How can I cope better in the mornings?

(28 Posts)
Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 23-Apr-13 08:14:37

I hate how horrible I'm being to DD (3). It's not her fault that she has a baby brother who refuses to sleep, meaning that I'm utterly exhausted in the morning. He only sleeps two hours at a time, maximum, so I get stretches of less than that. Haven't had more than 3 hours in a row since he was born 9 moths ago.

When DD wakes me (usually just before DH goes to work), I can't help being snappy and horrible. I don't want her to touch me and cuddle me (why she'd want to, I don't know, I'm such a bitch to her). Usually, I get better at dealing with her once I'm up and dressed, but I worry about how she must feel with this inconsistent and horrible snapping. It's only normal 3 year old stuff that's driving me mad. I hate myself for it.

What can I do before I ruin our relationship or make her resentful towards her brother?

okthen Tue 23-Apr-13 08:18:42

We are in the same boat- non sleeping baby brother and 3yo big sis who comes in to me as daddy goes to work.

It's hard but I find it helps for dp to bring me a cuppa, dd to get books, and for us just to have a relaxed time for half an hour feeding ds and chatting and reading. Or this morning she brought pens and paper and did drawing on the floor. I don't put pressure on myself to get them up and dressed and try to see it as our special time.

(When actually all I want to do is go back to sleep...)

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 23-Apr-13 08:45:09

That's a good idea, trying to view it as 'special time'. I need to just accept it. It's going to happen every day, I don't know why I expect it to be any different! I feel that if I woke up after a longer stretch of sleep, I'd feel so much better. But that's not her responsibility!

Sun is shining and it's beautiful here this morning. Coffee has been consumed and more in the pot. We'll get out for a walk and enjoy it.

rubyrubyruby Tue 23-Apr-13 08:53:26

I'm awful in the mornings. When mine were little we used to get up, go downstairs and watch TV for half an hour. I would grab a cuppa and come round slowly or even doze on the sofa.

Friends were horrified that we 'watched TV first thing' shock but it worked for us. Everyone happy smile

mummy2benji Tue 23-Apr-13 09:36:04

I was also going to suggest that you ask if dh can bring you a cuppa in bed, just before he leaves for work. You'll know that dd is going to come in, but a few sips of a hot cup of tea might restore you a little first. Will she cuddle in the bed so you don't have to get up straight away? I try to persuade 4yo ds1 to do that and sometimes it works and he dozes off for a bit, but most of the time it doesn't. Perhaps she could be allowed to bring certain toys into your bed to play with and try to make it a routine that she plays in your bed and you don't have to get up immediately. I'm a ratbag with ds1 later in the day when I'm tired out from looking after him and also babycare sad

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 23-Apr-13 09:52:20

How can she remain so fucking exuberant when I'm such a bitch to her?

I've stuck them both in the car now. Hopefully the baby will sleep.

Yes, a coffee in the morning would be great. I get one sometimes. DH is crap in the mornings, but he does give them breakfast. I don't know why he can't always make me coffee. He makes himself one. He's not up in the night either.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 23-Apr-13 10:09:22

Could dh do the evening feeds so you can go to bed at 8 and get a few hours in then?

Could he wake you (gently) with a cuppa a bit earlier so you aren't woken up with such a jolt?

Do you share the night waking on a weekend so you can catch up?

Speak to your HV about appropriate sleep training. At 9 months baby shouldn't be waking hungry - it may be more of a habit.

Give yourself a break. Kids and lack of sleep is tough! Your dd is most likely not being affected in the way you fear.

Metalhead Tue 23-Apr-13 10:23:05

I totally sympathise! I am, and have always been, very grumpy in the mornings, and I've only got one DD (2.8) who usually sleeps through.

I second what ruby said about sticking the telly on first thing - it might not be straight from the perfect parenting handbook, but once I've had a cup of coffee I'm much more awake and calm and ready to face the day.

