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Need an outlet & advice - bedtimes, alone time & more

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM
  • 9 Replies

I  know I'm not the only one dealing with this, so I am hoping some of you have some advice.

First, I have a 6yo & a 2yo who will not sleep through the night.  I have had only a few nights' uninterrupted sleep in over 6 years.  Both kids insist on being "snugged" until they go to sleep.  Then, if I don't crash with them due to utter exhaustion, they wake up in the middle of the night to come find me & ask me to either come sleep with them (in the double bed in our spare bedroom) or to climb in bed with me & hubby.  So, nobody gets a full night's sleep.  I have tried night-lights, strings of Xmas lights in their rooms, music, reading stories to them until they fall asleep, making sure they are not to warm/cold.....nothing seems to work.  Lately, the issue with the 6yo has been dealing with the recent abductions of kids around our area.  Totally understandable that she'd have nightmares about being kidnapped or about her siblings being kidnappes (I have a step-daughter as well).  However, this behavior is not new for her.

Second, how the hell do you get time to yourself?  My kids are very "Mommy do" & won't let my hubby watch them, snug them, hang with them (unless it's to go shopping or to the park to play).  They are very clingy & needy & "Mommy, you hurry back fast as you can."  "Mommy, I just wanted to know where you were."  Won't let me pee in peace, "take me with you", "come sit with me" all the time.  Literally.  I try to explain that Mommy needs some alone time to re-charge or to meditate or do yoga or whatever....and they steam-roll me.  "I'll meditate with you.  I'll climb on you while you do yoga.  I'll do yoga with you."  I don't know what to do, b/c when I get frustrated & snap at them, they assume I don't love them/don't want them.

Unfortunately, all of our family lives out of state.  We have no babysitters we can call.  My husband & I rarely get a moment to ourselves.  My husband has friends he meets with a couple of times a month or so, but since the 2yo was born, I have lost touch with all my friends & since I don't have anyone to watch the kids, I have no outlet to vent/talk/get away for a bit. 

I feel like I'm in a pressure cooker.  Does anybody else have these issues?  How do you deal?  I have a part-time job working with my husband in our business, but I have to take the 2yo with me b/c we can't afford child care currently, so it's still not much of a break.  Any other suggestions?  How do you keep from cracking up?


by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM
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Replies (1-9):
bolz08
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

we live in what others have called a very "child centered" home:) but the only way out of what you are describing is to put your foot down.  stop letting the kids call the shots.  make them stay in their own rooms/beds.....we coslept with all our babies but by 1-2 they were in the crib or bed.  they also all share a room(we have all boys so it is easy:)) so no one is alone and scared.  kids act like this because they can not because they need to.....unless he is a jerk, dad can take charge.  just leave them with him, they will get over it and even enjoy themselves:)  the biggest problem i see is that you can't say no:)  i can see you love your kids, raise them well but you have to be tough enough to say no, even when it makes mommy sad, tired, or frustrated....unless there is something wrong with them they just sound like they don't understand no:)  good luck mama!  i know it is hard......and as for alone time.....i stay up late just to hear the quiet after bed.....

mom2the.rescue
by Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 3:29 PM

This is probably very anti-cm and will get me bashed, but have you tried leaving the tv on for them?  When my oldest had nightmares, I'd let him watch tv to fall asleep.  It helped him big time & he's not addicted to the tv now.  Other than that, you gotta put your foot down.  Start bedtime earlier, read a book or two.  Tell the kids you married daddy and deserve alone time with him.  Then lock the door and jump your man.

LuLuRex
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Do you ever leave the kids with your DH so you can get out for a little bit by yourself. It's amazing what a few hours alone can do for your mindset. You should try to at least once a month get out on your DH's day off and do things just for you!

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM
Find sitters. We have moved a lot and never lived near family. Never had trouble getting sitters. Time alone is as important as time with the kids.
Take kids to their beds if they get up. If you allow them to sleep with you, they will.
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atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM
Oh leave the kids with dh. They will survive.
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CoeyG
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM

First of all stop letting them control bedtime.  Set up a regular routine bath, tooth brushing, pjs, betdtime story then kisses good night and you leave the room.  Yes they are going to cry and whine and insist that you stay...you are the parent not them.  Let them go on about 15 minutes then go in, reassure them that you are just down the hall and that they are fine then leave.  If they come into your room get out of bed and return them to their beds, tuck them in and leave,m do not speak to them.  

This is not going to fix itself overnight.  You have let them have control for six years.   It's going to take awhile to break this habit.  

As for getting time alone, you should have started giving them time to learn how to entertain themselves when they were babies.  Also you are allowing them to control  whether you get time to yourself.  You don't ask them if they will stay with daddy, You hand them over to daddy and you tell them they are staying with daddy period.  Yes they are going to protest, again they have had this habit for years so it's going to take awhile to break it.  

As long as you enable their behavior/habits they wll continue and you have no right to complain. 

robyann
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:27 PM
1 mom liked this

 I agree with Coey, imagine that lol. But really she is right, that is the only way to fix this issue. It will take time, but be consistant, don't give in even once, if you do you'll have to start all over again.  The kids will begin to feel and act better because they will see that you are in charge, not them.  It makes kids nervous if they are in charge, they feel unsafe, unsure, and insecure. They need you to be in control. You can get through this and you'll come out of it an even better momma! GL

pce68
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

I used to do this with my dd. She was scared at night, scared of the dark, and the quiet, so I would put a movie on, and she would fall asleep watching it. I preferred using dvds as the volume doesn't change and you don't have to worry about scary commercials coming on. I always picked a somewhat calm movie, ones with music seemed to work best for my dd, such as Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Annie, or Barbie movies. If you ise the tv or dvd, pick something that is not overly exciting, or else it could keep them awake. Oh and I would turn the volume down very low, loud enough to just barely hear it, but not loud enough to be distracting.

Quoting mom2the.rescue:

This is probably very anti-cm and will get me bashed, but have you tried leaving the tv on for them?  When my oldest had nightmares, I'd let him watch tv to fall asleep.  It helped him big time & he's not addicted to the tv now.  Other than that, you gotta put your foot down.  Start bedtime earlier, read a book or two.  Tell the kids you married daddy and deserve alone time with him.  Then lock the door and jump your man.


MissyMom3
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

One problem I have is that all of my kids have ADHD.  I tried letting them play alone when they were babies, but they would not have it.  I don't mean that they fussed.  I mean they screamed &/or followed me around everywhere. Or they got into everything they could get their little hands on.  They have never been the kind of kids who would/could sit & watch a video, read a book, or play by themselves.  They are too young to medicate, & I don't believe that's the total answer.  

I try just leaving them with DH, and he tries just taking them, but there comes a point where we are both too exhausted to deal with the screaming fits or the crying or the "Mommy!  Mommy!"  He gets frustrated & just hands them back, and I give up & just take them back.

I really have tried explaining that Mom & Dad need time alone, that we need time to be grown-ups, and that Mommy needs time to recharge her batteries so she can be more relaxed & happier to play with/do things with them.  They just don't seem to understand.  DH & I are "robo-parents" to them, I guess.

I will try being firmer with them.  Right now I just feel like nothing I do is right.......

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