Thursday 10th October 11.30 pm
I’m crying. Big tears of shame, exasperation and exhaustion.
I can’t cope any more with the night time waking . I know it’s only 11.30 pm but I came to bed at 8 pm, exhausted from lack of sleep, night after night.
Allan is working away and I miss him dreadfully.
Lily woke at 10.30 pm, and after I soothed her with a kiss and a cuddle, as I do every night, she refused to go back to bed, as she does every night. Several times a night, every night.
I spoke to her in my sternest voice. I told her that mummy was no longer going to be coming to her room several times a night, and that she was to stay in bed and go to sleep. I told her mummy was tired, she needed to sleep as does she. She acknowledged this, but I know I will find myself in this same situation later on in the night. I will tell her again, and again, and again. The same as every other night, for the past 18 months.
Right now, as melodramatic as it sounds, I feel broken ( is that dramatic enough? )
I hate myself for getting cross with her. Shouting and hissing through my teeth, as I feel my control slip away. Goodness knows what the neighbours must think. I know they hear us. They have told me. I think this as well as trying to keep her quiet because Allan has work the next day, has kept me on this mission to keep peace and harmony during the night. Thinking that I could always catch up on some sleep if necessary in the day, but Lily doesn’t nap any more in the day. If I let her nap now, then as well as being up the majority of the night, she won’t go to bed until 9-10 pm.
I’m frustrated with myself for not being the parent I should be. Some people telling me to toughen up, be firm, stronger. It isn’t easy. Yes, it’s easy from the sidelines, watching, listening, and giving well meaning advice. If you’ve not done it, try it. It’s hard.
I’m tired. Lily is tired. Why doesn’t she sleep? Why doesn’t she fall thankfully in to bed and cherish the 10-12 hours of sleep ahead? What I would do for the chance to have just a few of those hours?
Tonight I have told myself that there must be a solution to this.
We have tried all of the text book advice: rapid return, sitting in her room and gradually retreating, going in every few minutes to reassure her until she falls asleep. We’ve threatened her, promised her all sorts of treats if she stays in bed, made her a lovely wall chart with stickers with rewards at certain points reached. None of them have worked. What we haven’t tried to any extent is tough love (I call it torture, as it’s feels tortuous to me and sounds tortuous from Lily). Allan would have probably sorted it all out if I hadn’t have wept every time the stair gate went on her door, or the times he’s shut her door for a few seconds. Her wails sending me in to desperate guilt and feelings of how much damage we were doing mentally! The truth is, I know she won’t remember it. She’s only just gone 2 1/2 for goodness sake.
I love her.
So, I need to sort this one thing out. I need to be the parent she needs. Someone who is consistent (I’m not), someone who is strong (I’m really not), and someone who can show her love (I can do that – go me!).
Tonight, I have made my plan. Allan will approve I’m sure.
I have told her already that I shall not be going back and forth to her room all night. I have been in once (well 3 times – it’s not easy) and she has had her kiss and cuddle, and her quilt placed over her, because she says she can’t do it, and has had a wee, and has found something to blow her snotty nose, on and she has wailed continuously for a kiss and a cuddle and wailed because she can hear a noise and wailed because she has lost her ‘thing’ that she blew her nose on. and wailed because she wants to sleep with me…..
I am NOT going back in.
She hasn’t got back out of bed, which is a start.
I have told her that I will not go in any more tonight. I’m not, I’m not!
I will continue with this method, despite it going against all my motherly instincts.
Okay, so it’s hardly hardcore. I’m not chaining her to the bed, giving her 50 lashes or drugging her, and it’s probably going to hurt me more.
It’s half past midnight. Lily has been quiet for 15 minutes. Perhaps she is asleep.