As you know I dont’ have any kids just my fur child (Cooper.) However for many people children are a big part of the marriage so I thought I would find someone who could give some advice about that side of the coin.
I want you to meet Ginger from Big Dreams for Simple Life. She has a great blog that you should deffinatly check out. Anyway on with the show:
Eric and I have been married for 7.5 years and the last two of those years have been as parents. Our daughter Caitlin is our absolute joy! We aren’t experts in marriage, not by far. But we care about our marriage and each other and in my opinion, that’s what matters.
When Amber asked me to write about what marriage is like after kids I was so excited! And then when I sat down to write, completely stumped. After weeks of mulling over what I would like to say, writing a couple of different posts, I asked my hubby what he thought. He thought the hardest thing about parenting is time and that I should write about making/finding time for one another and for yourself. And that has brought me to the importance of bedtime.
I have insisted on an early bedtime for Caitlin from the very beginning. Once she started settling into a regular sleeping pattern she would go to bed at 6:30, and aside from waking shortly for feedings, would sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. For a while when she was waking regularly at 6:30, my husband wanted to move her bedtime back hoping she would sleep in. But I had my doubts. The few times she did stay up later, she woke up at the same time. After researching into child sleep I found out that this was normal. Kids are going to wake up at the same time regardless of if you let them stay up late or not. And they need their sleep. Ok, so why is all that important to marriage? I’ve got two reasons.
First, a well rested baby makes for better, less cranky days and a better, less stressed mommy. Not that I mean to, but I’ve noticed on tough days with Caitlin, I am less kind and willing to connect with my hubby when he comes home. All I want is for him to take over kid watching duty and give me a break. And let’s be honest, who really wants to come home to a cranky kid and stressed out wife? However, when Caitlin and I have had a fun and happy day, I am in a pleasant mood and can better relate to my husband. Then we have a better evening as a family too.
Second, when Caitlin goes to bed for the night, that is often the only time my hubby and I get just to ourselves. Sure, there are the usual ideas for nights out, babysitters and family, but as a married couple you really need a little down time to connect daily. Now that Caitlin is nearly two, we begin her bedtime routine of bath, books, bed at 7:00 and she’s usually asleep between 7:45 and 8:00. That time from 8 until 10 or 10:30, when we usually go to bed, is precious time when Eric and I can talk about our day, watch tv that doesn’t involve singing dinosaurs, play a game, or whatever we feel like doing kid free. That is our daily reconnect time.
So, I encourage anyone with kids to set an early bedtime. It’s so important for the health of your child and for your marriage.