How to Cope With a Dream When You Are Raising Children Alone

If you are a parent of young children, you probably face your nightly sleep routine with some degree of dread. There are so many things to do, moving, slippery places, hyperchildren, and hygiene hazards (see Bath water, drinking) to deal with – plus an unprecedented appetite for chaos and delays that seems to come as soon as the retreat countdown begins. to sleep.

I have bare cartwheels in my house, chases in the hallway that sound like a crush, and enough screams to hurt my eardrum. All the while, I have nurtured a base concern that the kitchen is not cleaned in the afternoon, and that will be waiting for me when all this cacophony ends around 9 pm. And this on a quiet night with minimal fights.

The only thing worse than trying to manage all the frantic energy as part of a pretty battered parenting team? On one’s own. We welcome single parents who do this day in and day out – you’ve probably mastered this game a long time ago. However, for those who are forced to sleep alone due to the occasional absence of a spouse, here are some tips to help you get safely to the other side of sleep.

Start your sleep routine early

If you and your partner can do this together in 45 minutes, you should set aside at least an hour and a half to do it yourself. Expect the whole thing to take longer, and set aside twice as long as usual. Then, instead of racing with an unattainable deadline and absorbing the quiet worry that you are falling behind and no one can wake up tomorrow, you can relax the choke hold in time and stay in shape with every hold.

Prepare everything

When you are outnumbered, preparation is your best friend. Young children faced with unwanted sleep always get up to shenanigans, but you’ll save yourself the trouble by making transitions quickly. Prepare your bedrooms and have everything you need on hand. Collect all diapers, braces, lotion, and creams. Turn on the mufflers, close all curtains, pull off the blankets, and turn on the bedside lamps. Make sure you have the necessary hair brushes, toothbrushes, and toothpaste on hand. Some parents recommend putting all the necessary items on the crib. But in our experience it doesn’t work as well as the following suggestion.

Prepare them completely in the bathroom

If your bathroom is big enough to accommodate everyone, consider it your control center. Once the crew has entered, no one can leave until they finish training. Bring all the accessories to the bathroom, close the door and don’t open it again until you have brushed the last tooth. Because in my house, when one naked heenie breaks free, this is the beginning of the end of my reign as a person who supposedly controls the situation.

Consolidate activities

Combine actions whenever possible. Place two children in the same bathtub, read books together, and ask the older child to help the younger one brush their hair or teeth. If two children can do the same activity, ask them to do it together. Of course, it doesn’t always work out if three children of different ages curl up for a story. (In my house, the youngest loses interest and begins to climb over people in an attempt to harm.) It may make sense to read to the two youngest children while the older (children) reads or draws themselves.

Or numb them

Depending on the age and temperament of your children, it might make sense to delay getting ready for bed. While one is swimming, the other is watching the show (then vice versa). Maybe the oldest will get a few extra minutes in their favorite educational computer game (Dream Box, Freckle, etc.), while the two younger ones will get a head start in the bath. For me, the most important element of overwhelming is keeping the two most energetic kids apart from each other. Those who quarrel, flop or fall into hysterical giggles are best suited to the word “diaper”, I break up for as long as possible.

Use rewards (and timers)

While not ideal, a little extra screen time can go a long way towards making solo sleeping alone more bearable. In our house, we chat like gingerbread shows before bed to get them moving faster. Whoever is ready first gets the show’s first choice. (It’s all the easier if each of them has a personal device.)

Don’t be afraid to use a timer. You can set it up for showering, pajamas and brushing your teeth, or when all TVs / iPads need to be turned off. If you don’t like more screen time, use a visual aid such as a sticker table or a bedtime checklist . You can set a target time for them to complete all tasks, and set aside 10 extra minutes for their favorite activities when that target time is reached.

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