Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catch 22

For me, it' s bed time. His, not mine, although there's an inevitable knock on when it's always gone 9pm before you even start thinking about dinner or snatching some down time. Should I stay, or should I go? The dilemma gets me every time. No prizes for guessing what he says. Repeatedly. So I stay, but know that if I go I'd be doing him a favour. Or would I? He certainly doesn't seem to think so when I try and creep out.

Each night is like a game of Russian roulette. Sometimes if I stay, I just prolong both our agonies because he ends up staying awake just to make sure I haven't snuck out. But if I go, he gets so upset that I just end up flying back in to calm him down. And cuddle him. Again. Except for the odd miracle occasion when leaving him is the right choice because without my presence to distract him, he'll give up on the day that much faster and fall asleep. But then again, sometimes he'll do that when I cuddle him. Although sometimes he won't.

Part of me is desperate that it's been two and a half years and still I dread bedtime. But another part of me knows that he won't want to cuddle me forever and even those two and a half years have gone quickly (if you excuse the interminable hours/days/weeks spent waiting for him to drop off). The real catch 22 is that I feel if I leave him to cry now, then I may as well have abandoned my no crying rule years. Sometime I think we'd have all been a lot happier. But then I remember how sweet natured he is, and I like to kid myself that that's got something to do with him never having had to give up on the world because no one came. Until, that is, it's time for bed and I'm in a fresh quandary about what to do again.

This post was inspired by Josie's writing prompt at Sleep is For the Weak. I've long intended to write something for it as oppose to just write words in my head and this week, for some reason, I decided the time had finally come. I hope she thinks the subject matter apt......

10 comments:

Iota said...

I would just fall asleep if I lay down with my kids at bedtime, so I couldn't be doing with that!

Hackney Hackette said...

Exactly the same here, although I didn't quite have a no crying rule as when HackneyBoy was a baby it was just a question of what caused the least amount of crying. But yes to the staying with him til he went to sleep, and as I worked fulltime between his first birthday until four months after his second there was a big dollop of guilt and wanting to spend as much time as poss with him as well. I can report that when I got pregnant with HackneyBaby there was a lot less cuddling as I couldn't fit on the bed and once HackneyBaby was born and my husband took over nighttime duties (it took a while to tear myself away, I was trying to do them both but is impossible) miraculously he will now go to sleep by himself with the door open. I am a wimp and a weed and husband is much firmer. There was no crying.

Kate said...

I did the same with all 3 of mine (still at it with the third) but you'll find that the time comes naturally when he'll be ready to be a 'big boy' and go to sleep on his own (maybe with story cd and nightlight?) - I could never bear to go through the 'controlled crying' thing either - but each to their own!

scribblingmum said...

It's so hard isn't it, I think we feel guilty not matter what we do! I am polar opposite with my two, bed is bed and they've learnt how to go to sleep themselves. But, reading your words, I feel guilty too, like it'd be lovely to hang out with them whilst they drift off! Argh, we Mum's just can't win can we?! :)

popped over via writing workshop btw

maddydodo said...

What a stressful situation! My firstborn miraculously learned to go to sleep on his own, no crying just the odd bit of singing himself to sleep. My second was a whole new ball game. I had to feed him basically into a coma before i sneaked out of the room. Sometimes i would even get trapped in the darkness thinking 'i can't move - it might wake him!'Eventually i have to admit i went for the crying option. and hated every moment of it. but it only took a few days so i consider it worth it. I really admire your no cry policy though!

nappy valley girl said...

It's never easy, is it. My two always were able to go to sleep on their own as babies. But as 4 and 5year olds, they love to misbehave at bedtime and creep downstairs after lights out. It takes a will of iron to keep marching them back upstairs rather than letting them sit downstairs with me and watch Grey's Anatomy because I just can't be arsed....

Emma said...

So true, I was going to write about the exact same subject for Josie's workshop but was too tired!

The syders said...

Hiya Thanks for stopping by...Love your blog!

All my 4 were different with their sleep patterns...My eldest (is now nearly 21) slept in my bed until he started full time school! Shock horror! He had a child bed in our room so he wasnt toyally in our bed...Now he is soooo independant its unreal!
The other 3 were ok with sleeping in their own rooms although I always laid down next to them until they dozed off.
Their childhood goes so fast...Just enjoy it and make the most of it. All kids are different and their needs are all different at different times x

bigwords is... said...

sleep is such a difficult part of raising children. All three of ours our different. I must say I really do appreciate getting a bit of time to myself at night, but at the moment nb 2 is awake until we go to bed. crazy?!

WorkingLondonMummy said...

a nice post, I have the same issues at moment. Just did a similar posting...http://www.workinglondonmummy.com/2011/03/getting-them-to-sleep.html
Good luck am sure it will settle soon!