Tip#5 Set and stick to bedtime routines and expectations
Bedtime is a blessing and a curse sometimes. So, Jenne, remember to establish bedtime routines and stick to them as best you can. Oh, but more important: explain the expectations to your sweet soon-to-be-snoring child. This is especially important with the three and four year olds who are no longer in cribs and have a long list of reasons to make their bedtime extend dangerously close to Mommy's bedtime.
With that wonderful almost-three-year-old, I do the typical: Jammies on, go potty, brush teeth, read books in bed...oh and then one last sip of water, and a kiss and mommy whispers this week's memory verse in his ear. We smile. I do a "nosy-nosy," he kisses both my cheeks. I kiss both his cheeks. I take time to enjoy him and let him know he is precious to me.
Then before the light goes out, the expectations are set: "When I turn this light out it will be the last time I hear your voice, right? What does bedtime look like? Your head is on your pillow, right? And your mouth is quiet, right? And your body is still, right? Right! And what happens if I need to come in after this? Yup. Mommy has to spank you. That will be sad, huh. Sure hope we don't need to do that. But don't worry, I will if I need to. Love you and goodnight, sweetie!"
And then I follow through, just like I said I would. Because being a mom means doing just that!