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to stop reading to my daughter every night?

(135 Posts)
stoopstofolly Fri 13-Sep-13 10:08:05

My DD is 8 years old (yr 3). She has had a bedtime story every night since she was about 6 months old. It has been lovely- a really nice experience for both of us.
At present I give my DS (3) a bath, do his story, then DD has a bath and her story. However, she now wants to start going to bed a bit later (currently she's in bed by about 7.30, story until 7.45, can read on her own until 8.15).
Now, my DH and I both work full time. He commutes, and only gets back about 8.00 ish, which leaves me doing 2 DC's dinner, bath and bed every evening, on my own. At present, after DD's story I start cooking our dinner, and we eat about 8.30. I then manage about an hour of TV/reading before collapsing in a heap and going to bed.
I understand that DD would like to stay up later, and she's only asking for another 15-30 mins BUT if she does this, am I unreasonable to say that she can't have me reading a story to her as well? She's a very good independent reader, and I've said that myself/DH will still read to her at weekends, just not in the week.
Apparently this makes me the worst mother in the world, and is proof that I like DS more "because HE'S still getting a story".
I was holding firm, but then a read an article in the paper about how children benefit for being read to even as they get older, and I'm feeling guilty. What age did you all stop reading to your DC?

dufflefluffle Fri 13-Sep-13 11:15:18

The story reading has to end sometime. My dd (now 11 but story reading ended at about 8 yrs) goes to bed at 8:30 - lights out at 9:30. I will go up and lie beside her and chat for a few minutes before turning the light out (unless she's reading a really good book in which case she does not want me bothering her!)

OhDearNigel Fri 13-Sep-13 11:16:44


Mumsyblouse Fri 13-Sep-13 11:16:59

And- I also get the older one to read to the younger one every now and again, doing the bedtime routine. I don't do it frequently so it's a real treat for the elder to play mummy and dress her sister for bed and read to her, it's very sweet though.

mrsjay Fri 13-Sep-13 11:17:50

I dont understand the 2 dinners either why are you making 2 meals and trying to sort the kids out on your own I know your husband is in late or whatever but I cant get my head around 2 dinners every day, confused

HotDogHotDogHotDiggityDog Fri 13-Sep-13 11:18:07

We still do it. DD is 9.

Not every single night due to work etc but we try at least one chapter when we do.

I'm a big Harry Potter fan, so we are going through the series. DP has never read it so he comes in too.

DD sits in her bed, I'm propped up against the wall and DP lays on the floor with a pillow.

We then spend 10 mins talking about what just happened in the latest chapter and what they think will happen next.

DD loves it. So does DP grin

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 13-Sep-13 11:20:01

Why can't you read to her when you read to your younger child and then she can still go to bed a little later? She could just read to herself or sit with her dad until bedtime while you get on with what you need to.

It would be a shame if she missed out on her bedtime story.

WowOoo Fri 13-Sep-13 11:21:16

With my 8 yr old we alternate nights where I/Dh read, then next night he reads his own book.

On weekends he can choose if he wants us to read - he usually does and then he reads and can stay up a bit later.
Ds2 is usually read to before ds1.

We all eat the same thing. Far easier, but I know it doesn't work for everyone.

fromparistoberlin Fri 13-Sep-13 11:22:25

OP I feel you here

I work FT, and its VERY unfortunate that book reading time = mummy is really fucking tired time

I have let it slip, and in fact this has made me think even 2-3 times a week better than nothing

I dont think its reading per se, its the fact it coincides with the time of day you are MOST KNACKERED


OhDearNigel Fri 13-Sep-13 11:22:54

And as my Dd is only 3 i still read to her. My mum was still readingt to me when i was about 15, but we read aloud a lot and my dad will read articles in paper to my mum.

OhDearNigel Fri 13-Sep-13 11:24:16

Nb important to note that i am an only child, dm only worked 3 mornings a week and we had no TV !

