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Absolutely on my knees and I don’t know what to do

(254 Posts)
TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:46:07

I don’t even know where to start

I work part time (3 days) in a job that doesn’t really fit into part time hours. I cut my hours because I have two wee girls (5 and 2) who are my whole world and I thought it’s fine it’ll be a few years of working at nights once they’re asleep and then I can increase my hours in the office once they’re at school.

Five year old started school last month. Her sleep is beyond horrific. She has no interest in sleep she won’t even try. But I need to stay in her room or she just kicks off. Last night it was 11pm before she went to sleep. I then had to work until 3am to stay afloat.

I can’t do this any more. I can’t. The first thought I had when I woke up this morning was sheer panic about how behind I am at work because I can’t fit it all in.

She won’t have DH. He does the housework at night and keeps that ticking over.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:47:54

Thing is I like my job. But I think I’m going to have to quit. Which basically means we will be even more skint than we are now because the pay is quite good (not amazing) but options are so limited here

Sooverthemill Mon 23-Sep-19 10:49:43

Do your two girls sleep in the same room? if not I'd be tempted to tell DD 5 that mummy has to work, she's busy and cannot stay and DD has to stay in her bed and sleep. I know she will complain and you will be upset but she does have to learn to go back to sleep by herself. You're certain she has no health issues? She may be over tired . I would go back to basics with soothing bedtime routine which you stick to and hopefully soon she will settle down. I know it's hard

Legomadx2 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:50:42

Hang on don't do anything drastic now, she's only just started school. It's so important to keep your job, I really wouldn't.

Your DD needs to learn to sleep. Unless she has SEN, she needs to go to sleep and not just 'kick off' until 11pm.

Please don't quit your job yet - you need to sort your DD out first then, then your job will be doable. The years when they are small fly by - don't do yourself out of a job as you may regret it.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:51:31

I have tried EVERYTHING with the five year old. We have tried audiobooks. Meditation. Soothing routines etc etc etc and it makes not a single bit of difference. If I leave her to it she just walks the floors.

No health issues etc that I am aware of. She’s just as stubborn as an ox. She is wired with school l.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:53:43

Last night for example. I put her to bed with three chapters of her book then I switched on an audiobook on low volume with her nightlight so she wouldn’t feel lonely. I went to my room across the hall to do some work.

She just kept coming through. I returned her to bed over and over and over and it just became a game to her.

GetUpAgain Mon 23-Sep-19 10:54:48

Can you increase your paid hours without increasing your workload ridiculously? Surely it would be better for DC2 to go to nursery for another day so you can sleep at night?

You praise your DH but he needs to do more. You are almost broken and you need to be a priority in this.

DD will get used to school and this phase will pass.

You can get through this without chucking in your job, if DH steps up.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:54:51

Eventually at half ten I lay with her until she gave up and went to sleep (after 11) because I was so stressed about the lack of sleep and how she was going to cope at school

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:55:59

DH is desperate to help he just doesn’t know how to. She goes off her fucking head if it’s not me. They both do and I don’t know why because he’s so good with them and a hell of a lot more patient than I am

Nanny0gg Mon 23-Sep-19 10:56:59

Whether she wants your DH or not, get him to keep returning her to bed with no chat. And I wouldn't keep the audio book going as it's keeping her brain active.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:57:25

I think a lot about going up to four days in the office. But I have so much guilt about DD2 and really wanted to make it till she goes to school

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:58:08

Yeah the audiobook is going. Her brain is wired because of school and I just thought it might help her to wind down but it’s not working

reetgood Mon 23-Sep-19 10:58:36

Ugh, sleep deprivation is the worst and it’s so hard to make decisions that will improve things when you are sleep deprived.

However: don’t make any decisions while you are in this state. You are in stress response and reacting to circumstances that can be fixed by making a big negative move.

As the parent of a 20 month old crap sleeper, here is what I would do:

Get some sleep. Do you have anyone who can give you a bed for the night? Go there and get some sleep. Do it on a Friday so the fallout from lack of sleeping on the rest of the family is not as hard. It’s just one night for them but it’s night after night for you. The effect is transformative and you may find that family work out their own way without you. Give lots of attention to kids next day and let your husband catch up on sleep.

Stop taking work home. If it’s not possible for it to be done in part time hours, you need to increase your hours or accept it won’t get done. Staying until 3am is madness. You being sleep deprived is worse than your kids being in childcare an extra day a week. Accept that something has to give, and at the moment it’s you. This is not sustainable

Have a read of Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagasoki. I’ve recently discovered this book and found it very relevant. I think you might too. It’s a feminist take on stress.

