(Baby Center) – My kids are officially back to school next week, which means it’s time for me to rein in the absolute chaos that passes for summer bedtime routines around here.

Even on a good day, in the dark of winter and the depths of the school year, I seriously struggle with bedtime. During the summer, though, when the light lingers on past 10:00pm and the cool evening breeze beckons from the front yard, forget about it. All bets are off. Who can sleep when there are bubbles to blow and sidewalk chalk masterpieces to create?

Part of the challenge during the long school months is that my husband and I both work. When we get home at 6:00p.m. each night we dive head-first into the nightly routine of dinner and baths and homework and whatever after-school activities we’ve got lined up. There are PAC meetings to attend, soccer practices to coach, piano lessons to endure.

And, as it turns out, we actually want to spend some time with our children! I absolutely hate those night when it feels like I get home, stuff a meal – or two bites, depending on how they feel about the menu – into their little mouths, rush them off to practice, hose them down afterward and then send them to bed. I want to ride bikes up and down the alley, take an evening walk down to the corner store, maybe even play a game of My Little Ponies. Dream big, right?


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