To not be enjoying motherhood much right now(29 Posts)
Urgh I feel awful even thinking it but, although I love my DS with all my heart, I am not enjoying being a mum much at the mo.
He's not a good sleeper, never has been. I've been trying to sleep train using the gradual retreat method. It was going ok (not brilliantly, but ok) until last week, but it had taken three weeks of screaming every night just to get to an "ok" point. And then something happened (I don't know what) and now he is right back at square one. He won't even let me pick him up to comfort him now, he kicks and screams and fights me. Lastnight I just gave up and plonked him in bed with me and we both slept til 5, then it started up again. So now I'm still sleep deprived and I feel like a total failure who's undone weeks of hard work.
He's a delightful boy most of the time but he is such hard work, and i am at the point where I am dreading night time every day. Am thinking of doing CC but then even the thought makes me feel so horribly guilty that I could cry. I am not the best mum I could be when I am with him in the day, I am snappy and short tempered and he doesn't deserve it. I just want to enjoy our time together, I'm so aware that we don't get it back, and that he will only be a baby once. What am I doing wrong??
Your not doing anything wrong.
There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.
I'm going through similar with DS, it's shit
Firstly! You are doing nothing wrong.
I will be totally honest, I hated the first 2 years. Terrible, miserable, lonely and relentless.
I hated the baby stage.
BUT .... it doesn’t last forever, they grow into these amazing little people that will surely challenge you, but will amaze you everyday.
My advise to you is, keep busy, drink the tea, eat the cake. It will pass.
Please don’t feel guilty
HOw old is he?
Is your DP/H doing a fair share of parenting, including at night?
We had a super king sized mattress on the floor + an extra mattress next to it, (so plenty of room and nothing to fall off of) and slept with our kids.
I know this is not for everyone, but it was fantastic for us.
How old is he?
Sometimes, I think the path of least resistance is the right one. I couldn't summon the mental energy to sleep train my eldest, and realised that he slept fine in bed with us when he woke during the night. He didn't do it forever, and I think I'll do the same with the youngest (who is still only 2m).
The thing I've realised about having a second child is that all that 'all or nothing' thinking I had with the first just isn't true. You're not 'back at square one' just because you did something different for one night - that's not how learning works.
I know how tough it is to drag through the day when you're tired, and that's why you should definitely do what works for you and your family. If that's a week of sleep training, then ok -
If it's something else, then also fine. don't feel terrible though (that's the tiredness, it makes you miserable). You're doing a great job.
Is he sleep regressing? It's hard work, but that phase does even out
CC worked for us. Gradual retreat worked to some extent but seemed to confuse her! It's hard for a couple of nights but worth it IMO.
It's hard to enjoy motherhood when you're exhausted!
I occasionally co-sleep with my toddler (now 2.5) but like my own space too, so taught her to sleep in her own bed.
I'm just going to be brutally honest
and wait to be flamed but there's a running joke in my house.
It's a good job she's cute or I would have flushed her down the toilet
Also, same as PP, sleep deprivation is a form of torture. The baby years are sooo hard, and you're doing nothing wrong.
The thing is, everything is a faze, just as you get your head round one routine, it changes again and you can never play catch up.
All I can suggest it do what makes your life easier. This won't last forever (not in a patronising enjoy every moment way), but in a way that you will look back and remember how hard it was while your child is sleeping through and you're regaining some normality.
I know that seems a lifetime away, but it will come. Hang in there x
I hated the first 6 months, maybe longer - I can't actually remember the next 6 month as I went back to work full time and he was waking every 1 - 2 hours during the night. Don't worry about what the books say, or anyone else, you do what you need to survive. For me it was Co sleeping, once we started that things were a bit better for everyone. Find out what works for you to maximise sleep and happiness for everyone. Loads of sympathy from me, it really is shitty.
Don't be hard on yourself op. Having a fussy sleeper is so draining.
My dd was like your ds and the moment she got into any kind of routine (that meant I got 4 hours or so in a row at night) she'd begin teething or get a cold. Then I'd be back to square one.
You're doing a great job and the way you feel is totally justified. Take care.
This is pretty much where we've got to with daytime napping - I broke down in tears yesterday because I'd put in so much effort with a gradual approach and all of a sudden he was screaming when I put him down again. You never know what's going on with them - it could be teething or something that's caused it - but that doesn't mean you should give up. Take some time to rant and be frustrated, and then restart your good work.
It's a good job she's cute or I would have flushed her down the toilet
I keep threatening to superglue DS's oxygen wires to his face. He just laughs at me.
Babies can be hard, lack of sleep is definitely hard. It's not a pleasant combination.
Solidarity. DS is 19 months. Sleep is still bloody hard. This week I thought we were getting somewhere (He only woke up twice three nights in a row even with his dad working away which he's always worse for). Then last night he was AWAKE from 2am. I just want to cry.
My DS responded much better to CC than gradual retreat. The so called 'gentler' methods confused him and caused both of us more pain than was necessary. Different things work for different children.
