What Time Do Your Big Kids (9-14) Go to Bed?

Bedtime was always one of the biggest topics on my blog when the kids were little. Sleeping training, how to establish a bedtime routine, transitioning your toddler from a crib to a big kid bed and how to get them to stay there voluntarily… There was no shortage of articles and advice on how much was the right amount of sleep, what time kids should be in bed and what to do if they couldn’t fall asleep on their own. I had it handled pretty well for awhile. We’d put them to sleep and have a full night ahead of us, for just Mike and me. Evenings after bedtime were the perfect time to binge watch grown-up TV and movies. We could even call a sitter, go out and the kids would not even know that happened!

But man, have times changed. Now, with a 9yo and a 12yo, they have almost the same bedtime we do. Harlow gets ready for bed at 8:30pm and usually falls asleep by 9pm. Mazzy stays up until god knows when. My goal is usually to make sure she’s asleep by 11pm. But sometimes, I fall asleep around 10pm and I’m not sure what happens after that.

I know this sounds crazy, but Mazzy’s got after school activities and then dinner and then homework and I don’t blame her for wanting a little free time to relax. Sometimes, she wants to come in our room for a little cuddle and some TV too. It feels important for her to have that time! But bedtime has gotten so late and I feel like I’m really neglecting my motherhood duties on the nights that I don’t see that she is fast asleep before I get myself in bed.

I think being in a larger apartment and Mazzy having her own room has worsened this situation, because back when she shared a room with Harlow, I had to manage both of their bedtimes together. And the apartment was so small, I knew exactly what was going on. If the light was on, when Mazzy was finished with her homework, etc. Now, Mazzy really is managing her own time. And not always well!

So. My question is… is this normal? How old are your kids and what does their bedtime look like? What time are they finally asleep? Are you hypervigilant about it? Or are they more on their own at this point? How do you make sure your kids are doing what they have to do to get their work done and get ready for bed when they have their own room?