Winning as a Parent

As a kid, the goal of a sleepover was always to see how late we could stay up. I remember around the ages of 8 or 9, the benchmark would always be 1:30 a.m. If we managed to stay awake until at least that time, the sleepover was a success. If we dozed off before then, we felt like we had something left to prove. Once the pre-teen and teen years arrived, it was all-nighter or bust.

Oh, how things change once you are an adult…especially a parent. These days, the name of the game is how early can we get in bed?

The cards are always stacked against you. For Sidney and I, first and foremost, we have two kids to put to sleep. Many times both will stay up longer than anticipated; other times, just one. But even if only one decides to come down with a case of insomnia it holds everything else up just in the same way as if both were wreaking havoc.

Can’t beat them? Sometimes you have to join them.

On some evenings, the cards will align and both children will fall asleep before 8 p.m. However, that doesn’t mean an automatic ticket to crawling in the straw. Household chores, preparing for the next day, catching up on projects, and even running errands can all delay my head hitting the pillow.

Then of course there are the times when we are our own worst enemies. We will watch our must-see shows, text non-stop in our family group thread, scroll TikTok endlessly, or find other ways to drain time on our phones. Additionally, for me, I normally write my blog post for the next day in the late evenings.

But just like a pitcher who takes a perfect game to the latter innings, sometimes it just all comes together. The kids go to bed early, there are no chores to be done, all our shows are re-runs, TikTok is boring, and all is quiet on the group thread. Although the smallest development could still derail an early evening, just like a bloop single ending the perfect game, sometimes it is meant to be.

Those nights when we find ourselves in bed by 9:30 p.m. bring a sweet sense of victory and accomplishment that only a parent can understand. Please don’t think we are lame. Don’t Blink.

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