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Why Our Family Doesn’t Do Sleepovers

Why Our Family Doesn't Do Sleepovers

Yes, it’s true. We are one of those mean families who doesn’t allow sleepovers. Such trauma, such suffering our children go through. It’s amazing any of  them have managed to survive our home life. 

7 Reasons Our Family Doesn’t Do Sleepovers: 

1. Sleep.

Much like Val Jean from Les Miserables, I too have done 19 years. Of broken sleep. While I didn’t steal a loaf of bread, I did procreate, gestate and birth a whole herd of children. I have done nineteen years of broken sleep, my friends. NINE-TEEN. Just think about that for a moment. In those nineteen years I have had very short periods of time (months at the longest stretch) where all of children have slept through the night. Avi was still coming into our bed when I was pregnant with Apollo. Sleep is important to me. I would give up sunshine, clean laundry and maybe even coffee (or my firstborn child) to get a good night’s sleep. Which I don’t. Ever. But woe to the child who’s noisy friends wake me up or keeps me up when I’m trying to sleep.

2. I’m an Awesome Mom (between the hours of 6 AM to 8 PM)

I’m an awesome mom. And amazing mom. A Let’s Throw a Party for No Reason Other Than We Like a TV Show mom. I rock this whole mom thing. But I can only be a nice mom until 8 pm. Really. Trust me on this one. 

3. No Privacy

We have no bedroom doors in our house. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Tilly got a bedroom door for her birthday last year and Chuck and I have a bedroom door. It’s not that we are against bedroom doors…they can actually be quite handy, especially when kids are trying to get dressed. The thing is, a certain child of ours with an explosive temper has broken them. All. Why not just replace the darn doors, you ask? Most of them have been replaced at least once…only to be broken again. And the rooms that are still doorless are doorless because Child  With the Explosive Temper not only broke the doors, but the door frames as well. Repairing those is basically a mini-remodeling job. And I am just going to assume that my daughters’ friends’ parents, would prefer them not to spend the night with my teen boys in our House of the Broken Doors. 

And vice versa.

4. Bedtime

My idea of bedtime is a healthy dose of Melatonin and all kids in bed by 8 pm. Okay, that doesn’t work so much with 16 and 17 year olds, I’ll admit it. And only a few kids get Melatonin (doctor approved). But still, my ideal bedtime is kids tucked in at 8 PM and no nighttime tube feedings. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

5. Family size.

Let’s face it, we have so many people in our family already, we would likely be breaking some kind of fire code if we had more people here. When I was a kid, my mom would have me and my two brothers all have a friend spend the night at the same time. That way we were all occupied and she “got it over with” all at once. That meant she had one night with six kids in her house. I haven’t had only six kids in our house since 2002. If all of my kids had a friend over at once, we could probably have our own reality TV show: Christian Family Frat Party. Or something. Or, I could let the kids have sleepovers (one at a time) for 2 1/2 months out of the year (10 kids – 10 weeks). Um, no.

6. The Slumber/Sleep Irony

My children don’t seem to understand that the definition of both slumber (as in slumber party) and sleep (as in sleepover) indicates that the person or persons are sleeping. Unconscience, dead to the world. And if our little friends are indeed slumbering peacefully all through the night, they do not need to be in my house.

7. Food. 

My idea of a slumber party breakfast is to double the amount of oatmeal we make. End of story. 


How about you? Do you host slumber parties? Ship your kids off to friends’ houses for the night?



  1. Melpub

    I hate sleepovers–we do allow them, but then I’ve only got three kids. Who never, during a sleepover, sleep. After one of these affairs I got suspicious, because normally they play computer games all night and then pass out around six a.m.
    I came down to make pancakes around eight and they were perky. I looked around and found Red Bull and Monster Cola and Read The Riot Act. None of that stuff around there! Growl, growl. They got the message. But I’ll be glad when they outgrow sleepovers.

  2. Anna

    We don’t do sleepovers unless there is an emergency, a super-special occasion, or we are helping a friend out. Sleep is so important to growing bodies that one sleepless night at a friend’s house sets the whole family up for two to three days of sleepover hangover. And large, busy families that have a lot of animals, responsibilities, and live far away from other people need to function. (Plus there is that whole other side we haven’t chosen to discuss with our children-yet-about safety, stranger danger, easily accessible internet porn on electronic devices after parents go to bed, etc)

  3. Melissa

    We generally do not allow sleepovers. There have been a few times we have, but I have a VERY short list of approved families that I am willing to participate in sleepovers with. We do however allow “late nights”. Usually during the summer or other school break we will allow our children to have a friend over or go to a friends house until 10 pm. They get to play and stay up late, but are tucked into their own bed to sleep. This has been a huge success and my kids don’t argue and fuss about no being allowed sleepovers.

  4. kris

    I am glad to see we aren’t the only sleepover free (mostly) house. My oldest has had a few sleepovers with 1 friend. 2 of the 3 times have been when the other kid’s sibling was at a church lock in and he and my son didn’t want to go (because they like sleep). My youngest has been to 1 birthday sleepover for a 10th birthday and they kids were up super late. Thankfully mine go tired of the endless talking and dragged his sleeping bag to a different room because he was so tired. Oh, and even thought my oldest does not go to sleep at 8 both my boys are in bed by 8 because my nice momness goes away after 8 too!

