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Save Your Marriage -- Get Your Child to Sleep

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Trouble with your spouse? Momlogic parenting expert Jill Spivack says your big problem is actually little. Find out what you can do to make things right at home.

Parents kissing kid

Jill Spivack: When we talk about marriage and relationships in my parenting groups, it's always fascinating to see that the parents whose kids go to sleep at a reasonable hour -- 7-8 PM -- seem to be happier and more fulfilled than those whose kids are up til 11:00 PM.

When kids go to sleep too late, parents simply don't have any time to refuel themselves or their relationships. It seems as though they're parenting 24 hours a day, and once the kids are asleep, the parents just conk out themselves. Too often, parents think they're doing their children a service by allowing them to do what they want in the bedtime arena. However, ultimately, if mom and dad fall apart, the children are the ones to suffer.

A happy parental marriage is one of the highest indicators of ultimate happiness in children. Without sleep, parents feel cranky with their children, with one another, and become resentful of the parental duties they're expected to perform day after day. They bicker over the simplest things, stop feeling connected, and very often are too exhausted to have sex.

Bottom line ... sleep deprivation can bring out the worst in everyone in the family. If the kids go to sleep early, you have time to reconnect with yourself and your spouse, which ultimately creates balance and harmony for everyone.

Need sleep? Connect with Jill Spivack in the Momlogic community.

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenny October 27, 2009, 6:41 AM

I’ve always wondered how parents survive when they put their kids to bed so late. My daughter is 4 and goes to bed at 7 and we absolutely savor the 3-4 hours we have together. Most nights we do things together and some nights my husband plays video games while I read next to him. Having that down time and time to feel like a couple is just so important. I would crash and burn without it.

Mother Nature October 27, 2009, 11:15 AM

As the mother of three, I can speak from experience that you can’t expect all children to behave like perfect little robots! This isn’t Stepford people! Children, like adults, have individual personalities and, just like adults, some of them are just wired to be night owls. I have two kids who fall asleep like clockwork no later than 9pm, and one who’s a night owl. Big deal. It just means parents need to start thinking out of the box (or bedroom since this article leads us to believe that the only happy marriages are those that are obsessed with sex)and find creative, fun ways to reconnect. If your relationship/marriage is ALL about the bed bouncing, it’s not going to last a lifetime anyway. There’s nothing wrong with staying up late on the weekend, waiting for the kids to zonk out and getting in a quickie some place exciting in the house, or outside if you can, to bring back that spark!

Heather October 27, 2009, 11:50 AM

Our marriage was absolutely saved when we starting putting the kids down at a reasonable hour. It was amazing the change in our entire life when we had those few hours alone!

KellyK October 27, 2009, 2:59 PM

Wow. Mother Nature is a little sensitive.

My toddler goes down at 8:30 which I think is late. I would prefer 8. and I LOVE the extra me time I get! Makes even getting organized for the next day so much easier.

Rachel October 27, 2009, 3:04 PM

In response to Mother Nature: Actually, this article doesn’t lead “us” to believe that only sex obsessed marriages are the happy ones. Read it again. Reconnection isn’t just about sex. Get your kids to be earlier and you have time to “refuel” which can look differently for different people. 9 pm is too late for young school kids. Period.

Jenny October 28, 2009, 11:30 AM

well at least we know that Mother Nature is having sex in fun and interesting places lol

Heidi November 1, 2009, 10:04 PM

I agree, all kids are different, as is true for parents as well. My 7 y/o is a wonderful sleeper, always has been. My two youngest (4 & 2) share a room, & my 4 y/o is high energy, so they need to be in bed early in order to settle down. I really enjoy the quiet time to myself to get ready for the next day & to simply breathe, lol! That is CRUCIAL for me right now, since my hubby is deployed.

GrannyPants November 1, 2009, 10:12 PM

I absolutely agree! Kids who stay up too late are also ill prepared to deal with early mornings at school later on down the road.

My own sanity was kids in bed at 7:30 and asleep by 8pm. How else could I have survived three little ones?

BetterThanYou November 10, 2009, 11:15 AM

Your marriage is in trouble because your kids don’t go to sleep when you want them to? Jesus christ on a cracker people. Why don’t some of you try to ENJOY your children instead trying to get them out of your way? So many parents are self absorbed ninnys these days. News flash, your kids are more important than you.

Mr Xrumer December 29, 2010, 6:37 PM

great posting love the site

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