BoozyBear Fri 13-Sep-13 11:25:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NorfolkIngWay Fri 13-Sep-13 11:27:09

I would keep going for now as she enjoys it but change your evenin routine .
I dont get the 2 dinners thing at all - exhausting!
Agree with Mumsyblouse and Queen - a slow cooker is your friend.
Casseroles,curry,etc are lovely and take minimal prep .

My DD1 loved her stories but at about 9 she prefered to read to herself or listen to a story tape - she is 20 now and still listens to an audio book in bed grin
The idea of getting her to read to her younger sibling is a good one - mine adored this as well.

Crowler Fri 13-Sep-13 11:27:52

I really, really feel for you OP - you sound exhausted - but something else should give.

mrsjay Fri 13-Sep-13 11:30:00

he is 20 now and still listens to an audio book in bed

my 15yr old does too

KoalaFace Fri 13-Sep-13 11:30:14

I would offer her an alternative routine that fits in with the whole family. Reading together and time to talk together is important but you and DH need to have time too.

Take a look at your whole daily and weekly routine and look at it with fresh eyes. What can you do to make your routine work now that DD is getting older and you want to make your marriage a priority also.

No one likes a change in routine but eventually I think a change will do you all the world of good.

NewBlueShoesToo Fri 13-Sep-13 11:32:22

I understand completely, evenings here are similar.
Can you cook and eat with the children some nights then leave a plate for your husband? It does save loads of time and the double cooking and clearing up.
If you can keep the reading going for another year or so somehow you might begin to find books that both children will like.
My 11 and 9 year old now refuse to be read to and my one year old has stories in the day time but I must try to get it going again.

AbiRoad Fri 13-Sep-13 11:32:45

I still read to mine who are 10 (although not every night). Because they go to bed later, I now read to them (together) a bit earlier in the evening (not in bed) and then when they go to bed they just read themselves.

Fairyegg Fri 13-Sep-13 11:32:58

Surely she doesn't need a bath every night? I would rather skip that than a story. Can dh read her a book when he gets home so you can get on with dinner?

mrsjay Fri 13-Sep-13 11:33:28

OP i think you need to have a think you cant please them all and you cant do everything I know it has been your routine for a while but you are basically kknackered you do not want to become resentful and miserable, you need to look after you too , we do not need to be superwomen/mums it is ok to let somethings go or change things

BadPoet Fri 13-Sep-13 11:33:35

I agree that something else should give because YADefinitely NBU that you have too much on in the evenings at present. Bath every other night, one meal cooked and reheated for you and dh later or how about she gets her story at 8 when dh is in and whoever is not reading is cooking? Aiming for a few nights a week as well, audio books the rest.

Jaynebxl Fri 13-Sep-13 11:35:00

You could maybe read to her at the usual time then let her have half an hour more after that, playing in her room or watching tv. The story doesn't have to be the absolute last thing. I bet you can find a time to make it work still.

Kewcumber Fri 13-Sep-13 11:39:40

My (nearly) 8 year old has 30 minutes of stories before bed! Mind you this week he asked if we can lie in bed chatting for 15 mins and have 15 min stories now which I've agreed to. Somehow that time sitting together reading/chatting at the end of the day is different to other times.

Is it really the reading she wants or the company.

I don't see how a 15 minute story with one child is going to make a difference to your marriage (unmarried person here!)

campion Fri 13-Sep-13 11:41:54

Do whatever works best for you. Your meal arrangements could probably be simplified and DC need to know you're not superwoman.

If she kicks off about her brother having a story point out that she's had 8 years of stories to his 3.She gets plenty of attention-stop feeling guilty.

MortifiedAdams Fri 13-Sep-13 11:43:46

So let her read til 8.30....she gets the extra time at the end rather than the start, and your routine doesnt change.

PicardyThird Fri 13-Sep-13 11:45:09

I feel for you, but YABU. Bedtime reading is sacred in our house (dc are 8 and nearly 6). It's all the more important for us because the dc are bilingual and mine is the minority language, but I think even if we were monolingual I would really treasure and value that time.

Do both children have to have a bath every night? Can you make a family meal and dh reheats his when he comes in? Or why doesn't your dh read to her, or cook, when he comes in?

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