My twins are almost 13 months and still wake every 2 hours. It's absolutely unbearable. Worse still, they won't even settle in bed with us - they refuse to lie down if they're awake, awake means wriggling and climbing and trying to escape whatever space I'm making them stay in. They wake up wanting milk and I'm just giving it to them. They go back to sleep so I think it's the right thing to do. Maybe I'll regret this when they're still waking for milk at 12 years old but for now I need to keep whatever semblance of sanity is left.
Ah thanks for all the solidarity. It really is so difficult, and to PP with twins- wow. Respect!
My DS is almost a year. He slept in with me until he was 7 months then moved to his own room because I needed him to be able to sleep without me. His dad and I aren't together and, due to the nature of my work I really need his dad to be able to do nights when I start working again as I have to travel from time to time. Not loads, but enough to be an issue if it's not possible to leave him with anyone.
I really identify with those PP who've said the gradual retreat option was confusing for their DC. I think it is for mine too. I am sitting there next to him while he is screaming and reaching out for me but I'm not picking him up? Why would I be doing that? It must be awful for him. But the problem is i now can't go backwards because, where I used to be able to just bf him back to sleep or put him next to me to sleep, I seem to have "broken" him with what I've done so far and now he resists going back to sleep at all.
I am just so pleased to hear it doesn't make me a monster. Sometimes I have caught myself wondering if I really love him, because if I did surely I wouldn't be this frustrated and angry, or look forward to my breaks quite so much. But I think that's the sleep deprivation talking. YES to PP who point out its use in torture. Hideous. Just hideous.
Could he sleep with you and sleep with his Dad when he has him?
Sometimes the kindest easiest way is the best for everyone.
If co sleeping works then it works. Can dad not co sleep as well when he has him? Some bairns like a body to snuggle up to. In fact my youngests first bed was a double.
They do go in their own beds eventually though.
My first was an awful sleeper so I sleep trained the next two and it is so worth it. Sounds like it's going to be tough but personally I wouldn't gradually retreat. Try to reset bedtimes so bath story cuddles a dim light or music box that signals bedtime and a dummy if you use one. Then leave and give yourself a time your prepared to wait maybe 5 mins then if he's crying go back in. Touch stroke kiss and back out. Then a bit longer next time say 7 mins and so on. I personally think this sends a message that you need to get to sleep without me but I do come back I'm still there but you need to fall asleep alone. It's the toughest thing but it makes life so much easier in the long run and I have lived both scenarios. I let my first co sleep and fall asleep downstairs and carried him up. As a single parent then I had to stop at 6 and the battle was no easier then. Hours of being sat on my stairs putting him back to bed. Best of luck
I'm sure I read something about the gradual retreat thing not being effective with older babies because it does just confuse them. I can't let my twins cry - not just because they wake each other up, but because I find it physically painful when they cry. Sleep deprivation and noise - both excellent torture techniques.
Mine just seem to hate sleep. Little twin refused to nap at all yesterday - my DH had got them back to sleep at 6am rather than getting them up as we normally do (I wasn't well so he took over). The little one was them awake from 8:30am to 6:30pm. I mean, how is that even physically possible for a 1 year old?! Wish I knew the answer but sadly I do not. Oh well - it has to get better sometime, right?!
OP I feel the same. In the middle of the night and after wake up number again one million I may there thinking how much I deeply regret having my third. It's awful and I think it will pass.
Not much advice but solidarity xx
Part of the problem has always been that he can't sleep with his dad. Not cosleeping, not being rocked and sung to and put back in his cot, nothing. And that's because he's so boob addicted. So that was the first habit we tried to break, and now he won't cosleep with me either! He wants boob but if I relent and give it to him, it wakes him up more rather than making him drowsy. It's like he's frightened I'm going to take it away. I broke him . I feel terrible, like I have made him scared to sleep, my poor little boy who is supposed to trust me and rely on me. I'm a bit heartbroken at the moment.
No simple answers but hang in there. It does get better eventually. You haven't broken him - it really is all just a phase. Find something that works for you so you can get some sleep and enjoy your time xx
Dd4 goes to sleep at 7.30 like a peach but from 2am refuses to go back to her own space. Life is too short to fight so she co sleeps with us. Her dad is up at 4 for work so it works ok.
My twins are 15 now. She always slept (still does!) He didn't settle for ages and was school age before he needed more than 4 hours a night (now is a proper sluggy teen but does get up ok) I hated letting him cry himself to sleep but it was the only choice as ex dh was totally against any thing else.
It sounds like you in a viscous cycle. If you are sleep deprived then you are snappy with your kid, kid starts to feel insecure then doesn't sleep. Mum gets more sleep deprived, snappy, insecure.
There's definitely truth in happy mum = happy kid.
If I was you I would give up sleep training for a while, it's having a detrimental effect on your parenting experience and it isn't working just now.
Let him sleep with you for a while, or whatever settles him the quickest and easiest and catch up on your sleep, get your energy back, enjoy your son again, have good days with him.
Then when you feel you are both ready start to sleep train again. By then he might naturally do it anyway! If he feels secure and happy with his happy patient mum through the day then he will feel the same through the night.
Good luck op. The first few years are the hardest, and can be torture.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.