A routine for bedtime that is guilt free

guilt free betime

Let me start out by saying that I’m in no way claiming to be super mom or that I have it all together because I don’t.

I have however, found an idea that works for our bedtime routine. I thought it might be helpful for other parents who also struggle with the challenge of wanting to end your parental duties for the day but still want to spend time with your kids.

Some days us parents just want to get our kids to bed asap so we can have a break but we can also feel guilty for it.  The guilt for me would always come when they want to read for just a bit…… longer or want to hang out so that they can stay up just a bit ……longer.

I know it’s something I feel I should do but some nights I don’t honestly want to.  I just want them to just go to sleep so that I can get to the rest of what I needed or wanted to do that evening.

I really do enjoy our nightly routine of reading together and listening to everyone’s bedtime prayers.  I wish I would have recorded so many of the sweet heartfelt prayers I’ve heard them pray…but some nights I just want to fast forward….and then I feel guilty.

So we’ve added something to our routine that has taken away the guilt.

5 minutes of snuggle time with mom.

5 minutes on the clock.

No dad. Just mom.

After reading together as a family and prayers, dad leaves and sets the timer while the boys and I talk, share our dreams, and “the top 5 highlights of our day” while they snuggle with me.

As my boys are getting bigger, they are looking to their dad more as the hero… which I love….but sometimes I feel outnumbered and want to have something special with them too.

( I don’t enjoy watching sports all the time and I don’t have a desire to partake in the endless conversations about the players of different teams.)

I’ve had nights where 5 minutes of quality time has trumped a day of quantity time.  This has really helped create a special bond and routine for the boys and I.

I missed a bedtime shift while at a late meeting one evening and when I got home the boys were calling from their bedroom asking me to snuggle with them.

So I did… Adding 5 minutes to …their already WAY  past their bedtime….. didn’t seem to matter in the big scheme of things.

I know I will look back and be grateful for starting the 5 minutes sooner than later and will be hopeful that this tradition will last as long as possible.


What’s your bedtime routine with your kids? I would love to hear how make bedtime easier.



7 thoughts on “A routine for bedtime that is guilt free”

  1. This is a great idea – Not getting off work and home until nearly 6:30 plus hitting the gym makes me feel EXTREMELY guilty, leading to my kids being up wayy past their bed time which isn’t good for ANY of us. I’ve been talking about setting up a better routine and schedule and I think 5 minutes of quality time is a great idea – pretty soon they’ll be too big to want any one-on-one with Mama!

  2. I LOVE this idea! I am too wanting them to go to bed but at the same time I feel guilty…especially if it has been a hard day, short nap (or no nap). As a stay at home mom of 3 little ones (3, 2 and 6month), I feel pulled in all direction, and when 7:30 stikes…I just want them to go to bed, so I can have me time. I am definitely going to try this! We usually ready several books, a Bible story, say our prayers and then after I tuck in the 2 older girls,I tunt the light off and we sing a veggie tales goodnight song. EVERY night

  3. This is a wonderful routine! I am sure the boys will cherish this time with mommy for a long time!

    My son still nurses, so we always get cuddle time before bed. This will be a good thing to introduce when he weans since he is accustomed to that one on one time.

    Mary Beth

  4. What a great plan! We spend about 30 minutes at night reading and praying before bedtime. I love it! Currently we are reading “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table”, “Pilgrim’s Progress” and “Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes”! Night time is a wonderful snuggle time! Stoppin by from Thoughtful Thursday 🙂

  5. Great minds must think alike – I posted about bedtime today, then saw your post! 🙂 My idea started from the same feelings you have – torn between spending time with the kiddos and getting a little time for my own to-do’s and relaxation. We let the kids have a little independent time in their room. We’ve been just letting them look at books in their bed, but I am thinking about letting them do other quiet activities if they would like. It gives them time to unwind and become ready for sleep while also giving me time. We do jammies, stories together, etc. first, then give them some time. I figure I need that time to unwind before going to sleep, so it’s not a bad thing for them to learn early how to find that.

    Also, I put your blog on my list for the Reader Appreciation Award – feel free to check it out and play along if you would like! 🙂

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