struggling here…

I have always been one for children’s empowerment…I have made my best attempt at making the house feel as much r’s as it is ours, inspired mostly by Montessori principles, and many many ideas from bloggers out there. R. has all her stuff at her reach in her room, pictures at her level, has a kitchen cupboard so that she can get her stuff, her little spaces in almost every room of the house, and ways of adapting the big rooms and heights for her. I also respect as much as I can her timings, her need to do things alone and her way – mainly because chaos ensues as soon as you unthinkingly try to help her. In any case, you get the picture…

One thing, however, that has always been an issue for me was the bed. I could not bring myself to make r. sleep on a floor bed from the start, mainly for my/our benefit. First she slept with us, although she officially had a moses basket, and then, slowly, she started using her cot, a decision we made for different reasons that I won’t go into now. I know it was for my peace of mind mainly – the thought of her falling off the mattress, of her crawling at night and putting her fingers somewhere dangerous, or something falling on her…that kind of thing would keep me awake, at a point where more sleep is all I could think of.

Now she is two and a half, however, that is no longer a choice, since she started using her ‘big girl’s bed’, as she could get out of her cot. And you know, at the moment, I find it is an utter nightmare. Her bedtime, usually around 8, is now around 10.30, with all her coming and goings, because she clocked very early on how lovely it is to get out. …and its driving me nuts.

I hate how this little thing conflicts with the way I try to do all other things, but I also have learnt that coherence is not always possible…but I struggle. So I try to be gentle, and manage timings and routines a bit more tightly, to see if I can move this new development to a shape that does not make me want to scream every night. Unfortunately, this is how it seesm to end up every night. Me, álmost asleep while she keeps chatting and poking me to keep me awake, or me explaining that mummy needs to go now, and that she needs to stay in her bed, in her special room…which lasts about three minutes, at most. In the end, I bring her back all huffing and puffing, at the rhythm of ‘how many times have I told you to GO TO SLEEP’….which ends up making her cry, and me feeling shit, and crying, and her going to sleep two minutes later. So, as you can see I am not getting there. 

I am not sure how much this is about feminism and motherhood, but it explains partly why my level of productivity has gone way down – I just can’t face sitting at my desk at 11 at night, and in any case, I need to clean up, organise stuff for the next day, and even talk to my partner. So sorry, and if any of you please can tell me this is a phase, which of course, it has to be, I would be grateful!



5 responses to “struggling here…

  1. Strength to you, friend! Does R still nap? We had to cut day-time naps short around 2 1/2, and by 3 yrs had to cut them out completely, or he would be up until waaaay too late (as in 10:30 or 11pm). I think sleep is the hardest thing because lack thereof is the root of so many, many parenting/partnering challenges. Wish the sleep fairy would get on the job for all of us!

  2. Of course it’s a phase. It’s all a phase. There were evenings when I held my weeks-old colicky baby and told myself, eventually he’s got to stop crying. I mean, eventually, he’ll be twelve years old, and I assume that by then he will have stopped crying.

    And to be clear, by “stopped crying” I do not mean “stopped needing to cry altogether” (I hope that never happens, as I don’t believe it’s healthy). I mean simply, “this particular bout of crying will be over.”

  3. Our nights are late, and we go to bed together between 11 and 12pm (I work late evenings). If I don’t get a chore done before then it doesn’t get done. Having her in bed earlier and separate schedules from me would not work. It is a struggle for me only in that I despise chores. But I try to make the basic “rounds” in the evening before bed (pick up toys, dishes, teeth, maybe throw a load of laundry in). In the am, I do one or two things that need doing (like sswipe the bathroom while grooming or mopping). Occasionally I get everything done, but you know household chores are like tribbles and husbands, pets, and babies leave messes like giant snails. Any time I get alone is not wasted on chores 🙂

  4. First, you *need* to google ‘go the f to sleep* and read the book. I have the full book in PDF form and if you email me I will email it to you!

    Second, the way we do it in our house (4 kids) is: mummy & daddy are BORING after bedtime. For the older kids (age 4 up) when they get up, we don’t meet the kids eyes if we can avoid it, we continue our own work, we don’t make physical contact if we can avoid it, if we are spoken to we reply ‘I’ll talk to you in the morning, right now you should be in bed’. Basically we ignore them as much as possible and if we have to interact we limit it and include the expectation that they will go back to bed. For younger kids, I have no experience with the one year to four year old bracket. However we have a baby now and plan to baby gate his room. I really have no problem with confining his movement at night to his room. If he gets out of bed and plays with toys, fine, if he sleeps in the middle of the floor I don’t mind. Once he can open a baby gate, well I havent planned that far ahead but I’m guessing it’s going to be much the same as for the older kids right now.

  5. Hi you all, THANKS A LOT for your comments, they meant a lot, and helped a lot!!
    Thanks Louise, Go the f**k to sleep is hilarious and sadly reflects how I felt these last weeks. Laughing always helps! i implemented more seriously the boring, instead of angry, and it works. I still haver to put her back around 5 times, but it is better than 15!
    I also cut her naps a bit, though I always was hesitant about doing this, but it certainlcy seemed to have helped! so thanks Rain, helpful as always.
    Doinfg chores while she is awake is always somehting I put off, but I think it makes sense! so thanks eliminationcommunication for reminding me that, and for reminding me to let go too!
    Rachael thanks for sayingt hat, I needed someone to remind me that it is a phase! I talked to some of my mum friends, which I haven’t done in a while, and they are all suffering with the same…
    Just as an update, she is going to sleep around 9, which is a big change, and only after a week and a bit…so thank you all, and sorry for the late reply to your very helpeful and supportive comments!

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