Don't be too hard on yoruself. As long as you're not snapping at her all day, every day, I'm sure she'll be fine! (And hopefully before long the baby will start to sleep better too and you'll get more rest)

okthen Tue 23-Apr-13 13:11:01

Back to say that I reckon your oh should deffo bring you a coffee- I think it would really take the edge off. My morning cuppa in bed certainly does that for me. It's the very least he can do given that you do the night wakings. Speaking of which, I asked my dp to start helping more with night wakings and he was fine about it. Perhaps he could do all wakings up to midnight or something.

lifesobeautiful Tue 23-Apr-13 13:42:17

Ugh you poor thing - don't be too hard on yourself - you're only human! And you will get a better night's sleep soon! Sllleeeeeppp - such a precious commodity and you don't appreciate it properly till you have kids and it's gone! Your DH should definitely make you a cup of coffee!!

My early morning routine is a very happy one (now I've discovered it!)

This is probably horrifying to some mums who are anti-TV...but I watch a movie in bed with 2.5DS almost every morning (Shrek, Lady and the Tramp, Toy Story etc)...while sipping tea and relaxing.... Then, about half an hour before it finishes, I get him some toast and fruit to eat in my bed (little emperor!) while I slowly enjoy getting dressed and doing my make up for the day. He's totally distracted by his breakfast and the movie - and I get to have a relaxing/pampering time getting ready for the day without being pestered!

Then it's downstairs and the serious playing begins!! And we don't watch TV usually till bed-time. (Although I wouldn't mind if he wanted to - but he's just not interested and we're often out)

You could try that? We both start the day happy and relaxed. I hate being driven out of bed straight into playing and running around... (although having said that I was downstairs making cardboard power rangers paraphernalia at 6am this morning... I feel wrecked now!)

You should also ask your DH if he could do one night a week of night wakings so you get a chance to catch up a bit. Buy some ear plugs and sleep in another room!

ramblingmum Tue 23-Apr-13 22:11:06

If Dh can not be relied on to bring coffee, how about a teas-made. I have one that could easily make coffee if the teabag was changed to instant coffee. It really helps me face the day

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 24-Apr-13 07:22:14

Thanks for all your ideas, and sympathy.

This morning is a bit better so far. I asked DH to bring me coffee earlier, when he made his. So instead I an extra half hour asleep, I had a peaceful half hour in bed while the children had breakfast. I feel more ready for seeing them this morning now.

As an added bonus, DD had wet the bed so DH has already showered her and she's dressed for preschool!

undercoversahm Wed 24-Apr-13 07:27:59

Your DH doesn't sound all that crap in the mornings smile if he does the DC's breakfast before work. I am glad he is now bringing you a coffee too. Sleep deprivation is horrid.

Really (you know this) you need to address your 9mo sleeping habits as it is affecting you and your DD and at 9mo there is no way he needs to be fed every 2-3 hours (sorry, just guessing he gets milk when he wakes otherwise he would prob be sleeping through - apologies if leaping to wrong conclusions). Good luck with that as it will change your life - I know I would snap at EVERYONE if I hadn't had more than 3 hours sleep in a row for 9 months. Hugs.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 24-Apr-13 07:53:07

No, he's definitely not bad! Breakfast is the only time he sees them during the week, so they'd probably forget who he was if he didn't get up with them!

Night waking. Ugh. It seems like just carrying on with what we're doing is the easiest way. DD slept through after night weaning at 15 months. I don't want to do CC.

undercoversahm Wed 24-Apr-13 08:40:47

yes IKWYM - I hated the thought of CC too but in the end it was DD or my sanity blush and I just couldn't carry on being woken. I did it by switching to a bottle at night and watering it down (50% one night, then 75% water, then 90% water) and, like a miracle, she slept through after a week without doing CC. .......may have just been coincidence, of course, but perhaps worth a go? (Obv you wouldn't do this pre weaning when they NEED milk at night) When I read that one's body "learns" what time to expect food and wakes you up especially for it (an evolutionary trick not to miss out on calories) it all made sense that inadvertantly I had been re-enforcing the waking through offering milk.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Thu 25-Apr-13 18:56:52

It's not just the mornings, I've realised this week. I'm snappy and horrible most of the day to her. I hate myself for it.

