Is it just me or did all of your house rules seem to change when you got divorced? First, I have to admit I was never a real stickler about things like bedtime, mostly because my daughter is a night owl and you really cannot force a child to sleep.
Once I was divorced I never felt like I had to enforce a bedtime. In many ways my daughter regressed. For the first year after the divorce she slept with me, something her father and I had finally managed to stop just a few months prior to the divorce.
I was ok with it after the divorce. It was scary sometimes, just the two of us, so it was nice to know that if there were a fire or other emergency, my daughter was right there with me. However if you have ever slept next to a ten year old you know it is not all sunshine and roses. She kicked, a lot!
Another thing I didn’t enforce was eating at the table. For one thing, we didn’t have a table, that made it difficult, so we got in the habit of eating in the living room. That is one rule I wish I had enforced, the dirty dishes in the family room are making me crazy!
Baths were never a problem because my daughter loved to take a book in the tub and soak for hours. Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at enforcing the clean up after yourself rule either.
I became fairly lenient about a lot of things, I felt it was only fair because my daughter’s responsibilities had grown quite a bit. When I was married she wasn’t responsible for herself for any portion of the day, we always had an excellent before and after school program that she attended. After the divorce that became a luxury I couldn’t afford.
There were other things, silly things really, watching mindless movie marathons of little girl chick flicks, eating our weight in ice cream and very rarely eating all of our vegetables.
Some things I wish I had been stricter about, a normal bedtime would have been nice. It would have allowed me some down time, something I really didn’t appreciate in the beginning when I was so busy trying to be all things to my daughter.
My only advice is enforce eating in the kitchen. Later, when your kids are teenagers, you will be glad you did.