  5. Liz

    No sleepovers here or elsewhere. Maybe a big part of it is we just don’t know anybody that well. I just don’t feel comfortable letting my kids go alone to someone else’s house. Let alone going and staying overnight. The same thing goes for our house. We don’t know anybody that well that I would trust coming to our house and sleeping here.

    There’s a lot of other things that come into play like your other poster said about stranger danger/ Internet / different rules and things like that.

    This is a little bit off topic but when we had new neighbors across the street there was two little girls and they were all of four years old and six years old and their parents would just send them to just come over alone and at the time I was working a little bit more and they would ask Brad to help them on the monkey bars while they were wearing dresses and things like that. he can be a little bit naïve to those situations.
    So this is a little bit off topic but when we had new neighbors across the street there was two little girls and they were all of four years old and six years old and their parents about them just come over and at the time I was working a little bit more and they would ask Brad to help them on the monkey bars while they were wearing dresses. These are very high monkey bars At that point I told Brad they weren’t allowed to be over unless I was home.
    Maybe sleepovers were different back in the day when kids were really close friends with neighbors. My kids just don’t have any friends like that I guess. So yeah we’ve never been invited to one I would never invite anyone to a sleepove. plus like you said for 10 Plus years I’ve had broken sleep and we usually have a baby ranging in age from newborn to two years so it just doesn’t make sense.
    I’m glad my kids never really ask about them. My older kids are pretty tired by the time bedtime 830 comes around so I can’t imagine them really staying up very late for a sleepover

  6. Tracey

    Both, of course. But I do not have a baker’s dozen plus one. Nope, I do not. If I did, I would be MORE than happy to allow them to go to someone ELSE’s slumber(less) party so I could perhaps catch two more minutes of sleep in the night at my own home. Yes, that would be be what I would do.

  7. Tanya

    I think sleepovers are a relatively new phenomena. I remember being packed off once while young to people I didn’t know ,I felt totally lost abandoned and a bit strange in their house (they helped my family because of a funeral, but I didn’t know them at all.)
    I dislike them for my children because they never have any order after a sleepover. It takes a good 3 days to get back on track. (sound like I’m very cruel and don’t bend right?) Most certainly no sleepover if I don’t know the family, nowadays I hate to say this, I don’t trust anyone. I have eight, (children) and the whole idea of a sleepover never made sense to me. I figure they can go to a party, or whatever and I’ll fetch them at a late hour, just to have fun, and they are usually relieved to get into their own beds. I have explained my reasoning to them and they all seem okay with it-and my husband backs me up 100%

  8. Barbara

    We don’t even do sleep overs at Grandma and Pappy’s. I can count only three nights when one or the other of our girls have stayed with them without us. We have had relatives children stay a few times back when the girls were little but it wasn’t a slumber party thing.

    Several of the girls friends have started asking about sleep overs and I give the same answer every time. “Night time is for sleeping, day time is for playing – don’t ask again because the answer isn’t going to change.” This answer is for all the same reasons that others have already stated before me. Which are also the reasons that we are very, very picky about who we have watch them in emergency situations when a babysitter is needed.

    I remember one winter sleep over when I was about 17, we could have blown up a small cabin by pouring ice cold water on an EXTREMELY red hot wood stove hoping to “cool it down”. Luckily nothing bad happened but it was a close enough call for those parents to end the sleep overs at their house, which in turn ended it at all of our houses.

    Finally I agree with the mama being cool thing from 6 am to … I can push it to 9 pm but … by 9:15 the grouch is out. You think my children would have learned that after 7 and 10 years of living with me.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      My kids have infrequent sleepovers at their grandparents. And we have a couple of families where our kids have stayed during medical crises.

      • Barbara

        Yep, emergencies always have a way of creeping in, and it’s great to have a potential plan.

        I’ve been meaning to leave a message to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. It is amazing what one can learn from a total stranger, and I often share these things with my friends. I can’t tell you how many posts have left me laughing and shaking my head in wonderment, or crying while praying for your family. Thanks for the hard work you put in to keeping the memories of your family. You are inspiring and I love your pictures. I have been following your blog since Tucker was a baby.

        • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

          Aw, thanks for sharing all of that! I was just telling Tilly yesterday, I think my readers enjoy the posts where I do something stupid or fail epically most of all. And that’s fine; many days it’s either laugh or cry..and I choose to laugh!

  9. Tabitha

    I must be one of the few, but our kids have lots of sleepovers at our place and friends. BUT they are only a few chosen friends places that we trust and I think all of them I have grown up with and fully trust and are in our church. I have only about once or twice let them stay at a school friends place where I have known the family for a number of years and it has been a birthday party of the same sex, so there are a number of other children around. I am not very good at throwing great parties so I suppose it is having sleepovers with close friends that is our thing. Often with our friends we swap a child, so we have one of theres and they have one of ours. I didn’t do it when they were little as that was to hard, but as they have gotten older and can look after themselves and not have melt downs every few minutes it is now quite easy and so much fun. We have 4 kids, but I reckon if we had many more there would be no sleep overs as would be to much to take on, especially if there were other needs in the family.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      That makes perfect sense. Most of our homeschool friends don’t do sleepovers, but most of my kids public school friends do. I am not against them in general, just for my family in particular. We also went through years when Apollo was younger, that you practically had to have a health exam before entering our house, do to the risk of him getting sick…we got out of the habit of having people over. We are trying to change that now.

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