Child rearing can often be a hard task; from the moment your little one arrives into this world and into your loving arms, you know your adult responsibilities are about to increase by tenfold. Gone are the days when you can just crack open a bottle of beer and sit in front of the television for hours on end watching adult oriented shows. You no longer just have a responsibility towards yourself, but now you have parenting responsibilities towards your child who needs constant supervision and attention from the moment you hear their first cry in the morning till the final struggle of putting them to bed in the wee hours of the evening, despite their unmatched resistance to stay up and build Lego houses all night.
As a father of a 4-year-old, who has been struggling to keep his son’s sleep schedule on track, I can confidently say that no child likes going to bed. There is something about the dark of the night that suddenly breathes new life into my child; he no longer complains about being tired or bored as he does during the day time – on the contrary, he will do anything to avoid going to bed. All the toys that he accused of being boring at lunch time, suddenly become the prime focus of his attention after dinner time. After putting up with his dinner-time tantrums and tricking him into eating his vegetables, I will have to put up with his bed-time tantrums as well, trying to coax him into putting his toys away and (slightly) threatening to not let him use the iPad if he does not comply, bribing him with his favorite dessert if he promises to go brush his teeth afterwards and running after him for a few minutes to finally get him to the bedroom. Sigh.
Parenting is hard. There’s nothing like a concerned dad barking orders at his adorable son to get him to put away his nightly business of building important Lego houses that could convince anyone that he would grow up to work for Trump’s real estate business, but the daily ritual of cuddling in bed with my son and reading him bed time stories just to hear the words, “I love you daddy” makes all the effort worthwhile. And if I’m lucky enough to get him to sleep early, I can finally enjoy a few hours of long-forgotten freedom after a hard day of child-rearing where I simply sit back with a bottle of chilled beer and have some adult time to myself. Those glorious hours are never easy to come by, but when they do, they truly feel like a light at the end of a long parenting tunnel.