Tonight I have had enough. 8 years of broken sleep, musical beds, and soothing him to sleep. My sweet, sensitive, anxious young man and the battle of bedtime. My 5 year old goes to sleep on her own and sleeps soundly through most nights but not her big brother.
And not that I don’t appreciate your advice but I wouldn’t bother if I were you. I know some of you are reading this thinking that we aren’t tough enough or our parenting is lacking. Didn’t your child sleep through the night from the time they were 3 seconds old? Didn’t you deal with bad dreams by "Monster Proofing"? Didn’t Dr. Ferber solve it all when he/she was just 4 months old? Been there, done that, heard it all. We’ve tried everything. I really mean it. We’ve spent a small fortune on books, blankets, stuffed animals, charts and stickers, music, rewards…the list goes on and on. We’ve threatened, let him cry, made plans to meet up in our dreams, done yoga and relaxation exercises. Nothing works.
Most nights I am resigned and optimisitc realizing it can’t go on forever. I know that one day my teenager would be horrified at the thought of turning to us to snuggle him to sleep. His bad dreams will come in a different form and he’ll learn to cope on his own. My husband and I will have endless hours of evening chatter and we’ll secretly miss the midnight cuddles and small, warm body beside us.
But tonight I am fed up. I would like to have a conversation with my husband, one of my fave shows is on and I want to watch it (I know, I know, my PVR is set but it would be nice to at least watch it on the night it airs), I have a few phone calls to make and I’m sick of being kept prisoner upstairs.
So, I told him "enough". He has to be responsible to come up with a small step. Something to move this in the right direction. He’s old enough to know he’s old enough to do it. We talked (ok…I talked a little too loudly) and he said "I’m going to think about it. I promise I’ll try, mom. I’m going to try really hard not to be so scared so you won’t be so mad".
Yup. That’s me. The Wicked Witch. Nothing like a healthy dose of guilt to diffuse a situation. The crazy thing is I was exactly the same. I had trouble sleeping until I was in my twenties (I swear. Ask my sisters) and then I was married so always had my husband next to me. Normally, on most nights, I know that this is not something he chooses and not something he can control. Who would? But I’m tired and fed up. It’ll be better tomorrow.