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I just need a little help-advice, encouragement, sympathy, whatever

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  • I just need a little help-advice, encouragement, sympathy, whatever

    TONIGHT I FELT LIKE ONE OF THE PATHETIC MOMS ON NANNY 911-at least I felt like I definitely needed her to come take over...

    I'll preface this with a brief intro...
    I've got 2 kids-DS almost 4 & DD 19mo. I have been a "hard-core" AP parent all along. From day 1-BFing, co-sleeping, GDing, CDing, BWing, HSing...you name it. Both kids have been nursed, rocked, held, worn, sung to, and/or cuddled to sleep for every nightime, and every nap since birth. Since DD was born, we have adopted the following sleep arrangements just out of basic necessity: DS sleeps with DH in the masterbedroom, while DD sleeps with me in the guest bed. This works out ok. DH and I both love the cuddle time with the kids. DS now falls asleep pretty quickly (usually w/in 15 mins) for DH, but DD still takes an hour or more usually (DS was like this too when he was younger). We have a bedtime rountine:shortly after dinner (usually around 7pm) we (me and the kids) or just the kids, take a bath. Then PJs, storytime, and bedtime. We are usually in bed by 7:45, lights out 8:15. My problem is twofold:
    1-when DH is home, this means he's done with bedtime by 8:30, and has the evening to himself. I on the other hand am rarely out before 10. Usually by the time DD falls asleep, it's too late and I'm too tired to get up and do anything. But if I do manage to pull myself out of bed, DH expects me to spend some time with him, and I get zero time to myself. Even if it weren't for DH's expectations, it's still pretty late, and after dishes, laundry, picking up toys, what have you, again, zero time for myself. So I am really resenting DH and the kids (and specifically DD) for not going to sleep earlier/faster/easier (which obviously doesn't make for a good connection/good AP mom attitude.)
    Problem 2 (which is the catalyst for this post-which is turning into quite a book, so thank you if you are still with me) is that often, DH is not home for bedtime. By often I mean he's usually deployed for 1-2 weeks at a time every month or every other month. And even when he is here, often times he has work or Bible study group. So he's gone just often enough to make it impossible to keep the kids on a true bedtime routine.
    So I do the bedtime routine exactly the same as if DH is here, but when it's time for lights out, instead of taking DD and going to the other room, I stay in the masterbed with both kids. Which just turns into chaos every night. I try singing, humming, gentle touching, carressing, etc. But it never works, b/c this is what happens every single night: DD wants to nurse, so I have to lie on my side to nurse her, which then sets DS into tears b/c he wants me to cuddle him from the front. He is not content with my arm, or cuddling against my back. I even try lying basically on my back, with my nipple practically getting ripped off by DD so I can sort of hold DS. But this puts my back into spasms, my boob is killing me...and it still isn't even good enough!
    DD starts freaking out b/c I won't give her the other boob, and DS is freaking out b/c I'm not holding him tight enough, and both kids are getting angry b/c the other is too close/touching them, whatever. UUUGGGHGHHHH! So I end up yelling at both kids, and basically threatening them to just shut up and be quiet, and go to sleep. (Not the way I want my kids to go to sleep obviously) This is the only time the kids show any type of sibling rivalry. But it's so ugly, I just can't take it. This is NOT working. I am ready to give up nursing to sleep and co-sleeping completely.

    So tonight I had had it. At 9:30 (an hour and a half after lights out) I got up and walked out, and shut the door. Of course, both kids immediately lost it-screaming at the top of their lungs, completely freaking out. They got up and went to the door and started pounding on it. I had to put DS back into the big bed several times, told him to shut up several times (no-I'm not proud of this). Finally he just laid down quietly and went to sleep. (but I know emotionally he was not quiet-so this is not a success obviously) DD-same thing, I had to put her back into the guest bed several times, kicking and screaming, until finally she stopped crying and went to sleep as well.

    I feel like a terrible parent. I vowed I would never treat my kids like this. But how is one person supposed to nurture their kids to sleep when they are both fighting the entire time?

    Updated to add: So I talked to DH about it, and suggested that we get bunk beds for the spare room (DS loves the top bunk), so DS could sleep on the top bunk, and DD on the bottom bunk, and I would just put them to bed like the rest of the world, with a hug and a kiss, (and if need be a repeat of tonight until they get it), so that the routine could be the same, whether DH was here or not.
    But talking to him was no help at all. He said that I was stressed and overreacting, and taking it out on him and the kids. He said that I just need to tell DS that he needs to be a big boy and take care of the bed for daddy while I put DD to sleep, and then I would come and cuddle with him once she falls asleep. The problem with that, is I've tried it. He WON'T stay in his bed alone while I'm in the other room with DD (nor do I think he should have to be unattended for over an hour every night). He wants to come in with me and DD-and then the problems have just moved to the smaller bed.

    HELP! Now I don't even have DH on my side. Am I the only mom in the world who is done with co-sleeping when DH wants it to continue?
    Last edited by MOMMY21GR8BOY; 07-15-2009, 03:04 AM.

