Yes, Bedtime Still SUCKS!

I’m officially sick of bedtime. I feel like I can’t do it even one more time – EVER! It’s almost been five years of nursing, cooing, singing, reading, tricking, yelling, struggling, cajoling, wrestling, WHATEVERITFUCKINGTAKES!!! To get a minute or two of time to myself before the next day begins and to make sure she gets enough sleep.

And I’m over it. It’s not fun. It certainly doesn’t work the way it does in books or movies or whatever other example of kids happily laying back in bed, giving a kiss, a hug and blissfully falling into a deep sleep, where they awaken twelve hours later, fully rested and happily frolicking.

I’m tired. I’m wasted. I’m ready to call it a day night and at 8:30 she’s on her own in bed regardless of the begging for any and everything under the sun including water, milk, food, a book (even though I’ve most likely read ten or so already,) back rub, a back flip into a triple lutz. I would gladly keep doing all of the above if she would eventually fall asleep but she just doesn’t because she actually can’t fall asleep with us in the room.

We’ve tried and tried and tried. I can lay there for two hours and she will stay awake demanding all of the bedtime rituals be repeated until they’ve turned from something I enjoy doing to something I loathe doing. And unfortunately I’m such a sucker for her that I keep doing it even though I KNOW after five years of experience that I have to leave the room at some point for the sleep part to begin. Note to self: You must leave the room for her to fall asleep – remember! But how do you say “NO” to “Please, just one more book.” How, really? It’s my biggest dream for my child to ask me to read to her and yet after I’m bleary eyed and tongue tied, I don’t want to anymore.

I made a bedtime schedule that we HAVE to stick to, which includes a minute by minute detail AND bedtime duty rotation with dad. Something has to change or we’re going to both go insane – oops, too late!

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3 Responses to “Yes, Bedtime Still SUCKS!”

  1. comeonmyselector Says:

    well, this may sound harsh but don’t feel guilty over not reading another book. first of all, you can always respect a child’s desire to reads and still apply a limit to the situation. if she’s read three books already that night, tell her that you can begin reading with her again tomorrow, or maybe set aside a “carry over” time during the day after school or dinner or something where she can have the chance TO read with you–you could even remind her with something like “okay, autumn–now is that time after dinner/school/whatever when we read the books you didn’t get to read last night.” i mean, if you set a book limit every night (say.. oh, three or whatever you choose.. and don’t give an explanation. you don’t NEED to) then that limit can always be referred to. if she asks for one more, remind her the limit has been reached, and that she will have that special opportunity the next day to catch up. when that time does come, maybe remind her it is exactly that–a catch up time. if it is completely solid she will realize she has plenty of regimented opportunities to read. regimented is a scary word, but five year olds need it, and so do adults. people need structure of some sort, right? i mean, sure you can survive without it, but how healthy or happy are you?

    i’d also decipher between her wanting to read another book and wanting to stay up longer, and honest to god i know you know that already, but it is kind of hard to accept that children will manipulate their parents with very, very, very -legitimate- excuses and requests such as reading, food or water.

    (hey, i know they do. i did it.)

    i really despise rules and structure too sometimes, but only as far as i can look until i reach a point where i can logically feel a need or see a use for them. (sometimes, it takes longer than others.)

    look at it this way. if rules and regiments are so bad—-what is worse? no rules, which in turn lead to hot tempers and high stress levels and mistakes like yelling,
    OR a schedule that may at first be high hell to go through (maybe a few weeks to a month) that eventually leads to respect and calm boundaries for yourself and her. boundaries can be scary too, and at first i didn’t think they were right—but my therapist micheal stern ALWAYS told me that it is healthy to have clear boundaries for yourself and others.

    in other words, it is OKAY to know your limits and accept what you can and cannot do. if you can’t do the bed time thing anymore, you can’t. that is a boundary. you NEED your time, and it is going to continually make you unhealthy and stressed if you let it continue. you deep down know your boundary, and it isn’t WRONG or UNLOVING to enforce that. knowing your limits is very empowering, and never ever ever feel any guilt for them. shit, you bend over backwards for that baby girl. you do more than most parents ever do, but that isn’t to say that it is positive for you or her.

    know that kids are ALL equal in these ways—they manipulate. they’re spoiled. and they don’t want to go to bed. ever. she isn’t hurting, or missing out, or neglected, or abused. she’s fine. she just doesn’t want to go to bed. and we all have to. i’ve had really tough times in college and with work because i couldn’t learn to go to bed at the right time, and i regretted it. so you’ll be doing her a favor.

    i love you michellleeee, go sew and get some time to yourself and tell autumn i love her too.

  2. Oh, I really feel for you. I’m the mother of a 9 month old and the single biggest struggle we’ve had as parents is getting this boy to sleep. He absolutely hates it, and every nap and bedtime is a ridiculous battle. I look into our future and see the same problems you’re having a few years down the road.

    I really hope your new resolve works out. It will give me a glimmer of hope.

  3. […] So, it’s 1:40am on Monday morning.  I have to teach in a few hours.  I can barely keep my eyes open but I keep on reading and dreaming and fighting sleep.  Downstairs Don is doing the very same thing.  Can we really blame Autumn for not sleeping – it’s in the jeans or the pj’s anyway.  […]

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