The Gallery: 8pm

This says 8pm to me. Clothes on the floor. In the lounge, the kitchen, the hall, the bathroom, the dining room. Sometimes even in the bedrooms. Sometimes they even get put in the washing basket, but they’re usually the ones which have only been worn for an hour and are immaculate.

These are my daughter’s clothes. The slight advantage of my daughter is that she at least has the decency to dump her clothes in one place. Often fairly close to her bedroom. Sadly, until a couple of months ago, she took her clothes off in her bedroom and folded them carefully. But she has learned bad habits from her brothers.

8pm is bedtime. Sort of. 8pm is the time I would LIKE to be bedtime, but I don’t remember it ever happening. Even when we only had one child, even when he was a baby. We never seemed to manage to get him in bed before 8.20.

At 8pm I would like to have finished reading my daughter’s story and she would be tucked up in bed just dropping off to sleep. I would just have started reading to my boys, then at 8.15 I would leave them to read their own books until 8.30 when the lights would go off and they would go to sleep.

To achieve this dream, the bedtime process needs to start as close to 7pm as possible. Then follows up to three hours of mess, noise, procrastination and an awful lot of clothes on the floor.

My daughter trails around the house drinking orange juice at the speed of a snail. Just when you think she’s finished and is FINALLY going to go and clean her teeth, she announces she needs another orange juice. So she gets her story about 8.20.

The boys’ story might be 8.35 or 8.50. Or it might not even happen. I love reading to them and I know they like me to read, but sometimes the procrastination goes on too damn long and there just isn’t time for a story.

Lately the procrastination has moved up to a whole new level. Because now my eldest is at secondary school. And it’s not cool to go to bed at 8.30. But, here’s the thing. He NEVER goes to bed at 8.30 anyway, so what’s the problem?! He should be going to bed at 9.30 or 10. And, guess what? He does! And so does his 8 year old brother. They might be in their room just before 9, but they are never asleep or even in bed until nearly 10.

So why can’t he just say he goes to bed at 10? He’s not even lying much. And who cares if he is anyway? Because you can bet 90% of the other kids are lying too.

So that’s 8pm for me. Lost in the midst of the most soul-destroying part of the day.

This post was written in response to The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. Pop over to see how other people have interpreted 8pm.

Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On


  1. Our bed time regularly gets delayed to 8.30ish as well. Even though I am running around like a headless chicken trying to get ahead I still can’t seem to manage it. The clothes bit sounds like my OH!! 🙂

    Post a Reply
  2. Oh you should see my daughters bedroom… her clothes are EVERYWHERE and once a week I have to go in and demand a tidy up… otherwise she would run out of socks and knickers as she just seems to think they make their own way to the washing basket.


    Post a Reply
  3. Oh I am so glad it isn’t just me….we have said that one more than one occasion over the last 6 months! We have tried all sorts of remedies for conquering the ‘clothes’….nothing has worked! The bedtimes? An ongoing issue in our house too, always something else to do before it’s time for bed isn’t there?!

    Post a Reply
  4. Ha I love this! My daughter tends to drop her clothes whereever she is stood too. It has managed to be contained into her bedroom recently but no hope of her actually putting them anywhere other than the floor!

    Post a Reply
  5. Oh this shot could be any hour in my home.. she drops and i run along after picking up lol x

    Post a Reply
  6. oh my goodness – I’d been drinking long before 8pm if I had to cope with that. You are obviously a very patient parent.

    Post a Reply
  7. Thanks very much for your comments, everybody! I’m so glad it’s not just me. I’ve looked at too many Gallery posts today depicting people relaxing with glasses of wine at 8pm, which just isn’t the reality with tweens.
    If only I was a patient parent, helloitsgemma, I’m an exasperated parent and a resigned parent. This is my life and I accept it. Just.

    Post a Reply
  8. We just about manage to get our 5 year old into bed for 8.30pm and we only have the one, so I can’t imagine trying to juggle several bedtimes….we’ll see once this baby arrives!

    Post a Reply
  9. You’re the same as me, then, Franglaise Mummy! I have no idea how people manage to get their kids into bed at 7. In all my 11 years of parenting I haven’t achieved that even once!
    Good luck with the baby! Bedtime will have to be a two person job!
    Thanks very much for your comment, I really appreciate it.

    Post a Reply
  10. I’m with you there re soul destroying time of the day. i know it shouldnt feel like that but sometimes it does! Mine are usually in bed for 8 but they get up at 6.30 no matter what time they go to bed!

    Post a Reply
  11. I’m lucky that mine get up a bit later, but I get up early, so I think I would rather they got up early than messed around at bedtime! It is completely soul-destroying!

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: