The bedtime battles have become insane wars in this house.  It has consumed our daytime routines, our night time routines, and our overnight routines.

We have had enough!

So on Super Bowl Sunday, after having to cancel much anticipated plans with great friends because our children were so tired and unruly that we, literally, could not take them anywhere, we sat down and had a talk.  How can we get our kids to understand that bedtime is not punishment, nor an evil scheme to ruin their day, and certainly not a result of us not wanting to be around them?  And how, we wondered, could we get them to sleep through the night once and for all?

We brainstormed, wrote down ideas, threw balled up paper on the floor, and stared at each other blankly, hoping the other had the answers.  It was the most alone time my husband and I have had in years.  It was nice.

Our children, and their lack of sleep, inability to just go to bed, and game of revolving sleeping locations has about ruined our relationship!  It is so far beyond ridiculous that Supernanny would paddle our hands with a ruler and sternly say, “bad parents!  bad parents!”

So we thought and thought, laughed at a commercial, rewound the ones we liked, and then talked some more.

In the end, we had no answers.  No magical solution to our every growing exhaustion problem in this house.  No instant fix, no one hour show that ended with Mom and Dad learning that the do not have to be incarcerated with their children and can learn to be better parents.  No 8 Ball.

But we had an idea.  A spurt of green that might blossom into a garden of intelligence should we water it enough.  We would, for the first time in a very long time  – and by very long time I mean never – form a unified front.  We would take back the night, and our “marriage time”, one tiny step at a time.

We would stand together and fall together.  Celebrate the victories over our small, sleep deprived, offspring and support each other in the defeats.  Sacrifice our time together for a little while longer so that we can bond together and form a parental chain against insomnia, excuses, and tantrums.

Each of us has a child…  luckily, Megan is still pretty good about going to bed…  we would alternate nights, so that we could not fall victim to their ploys and wit when feeling our weakest.  We will sit, next to each other, quietly, in the dark hallway, until our designated child is asleep.  When they get up and run for freedom, we will take our designated tot and gently place them back in bed, with a kiss… not a threat.

The yelling will end, the spankings, and empty promises to remove property will fade into bad parenting memories as we slowly, gently, reteach our children something we thought they would be born with… the need to sleep!

When we are done and the war is won and new battles begin to move to the forefront, we will shake hands and congratulate each other on a job well done.  And reintroduce ourselves to each other.  And fall back in love.

Because if we don’t solve this problem now, our marriage will fall into the abyss of tired disconnect.  And we believe that we, and our girls, deserve better than that!