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Family dynamics

27th Sep 2023

Is it unfair to put my toddler to bed early when I’m sick?

Looking after your sick child is not easy, but what do you do when you’re the one who isn’t well?

One mum was left reeling with mum guilt after admitting she wanted to put her children to bed early because she was feeling so unwell. She needed a breather and a break, but the mum guilt made her question her decision.

She told Reddit that her 17-month-old and four-year-old usually go to bed at around 7.30 pm but she wanted to change their bedtime.

“For the past few days, I have been experiencing extreme headaches that are radiating down the back of my neck, and moving my head at all just hurts so much.”

The mum said she feels completely miserable and she is struggling to parent because of her illness.

“I can’t sleep from the pain. I’m 99% sure it’s from all the stress I’m dealing with right now and dehydration but I’m trying to drink as much as I can. I’ve just been miserable.”

She admitted that she doesn’t know if she can “do another full day of screaming and whining and tantrums and messes tomorrow”.

The mum said she has no help and her nearest family is over two hours away.

The family who live close to her are also disabled so they can’t care for the children.

“My husband works the night shift so he sleeps during the day,” she explained.

The mum is considering putting her children to bed an hour early so she can look after herself.

“I guess I’m just wondering if it would be bad to put my kids to bed early and if so how early is okay? The earliest I have ever put them to bed is 6:30 and that doesn’t happen very often.”

“They end up going to bed late more than early. They would be fed and watered an appropriate amount of course. I just feel so guilty even considering it,” she said.

Many parents agreed that the mum shouldn’t feel bad whatsoever and doing this will help her feel better.

They said she has to put herself first sometimes. Plus, the fact that she feels guilty about this proves she’s a great mum.

And we couldn’t agree more.