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Thoughts on Motherhood

May 8th, 2011 at 09:42 am

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is divine because we have absolutely no plans. (It's been a while!)

Though I think a do-nothing day is rather divine, we mostly celebrated yesterday (took my parents out to dinner), and plan to go on a beach hike next Saturday. Next weekend just worked better for the hike.

Going out to dinner was certainly nicer the night before the big day!

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Dh and I had an interesting discussion yesterday which I think clarifies our experience.

I don't remember how the topic came up, but I mentioned that several of the kids' friends had 7:00 bed times. (For reference, we are lucky if our kids sleep 9pm - 6am! & it's better now that they have school - they slept even less at night when they were little).

Anyway, I was telling dh that was probably why one of BM's friends had quit track (they practice until 8:00, and the mom had told me many times it was a bit late for them). I rattled off names of kids who sleep at 7:00 - because was skeptical that kids really go to bed that early.

Then he says - "Wait - all those parents work. Yikes! They really don't get to spend a lot of time with their kids during the week. Dinner and then bedtime?"

Seems like a simple observation, and probably something I have thought of before in past instances. But, it is an interesting point. I get such weird reactions often, to being a working mom. I try to be positive and think that people are pushing back to their own negative working experiences. Otherwise, it is really easy to take offense to the endless stupid comments.

But dh is right. It's more than just negative working experiences. Here I am thinking that people are just insane and condescending, but maybe their kids go to bed at 7pm too, and they just can't wrap their brain around working and spending quality time with their kids.

I think it's important to remember that in the future.

It relates to my whole experience as a working mom. I have no idea what everyone else is freaking out about, most of the time.

On the flip side, I think this story illustrates the point that you often have to be flexible and creative as a parent. Because if your kids go to bed at 7pm or 9pm, each sounds like a VERY different experience. If you think I Could simply will my kids to stay up late or go to bed early - HA! If they were "7pm bedtime" types, I'd probably push for an earlier work schedule, myself. It's always been a fine balance of molding them to our schedule while being cognizant of what kind of schedule they thrive on. I don't think either of us likes the fact that they are usually wide awake before 6am, but they sleep well and are well adjusted. & I need that 9pm-10pm hour to unwind, myself. (Though often I go to bed before the kids do!) Which is how we settled on 9pm. Any earlier and they wake up to dang early! So, is what works for us, for now.

When BM was a baby, he just slept most the time that I was at work. I never *got* what all the other moms found so unfortunate about my schedule. I never felt like I missed anything. No doubt he slept while I Was at work because he preferred nursing to the bottle. So it just kind of evolved. The whole experience to me was always, "So what's the big deal???"

6 Responses to “Thoughts on Motherhood”

  1. zetta Says:

    If your DH had loved his job and not been laid off, do you think one of you would've stayed home or would you have both been working parents?

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Good question. We both thought it was important for a parent to stay home, but neither of us particularly wanted to be that parent.

    If his job situation was really different, I think we would have both worked. I probably would have gone a part-time route, which I think would have worked just fine for us. I know a lot of 2-part-time working parents and have often thought that was really the ideal. I could have stayed home easily a year or more per child. That might have been a good compromise.

    That said, even today, I don't particularly see the point of us both working full-time. So I don't see that as a choice we would make.

    My spouse hasn't particularly chosen to be home all this time. He has looked for jobs since we have had kids.

  3. jewels3 Says:

    My kids have 7pm bedtimes on school nights. I don't work and my husband works at home 100% of the time. They are 11 and 12.

    Well, we start the process at 7. My daughter (12) is usually tucked in by 7:20 and reads until 8:00. I read a minimum of 20-30 min each night to my son, and then tuck him in by 8:00. I have tried extending their bedtimes but it makes for crabby children the next day.

  4. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Nope, 7pm is too early.
    1. Not a chance with a kid 13 or over. He just tosses and turns and is counterproductive. Both he and my husband have about 1/2 hour or so Three stooges or some such dumb old TV around 8 to 8:30. It lets both of them destress.

    2. 8Embarrassmento or 8:30 for the 11 y.o. Earlier when she has been short on rest due to extracurricular activities, later when she is already rested. And certainly some light reading before turning out the lights when it's earlier.

    I am very big on all of us getting enough sleep; 8 hours adults and 9-10 for the kids. Why? Cause I am really really grouchy when I'm tired!! kinda like how they have to wear a sweater when I'm cold Big Grin
    HOW on earth can a person sleep when it's broad daylight out anyway until 9pm. sheesh

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    Some of the comments remind me that my kids sleep VERY well. My kids are snoring within minutes (seconds?) of their head hitting the pillow, and they can both sleep through anything. I suppose this makes them very efficient sleepers. Just makes me wonder how much of earlier bed times include time for winding down, etc.

    Don't get me wrong - I Was a "sleep 12 hours a night" kind of kid though I never had any trouble sleeping. I think it just can be so different for every family.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    We let AA tell us when she's tired; she has a wide range between 7:30 and 9 p.m. Truth be told, sometimes NT pushes it a bit because there are a couple of days he doesn't really get to see her because of class. So yeah, it's a little emotionally difficult for him, as you surmise. But he'll have the summer off from school and be able to pick her up from daycare every evening, and play with her more on weekends since he won't have homework.

    She could probably be convinced to go down at 7:30 or 8 every night. I like 8:30 best because she's an 11-hour sleeper and 7:30 is when I like her to be ready to get up to leave for daycare. But she's really pretty easy if we have to cut her sleep short a tiny bit, and occasionally she likes to sleep 12, 12.5 hours, so even that's not really regular.

    BTW we never imposed a bedtime; when she was a baby we'd put her down whenever we went to bed (anywhere from 9 to midnight) just so she'd be in the bedroom with us. Sometimes she was awake and sometimes not. She's the one that decided she'd be going to bed before 9 most nights. LOL.

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