Friday, March 25, 2011

Deep Breath

The inner control freak in me is trying to stay calm.

However, that control freak is pretty strong willed. But it's trying to keep things in perspective.

Here's the thing:
I keep Kaylee (my oldest, 7) on a pretty regular schedule.

(And any parent that has ever cracked open a parenting book has read about KEEPING A SCHEDULE or MAINTAINING A ROUTINE and how ESSENTIAL it is for your child's development.)

While I don't think a schedule or a routine is a life or death situation, I do think that it's pretty important.

For my child in particular, a sleep schedule is necessary. Much to my dismay, she wakes up every day by 7:00am. And in order for her to get all the sleep that a growing kid needs, she needs to be in bed by 8:30, so she's asleep by 9:00 or so.

And no, she doesn't compensate for staying up late by sleeping late. She can go to bed at 8:30 or 11, and she's still up and at 'em at 7:00 in the morning.

But trust me, she needs her sleep. My usually sweet child becomes cranky pants mcgee if she does not get adequate rest. It's not limited to just crankyness either - it's a total emotional upset. Easily frustrated, easily angered, apt to cry at the littlest thing. It's not pretty. 

So needless to say, I honor her bedtime as an important and necessary thing. My husband and I are both fully on board with making sure we don't let other things interfere with bedtime.

Unfortunately, we have some grandparents who totally don't respect bedtime.
Who thinks it's fun to take her to the late movie.
Who thinks it's ok to stay up late watching TV. 
Who thinks it's totally harmless to let her stay up hours past her bedtime.
Who gets to give Kaylee back the next morning and not see the effect the lack of sleep has had on her.

And it drives me CRAZY!! 

I've reminded them that bedtime is 8:30 and asked repeatedly that she gets to bed at a decent time and shared why I think it's necessary.
Smiles and nods ensue.

And then time and time again, I get a little sleep deprived monster coming home to me, instead of the good-natured Kaylee that I dropped off.

And I hate that they totally disregard my requests. 

Yes, I know it's a little thing, and they'd never do anything to harm my child.
I also try to look at it from the perspective that grandparents get to spoil kids and that kids get to have fun and different (less) rules when they visit grandma or grandpa.

But still.

Because of these issues, I never want to let Kaylee go stay the night with her grandparents. I'm all for letting her have quality time with them, but I don't want to allow the sleepover.

What do you think? Is my frustration justified? Or am I overreacting? Do I need to relax about it and just be glad for the time they have together? Be honest! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

25 comments:

  1. I'm on bored with you. They may be the grandparents (aka "spoilers"), but you are the parent. If they love YOU and YOUR CHILD, they will respect your wishes.

    I agree routine (with some flexibility, of course) is essential. Sounds to me like sleep time isn't optional, but necessary!

    She'll have plenty of time to stay up late later in life. For now...let her sleep!

    Besides, for me, kids-in-bed is the only time I can anything done. Oh wait. That's supposed to secondary.

    Uh...I'm guessing "the grandparents" don't read your blog? ;)

    Sophisticated Steps

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  2. I am HARDCORE schedule queen!!! It's vital, like you said, and I think you're fully justified. If it were me I'd clearly let them know that you DO think special treats are wonderful and that you recommend a fun little ice cream or a trip to the dollar store for a goody but that staying up late is simply not an option. Especially since your hubby agrees (such a blessing isn't it?) then I think it's FINE to say that if they won't follow your rules on this then she can't sleep over anymore. :) Good luck!!!

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  3. Granted, my oldest is only 3, but I am a firm believer in bedtime/nighttime being home time. For the reasons you mentioned and others. The only time Gemma has spent the night away from us is the night Kolbe was born.

    There are times (fairly rare) that she is up later than her usual bedtime, and since she still naps we're able to compensate with a longer nap/letting her sleep a bit later in the AM (which she will sometimes do), but her little body just gravitates toward a sleep schedule of about 10.5-11 hours at night (9pm is when we leave her room typically to 8am) and I know that is what is best for her because YES, if she is low on sleep watch. out.

    That's tough with the grandparents. Bleh. Like I said, my inclination at this point in my parenting is just keeping them home at night. But who knows. Good luck, I feel for you.

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  4. I agree with you. Unforuntely, I have the same problem, but different. My dad seems to think he can let my oldest daught eat WHATEVER treats she wants, but too much sugar for any kid? Not a good idea, especially mine. He refuses to listen and says he is grandpa and can do whatever he wants. So, needless to say...he doesn't get to spend time with her alone since he won't abide by my rule.

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  5. Ok I'm going to do what I do best and go agaist everyone else :+) here's the deal.

    I 100% agree with you that having a schedule is important and if its on a school night there should be NO breaking that rule by anyone. That being said if its a weekend and she's spending the night at her grandparents... then I think its ok.

    I had wonderful grandparents that indeed spoiled the crap out of me... I can remember staying up past midnight with my grandpa eating icecream. These are some of my most special memories and if I would have been forced a bedtime time at their house wouldn't have felt so special. So my advice would be go easy on them if its the weekend... after all those are memories Kaylee with remember forever "breaking the rules" but I wouldn't allow it on a school night :+)

    Good Luck XO...

