To make matters worse, bedtime always seems to get away from us. Just about every night, we lose track of time and then realize that it was 9 p.m. and both kids still needed to take showers, pack their lunches, brush their teeth, etc. This just adds to the stress and drama of bedtime. It's around bedtime that I'm completely done parenting and ready for some adult time. And when bedtime doesn't go smoothly i feel like I'm going to explode. Plus, Mike and I we're struggling to get some decent alone time. Without a structured bedtime routine, we didn't have any time to do big people stuff together (like watching TV or reading).
But, Incame up with a plan. I decided to set an alarm on my phone, a reminder for when it's time to stop what we're doing and focus on bedtime. The alarm is set for 30 minutes before Cooper's actual bedtime and it gives us enough time to wind down, brush teeth, read and snuggle before lights out. Shelby gets an extra 30 minutes to stay up, but she has to be in her bed and relaxing from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
At first, it was bedtime was still bumpy, but now, when the kids hear the alarm go off, they stop what they're doing and head upstairs to start their bedtime routine.
Who knew a phone alarm could make such a difference? We have so much less drama and the adult of the house have a solid few hours of quiet, kid-free bonding time.