home. All those party animals don’t know what they’re missing by being out and about. 😉

  15. So cute… Thanks for sharing! I can totally relate! My son who is 3.5 years old will always ask, “Will you be home all night?” It’s so sweet that at this age they really feel more secure when we are near them. I know they may not always want us so close by… *tear*

  16. Wow!! Such a beautiful blog,i have read after a long time which reminded me of my motherhood. Feeling +ve to read this blog…Thanks..Keep on writing such beautiful blogs…Cheers!!


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