The politics of a lie-in


It’s no secret that becoming a parent often equals a big kiss goodbye to your old friend, sleep. Those mornings in bed during a weekend or holiday are a thing of the past.

Until it’s your turn for a lie-in.

But what no one tells you, before becoming a parent, is that the Lie-In is a complicated issue. Like the NHS, financial crisis and Eurozone, it’s something to be debated on many levels, with differing points of view, often ending in heated discussion.

The art of a proper Lie-In lies (excuse the pun) on an unspoken mutual agreement between both parents on a set of rules. These rules are seldom drawn up pre-baby – but they should be.

Nothing is more likely to cause a relationship breakdown and stormy row than the overstepping of the Lie-In boundary.

The rules mainly seem to consist of the equal taking of turns of said lie-in. If one parent is dipping their toe in the golden morning slumber more than the other, well, that’s a recipe for disaster.

How far a small (one and a half hour) lie-in counter-balances a long (four hour) lie-in, is also a moot point. Some parents are under the impression a 9am start doesn’t constitute a “proper” lie-in, so they should still be entitled to their weekly 11am start too. I disagree.

To avoid any such misunderstanding, a Lie-In Rota will always come in handy. This should clearly state whose turn it is to enjoy the morning sleep and how long is an acceptable time for them to remain in bed. And while we’re on the subject, the Rota should also clearly state that tactics such as emotional blackmail in the form of small children being brought in to “wake mummy” are underhand and should be avoided at all costs.

As is the greeting “Good afternoon” when mummy eventually drags herself downstairs.

Feel free to include any of your own Lie-In Rules. This particular Lie-In Rota could do with some expert tips before it’s drawn up and set in stone on the kitchen wall…



Filed under Being a mum, Family, Uncategorized

17 responses to “The politics of a lie-in

  1. If one parent, say, gets drunk and needs the lie-in that is already pre-allocated to the other parent then they must ‘trade’ – there is no automatic right to get an extra one, there is no wild card when it comes to lie-ins.

    And sending the children upstairs to circle and deep breath outside the bedroom is underhanded and should be penalised.

    Love this post!

  2. Mistress Mummy

    When you have your lie in rota finished and tested and any mishaps ammended will you please send me a copy! There should be one of these in every home

    • I will indeed. I think this is something that should be brought up in all antenatal classes. Every parent should be handed a copy of the Lie-In Rota along with the Birth To Five guide.

  3. LOL funny but true :0) To be honest even with a lie-in rota, I’d probably break my own session. I still jump at the sound of my son’s crying. I never sleep properly unless he’s sleeping well or contented wherever he is, sadly this is not often as he’d rather me with me. There in ‘lies’ another complication of co-sleeping, lol.

  4. I wish Li’l D allowed these anymore! Recently he’s taken to commanding/demanding that both parents be up and cheering on the new day with him. Every day. 🙂

  5. We did have a good rota system but then Dad2BabyInsomniac went through a ‘I hate working’ phase and decided that because I don’t have a proper job I don’t need a lie-in! Joker. We go for the bring Iyla into our bed and see who can take being trodden on for the longest! And lie-ins never last until later than 9.30, I don’t need that long and if Dad2BabyInsomniac tries it then we storm in and wake him up! Great post, made me laugh! X

  6. Great post! Hmmm, we definitely need to revise this policy in our household. Today The Hubster has the luxury. The dishwasher has been emptied, kids are breakfasted and dressed and the house in a (relatively) tidy state. I can safely say this will not be the case tommorrow morning! x

  7. Ah Ha…you have spotted one of the many secrets of the dark side…next one in years ahead will be who gets up with the sleepwalker… dad or mum? and child will know no point at all at hovering over dad’s dark side of the bed…this “skill” is innate. Mum will be the one who provides the light and the way back to bed…without a torch…makes you feel wanted though …!

  8. Oh the coveted lie-in! We go to church on Sunday mornings so the lie-in is a fight over Saturdays. It’s fierce!

    If one parent is ill, they should get the lie-in – no matter what! If both are then default to whomever’s been up with the kid the night before.

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