BigusBumus Mon 23-Sep-19 10:59:10

You need to sort her sleep out pronto, as its not normal at all. You need to do a proper routine, bath, story, bed by 8pm. And take her back to her room even if she's crying and coming out at the time. You have to tough it out otherwise she is ruling the roost and your health and family will suffer as they are already. Be absolutely crystal clear to her what you expect of her and stick to it, no being swayed by her tears. Have a reward chart for each night she goes to bed nicely with a treat at the weekend. But you absolutely HAVE to stick it out and not let her dictate. You are the parent, she will just have to do as she's told in the end. I suspect her lack of interest in sleep is down to over-tiredness. Also she needs a proper amount of sleep t be able to learn at school effectively.

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:59:20

She’s so needy. I didn’t really realise this until we started spending time with some of her new school friends. She is stuck to me all the time and these other wee girls seem so grown up and independent in comparison. I feel like I have failed her

Calmingvibrations Mon 23-Sep-19 10:59:54

Can you put together a list of work tasks, how long they take vs number of work hours and take it to your manager to prioritise?
It maybe that this approach wouldn’t work if you have a particular type of job - May only work in roles where you have a certain amount of control over what comes your way.

It may well be that your DD sleep will improve shortly - any chance you can take a couple of weeks stress leave if you are going under? It would be a shame if you gave up a job you liked and needed the money when your sleep may improve soon. Lack of sleep makes everything much much harder to cope with

Sooverthemill Mon 23-Sep-19 11:00:29

I wouldn't use anything new to get her to sleep. Stick as much as you can with what you did before she starred school. I wonder if she needs quiet time/nap when she gets home from School? Honestly do try to stick with it. If you are doing 'special ' things like sleeping with her because she has kicked up she will carry on doing it. Back to basics

TooMuchPeppa86 Mon 23-Sep-19 11:02:14

We do have a routine. It is the same routine she has had since she was tiny. Tea. Bath. Milk. Teeth. Story. Sleep. It works fine for DD2.

I don’t have time to keep returning her over and over and over again when I have so much work to do. She is completely overtired but she never naps etc. She is not interested.

AlohaMolly Mon 23-Sep-19 11:02:17

My DS is 3 so not quite as old as your DD1 but he used to go nuts when it was DP putting him to bed. I did it by myself for three years until the last few months when (for various reasons, none of them good ha) DP decided that he was going to do it. It took a week or so, but now DS goes to bed almost as well for DP as he does for me. Could you try it for a week? I explain to DS that daddy is going to do bedtime tonight and mummy will do it tomorrow.

Could you try that with DD? Something like mummy needs to do some work now so we cna have money to buy food and toys. Daddy is going to bedtime now, I love you very much and will see you in the morning. Then maybe leave the house for the first few nights so she physically can't come to you?

StormTreader Mon 23-Sep-19 11:02:45

I can't sleep if theres any noise or distraction at all, I would knock the audiobook and music etc on the head straightaway since it hasnt helped.
Some people just need to be bored to sleep, I'm one of them!

Unfortuantely she's learned that if she keeps pushing, you'll give up before she does. You have to hold out longer than her with returning her, and it'll be hard.
I'd look at what you are doing before bed as well, the wind-down should start earlier than bedtime.

IncogMeToo Mon 23-Sep-19 11:03:16

Sounds like a discipline issue rather than an insecurity/sleep issue to me.
If I'm right, consistently not giving her what she wants is the answer, no matter how much she 'kicks off'.

Are you able to take holiday/unpaid leave for a bit whilst you tackle it?

slipperywhensparticus Mon 23-Sep-19 11:03:29

You haven't failed her....does she ever sleep? I mean is this her eldest stays awake but this is his normal he occupies himself till he feels tired

Legomadx2 Mon 23-Sep-19 11:03:42

Oh you haven't failed her at all! Don't be so tough on yourself!

Are you sure she doesn't have extra issues? Might be worth a word with your GP to make sure.

And if that isn't the case, you need to get tough. Look up relaxation for kids on YouTube - I have one DC with SEN and we do that before bed - it's very calming. And make sure it's her Dad taking her back to bed every time she gets up, not you. Then it won't be such a lure to her to get up.

reetgood Mon 23-Sep-19 11:04:22

Change is hard for everyone! But it’s going to happen, and you are in charge. Lots of reassurance in the day, no playing silly buggers at night. My boy kicks off if it’s Daddy too, but guess what? They have found their rhythm and he does bedtime now. I think she’s kicking off because she knows you are there and will come to her. There’s loads of sleep books that can help, If you like to use a framework.

You haven’t failed her, but you recognise she’s having lots of change right now. You can be sympathetic to that whilst also not participating in sleep deprivation.

IncogMeToo Mon 23-Sep-19 11:05:14

Ah, cross posted with this:

She’s so needy. I didn’t really realise this until we started spending time with some of her new school friends. She is stuck to me all the time and these other wee girls seem so grown up and independent in comparison. I feel like I have failed her

Could well be insecurity in this case.

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