By: Melissa Mensavage
Will this ever end? Or is this cyclical like the seasons? Because when this started up again, I became rather annoyed with it.
I’ve written about sleep training with my oldest, Max, a couple of times previously. He was just a baby and a toddler and we had a bad habit of sleeping in my bed. I did break it. Then we had this awesome long stretch of him sleeping all by himself in the crib.
Then my youngest, Theo, came along and I took Max out of the crib and put him in a twin bed. Thankfully I was smart and transitioned him before the baby arrived, though it was a rough month or so. Once Theo arrived, we had some adjustment issues altogether, so I was patient (or as much as I could be with post-partum depression).
Fast forward a year and now that Max is potty trained he’s gotten the idea of getting up in the middle of night and going to the bathroom – KUDOS!! to him for recognizing that while sleeping. However he has to come into my room and tell me. Then there are the nights when he doesn’t make it to the bathroom and the bed is wet. When I check it I am so tired I just tell him to get in my bed and go back to sleep.
I should be changing sheets at 2, 3 in the morning??? I probably should be. But I don’t. Any maybe I might start. See, I can’t even make a decision on this.
Have you noticed that Theo has not even made an appearance in this conversation about sleeping? In his crib by himself, without waking throughout the night? Yeah, he’s my sleeper, has been since he was 7 weeks old. (Is it bad I called him my favorite in my PPD?)
What kills me is the crying. It killed me back then, still kills me now. And I know why they do it, they just want to be with me, but I need my rest. I cant be a happy single parent who handles everything possible – job, chores, parenting – if I don’t get my rest. I do send Max back to bed most nights and he will cry or stall (saying, ‘I have one question.’) and then I get annoyed with him. Then I get annoyed with myself for getting annoyed with him.
All the waking up makes Max a very tired boy, so he takes a pretty decent nap during the day. This then causes a later bedtime. Another vicious cycle. Just thinking about all the changes I need to make makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over me.
I can do it. I can get back my evenings to myself. I can have a peaceful bedtime routine (did I ever mention that bedtime is almost a nightmare and I dread it?). This is tough for any parent – single or married. I think its just a bit harder for a single parent because there is no one to trade nights with or basically help. Did I know about this when I became a single parent? No. Would it have swayed my decision? No. These two little people are the absolute joys of my life – sleeplessness and all.
Time for another cup of coffee.