lifesobeautiful Thu 25-Apr-13 19:47:25

Don't hate yourself. I think with the amount of sleeping you're getting - it would be impossible not to be snappy and horrible! I think tackling your bubba's sleep problems would solve the problem...I'm terrible with little sleep. If you're anti-CC - there are other methods - Mumsnet details some of them.

undercoversahm Fri 26-Apr-13 09:01:40

You say you hate the idea of cc - and I understand where you are coming from - but you have to weigh up the cost that your DD is paying by having you so snappy against the sadness that (you think) the baby will feel if left to cry. The happiness of both DC counts. It will be tough but it might be your solution. You have to find a time you feel strong enough to do it and you have to want to sort out this problem. I doubt it will go away until you tackle the sleeping (sorry). Perhaps it would help to remind yourself that your 9mo will also benefit from learning to sleep through the night. The waking is not good for him either, and learning it is safe and ok to go to sleep without Mummy there is an important lesson in life to make him more content longterm. I do know how much resolve that takes: the sound of a baby crying just makes me want to burst into tears myself and to rush in and give a cuddle/milk but maybe that is too short term thinking.

PS Don't beat yourself up about it. It will all pass soon whatever you do smile It's obvious how much you care for both your little ones.

AlanMoore Fri 26-Apr-13 09:17:38

No solutions but you have my sympathy, I have similar age children and mornings can be hard. Cbeebies, milkshake and DVDs all shamelessly employed, along with biscuit cutters to make exciting toast smile

When I just had one I got up at 5.30 to do the shred and was showered, dressed and either gone to work or stuck well in to the housework by the time dd & dp woke up, now I struggle to get out of the door for a decent time for work and I'm still in pjs now on day off...

PeterParkerSays Fri 26-Apr-13 09:37:45

With my 3 year old, it helps me to have a shower and put my clothes out the night before, so I can focus on him when I get up. Not having to worry about you on top of everything else can help reduce stress. I also put out his clothes the night before as well. Maybe you could chose some books with her the night before which are set up by the side of your bed ready to go, and some toys which she only plays with in your bed first thing in the morning - little drawing board, finger puppets etc She could do a puppet show for DS whilst you snooze.

AlanMoore Fri 26-Apr-13 09:51:24

Peter my two could no more be trusted to do a puppet show than drive a tank! They need constant supervision as they're both climbers etc. I do get stuff out the night before though, it helps.

PeterParkerSays Fri 26-Apr-13 10:43:08

Alan, i was thinking more of OP's DD has to sit in bed and waive finger puppets around (if she's 3 she should hopefully be able to rein in the climbing tendencies for long enough for her brother to feed).

Judyandherdreamofhorses Fri 26-Apr-13 12:07:49

Thanks again, all of you.

We had a much better morning. Mostly because DS slept for 6 hours straight! So at 6am I was wide awake and felt great. I recapped on 'How to Talk so Kids will Listen' ideas last night, which have always worked well with DD when I've had the energy to do them, and felt more positive.

We'll see how we get on with the Friday afternoon over-tired flashpoints!

LucyLucas Fri 26-Apr-13 18:27:50

This sounds a bit wierd, but is a tip I picked up as a child. I run a sink of cold water in the mornings, when I go to the loo as I normally do, and then submurge my fsce in cold water for a couple of seconds. I then feel completly wide awake and this works for me at any time of morning. My ds1 9yo does it now too. and dd3 2yo, very cute and funny smile

mummy2benji Sun 28-Apr-13 23:25:54

I am currently being horrible and snappy with my ds1 (4.5) sad due to being tired, stressed and just wanting a moment of peace and time to myself. Not got pearls of wisdom to offer but sending you some sympathy, and also thank you as I've just looked up the book you mentioned 'How to talk so kids will listen' and ordered myself a copy. I am hoping there is a recipe for patience and strength within it!

I kind of second the above, about splashing your face with cold water in the mornings - can't say I submerge myself! - but I feel better and more awake if I spend one minute cleansing my face and rinsing off with cold water. Very refreshing!

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