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  6. If your daughter didn't seem affected by not getting as much sleep one night, then I'd let it slide. But if she's obviously upset/cranky, then it's not worth it. They need to be respectful of your rules. Period.
    By the way...I've only tried the Garlic Gold once so far but I like it!

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  7. I'm not really hard core about a lot of scheduled things, however I am a bit strict when it comes to my daughter's sleeping routine, simply because, just like yours, she makes my life miserable if she doesn't get her sleep. I don't think that you are exaggerating, and I think that they should respect your decision, even if they don't agree with it. The fact that they won't respect my rules for my daughter is something that would make me more upset than the lack of sleep.

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  9. No fun. :( I think its normal for grandparents to bend the rules but only to a point.... maybe before no sleepovers are enforced you should explain you're leaning towards that decision because of "XYZ..."
    We don't really have that problem with Aubrey because if she stays up later than she'll also sleep later but....
    I've never been more mad than when I put Aubrey in time out only to have "someone" pull her right out of time out because they felt it was too harsh. Or when Aubrey won't eat (we have problems with that area) and I know it has nothing to do with her disliking the food or her not being hungry and having "someone" tell her its ok and excusing her from them table.... (I'd like to note I have AMAZING in-laws and parents despite what that paragraph sounds like)

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  10. Honestly I'd have a hard time answering this question personally. I have similar issues with our set of grandparents. But In the end I don't say anything because I feel it's their time and I don't want to take away from that. If they were doing it just out of spite or it was causing my children harm I'd have an issue but for the most part it seems they aren't meaning harm. Not to mention I am the WORST at keeping a schedual, so to me it would be almost hypocritical to make them do something I myself have a hard time with. Not for the lack of trying though, I'm doing good to get the boys bathed, fed and in bed by 9. Also I didn't have grandparents who were able to do things with us when my brother and I were growing up, so to me it's extra specail that they'd be willing to spend quality time together. I've learned to accept the ups and the downs because in the end it's good for them to spend that time with their grandparents. ~ Hugs because I do know the frustration behind it though! :)

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  11. Well, I totallllly agree with you sleep is important, Landon has had the same bed time since he was a few months old, we rarely miss his bed time, buttt....I'm kinda Mrs. Adventure, I have VERY fond memories of spending the night at my grandparents, staying up late, eating fun things, and watching TV shows that I normally wouldn't be allowed too, it was such a treat and so much fun! Those are memories that I will never forget. I really don't think stopping the sleep overs all together is the answer. I <3 you girl!! I hope you get this figured out!!

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  12. I cannot believe this - I just typed a novel and went to post it and there was an error! UGH! I will try to remember what I'd said!

    We struggle with the exact same thing with one of Ira's sets of grandparents. It used to make me absolutely furious (especially when he was younger.) He would be a wreck the next day, and he's not the type to sleep in either. So we'd talk and things would be better for awhile, and they'd start slipping again.

    Over the years though, I have come to a certain peace about it, because I too have VERY fond memories of special nights spent at my grandparents' houses watching TV past bedtime, eating ice cream before bed, etc. And I'm sure I was a monster to deal with the next day too. But I want Ira to have those memories too. Now there's obviously a trade off (he's also a monster the next morning - but it usually subsides by lunchtime/quiet-time) but it's a trade-off that I'm willing to accept.

    We dealt with this exact thing this morning (they watched he and Ruby last night so we could go see my new nephew - so they put them to bed and we came and got them around 10:15.) He was complaining this morning about how he was so tired and grumpy, so I put it back on him, "Well why do you think you're so tired, Ira?" I kid you not he says, "well, probably because I stayed up till 9 o'clock last night." So I said, "Well what do you think you can do about that next time?" And he says "Probably go to bed at 8 o'clock next time." So I said, "That sounds like a great idea! You should tell Grandma next time that you need to go to bed at 8 o'clock so that you're happy in the morning!" Now, am I expecting that to stick 100% the first time? No. But I'm guessing that over time, he's going to decide whether it's worth it or not to stay up late.

    Basically, what this long (LONG) comment boils down to is that you and Wayne need to decide what YOU are comfortable allowing. If that involves letting grandparents have their way, so be it. If that involves explaining to grandparents that the bedtime thing is very important to you and that if she doesn't start getting to bed on time, that overnight visits will have to end, so be it. You are her parents and you are entitled to make the decision of how much you are willing to give. Good luck - this parenting thing isn't easy!

    God bless, friend!

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  13. Hi, I would've responded on the comment you left on my blog but wanted to make sure you saw it. I got the tutu's from an etsy shop called Pigtails and Pearls.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/pigtailsandpearls

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  14. I'm with you on this! It is no fun having a cranky kid all day.

    Maybe you should let her sleep over, but stay the whole next day so they can see for themselves :)

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  15. I am all about a schedule. I am a bit flexible or I am trying to be but I still like a schedule I find it is a road map so if you get side tracked you know where to get back on. I catch a lot of crap from people for this but it makes me happy!

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