  • #2
    mama! you definitely sound overwhelmed and your situation is difficult! it seems to me that you have two children w/different sleep rhythms and nighttime needs, but you are trying to have them sleep at the same time. when it is just you w/both of them, can you get them to sleep separately? lay w/your oldest first, since he goes to sleep quicker and earlier. will the toddler play on the floor w/some quiet toys while you are w/the oldest? then you can get your toddler to sleep, who seems to need a later bedtime anyway?

    when both you and dh are home, if he's going to always get the oldest to sleep, then explain to him if he wants time w/you, he will have to do some housework in the hour and a half he has to himself. nothing's more romantic than coming downstairs to a clean house!

    i'd also recommend getting dh to take turns getting your toddler to sleep. i realize that it may take time for both of them to get used to it, but w/my own kids, they were happy to get some alone time w/dad and actually went to sleep easier w/him on most nights.

    is that helpful? do you have more questions? make sure you do something special for yourself today!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Dedra for your response! I think you (and DH) are right, I was just overwhelmed. Trying to be the only parent is hard. I really feel for single moms.

      Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
      two children w/different sleep rhythms and nighttime needs, but you are trying to have them sleep at the same time.
      THis got me thinking...I really think that DS is not getting ENOUGH sleep. He's been irritable and cries so easily. And this has really been going on since we've lived here (about a year now), which coincidentally is when he stopped napping. He used to nap for 2-3 hours, and dropped that b/c everything is in such close proximity, that I don't have the long drive home from playgroups/errands/etc. to help him fall asleep for his nap. A few times while DH has been deployed, he's been so irritable in the early evening, that I just put him in the bath, and we head to bed-and the kids fall asleep quickly and easily by 6/6:30 (as they did tonight).

      Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
      when both you and dh are home, if he's going to always get the oldest to sleep, then explain to him if he wants time w/you, he will have to do some housework in the hour and a half he has to himself. nothing's more romantic than coming downstairs to a clean house!!
      This just made me laugh. DH is a wonderful provider, husband, and father-but God bless him-he refuses to do housework. He was raised in a strict 50s household where Dad was the provider and mom did all child rearing and domestic stuff. Whether it's fair or not, whether it works or not, that's what I've got to deal with. He and I have gone round and round, and that's just something that will NEVER change.

      Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
      when it is just you w/both of them, can you get them to sleep separately? lay w/your oldest first, since he goes to sleep quicker and earlier. will the toddler play on the floor w/some quiet toys while you are w/the oldest? then you can get your toddler to sleep, who seems to need a later bedtime anyway?
      I've tried this many different ways. If I'm in bed with one, the other is INSANELY jealous, and wants to be IN the bed too. The only way I've EVER been able to put them to bed seperately is if I let DS watch TV while I put DD to sleep. However, I am pretty anti TV, and only allow an hour or so a week of very specific educational/religious DVDs for DS. So the thought of letting DS watch tv for on hour or so a night while I put DD to sleep is horrifying.

      So I think trying to get them on the same sleep cycle will be much better for us. I think much of the problem at night may be that DS is sooooo overtired that not only is he having trouble falling asleep, but he's just sooooo needy too. I think DS needs more sleep than DD for sure. Today DD didn't take a nap, and just barely started getting fussy around 5:30. So since both were tired, but not extremely overtired, they fell asleep easily (and happily-yippee!) So we'll see how things go with me trying to get them to bed much earlier. If DD naps during the day, I might try to get DS to lay down and nap too so that even though it'll push bedtime back some, they'll both still be tired around the same time. (I know, it may be wishful thinking, but tonight's easy and early bedtime just has me in such a giddy mood I can't help it!)

      EDITED TO ADD: Ok, DD woke up at 7:00 (an hour after putting them to bed), and won't go back to sleep. So I am just at a loss. I am just so confused on this sleep thing. And it doesn't help that I just was talking to my friend whose 5 year old goes to bed easily every night at 7, and doesn't wake up until 8 or 9am. And her 1 year old is about the same, but even naps for 4-5 hours in the day!!! Why do other people's kids sleep so much and mine don't?!
      Last edited by MOMMY21GR8BOY; 07-15-2009, 11:08 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MOMMY21GR8BOY View Post


        This just made me laugh. DH is a wonderful provider, husband, and father-but God bless him-he refuses to do housework. He was raised in a strict 50s household where Dad was the provider and mom did all child rearing and domestic stuff. Whether it's fair or not, whether it works or not, that's what I've got to deal with. He and I have gone round and round, and that's just something that will NEVER change.
        i understand your situation, but does your DH understand how this works logistically? he can't have you clean the house AND spend time w/him. he's sacrificing one to have the other. as long as this situation works for both of you, that's great, i'm not saying either of you has to mold to the other. it's just what practically works out.

        Originally posted by MOMMY21GR8BOY View Post
        Why do other people's kids sleep so much and mine don't?!
        LOL! i could have written this and, in fact, have said this sooo many times. i NEED a good 10 hours+ of sleep to function and i got children that just don't seem to require much!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
          i understand your situation, but does your DH understand how this works logistically? he can't have you clean the house AND spend time w/him. he's sacrificing one to have the other. as long as this situation works for both of you, that's great, i'm not saying either of you has to mold to the other. it's just what practically works out.



          LOL! i could have written this and, in fact, have said this sooo many times. i NEED a good 10 hours+ of sleep to function and i got children that just don't seem to require much!
          Yeah, his answer is to just leave it, and do it during the day while he's at work.

          Just an update on our sleeping...the last 2 days have been a dream! DD did wake up last night after only an hour, but b/c of our discussions, I was much more relaxed about it. So we watched Grapes of Wrath which I had been planning to watch but never got around to. it was a nice quiet evening with me and my little girl. And then tonight, I thought I'd try the schedule again (thinking that DS really did need more sleep, and was just overtired). So we did dinner at 5, bath at 5:30, storytime at 6, lights out by 6:30, AND BOTH KIDS WERE ASLEEP BY 7!!!! With very little fuss!!!!!!!!!!!

          So thank you for just being there

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