Advanced search

Trying to establish a routine

(10 Posts)
keely77 Wed 10-Aug-11 20:52:21

Ive recently seperated from my husband (and the father of my 2 children aged 2 and 7), Im struggling to get them into a routine so that I have atleast an hour of my evening to myself without having to stay up until midnight! My 7yr old will generally do as he is asked with alittle bribery along the way but my 2yr old wears me out trying to get her to sleep, if I leave her she screams and screams, i mostly end up giving in and taking her to bed with me which isnt a good habbit to get into I know. Her dad used to play an active role in her bedtime routine and she used to know when he went in that she needed to go to sleep, I dont know how I can gain the same authority he had. Does anyone have any ideas x

itsnotpossibleisit Wed 10-Aug-11 21:43:08

Hi keely77 I am in similar situation than you. DD is 2 years old and the only way I have managed to put her in bed since I separated 3 months ago is if I go to bed with her and once she is sleeping I get up. We are sharing our my bed as I cannot afford to buy her a bed at the moment. For us is working as previously it was a nightmare to put her in bed with all the screaming and crying. I know this may not be what you want to hear but it makes life easy at the moment. Just consider that there are a lot of changes happening for them and they just need a lot of reassurance that you won't dissapear as the other member of the family.

Hope this helps you

blackeyedsusan Wed 10-Aug-11 23:17:57

my 2.5 yer old would only go to sleep with me there for the first 3 months after we split up. he is going to bed on his own now.. though I do have to pick up the odd lost car or fill up the watercup. they have lost one parent and need the reassurance the other one is not going to disappear too.

MrGin Thu 11-Aug-11 08:01:19

keely, do your children sleep over at their dad's ? This may be a contributing factor to their upset routine possibly ?

gillybean2 Thu 11-Aug-11 12:48:03

You need to try and put a routine in place and keep things calm. Don't expect to get an hour to yourself of an evening just now. Trying to do that is simply going to stress you out and make everyone more anxious. But do make it clear that it is bed time and that means quiet time and sleep time.

Their whole world has been turned upside down. They need to know you are there and won't also leave. It may be that they are pushing you to check that you will stay and don't leave them. That's tough for you to have to deal with on top of what you are already going through.

My ds coslept with me for a long time and didn't want to go in his own room. I would read him two stories, then put my ds into his bed with a story or nursery rhyme cd. He also had night lights so it wasn't pitch black in his room. I made it clear he could go in my bed but he wasn't to make any noise/fuss and that he wasn't to come downstairs. If there was noise/fuss I would tuck him in bed, give him a kiss and say night night and leave (although he would try and prolong how long I stayed and try and 'chat') Be firm, say inight night and leave. Graduallly he got the message that I was there but wouldn't respond to his fussing.
Eventually when the cd finished he would either be asleep or had put himself into my bed and be asleep there. I would then carry him back to his own bed.
Perhaps you could try something similar with a story cd or you and ex hake recordings of stories into cd for her to listen to at bedtime.

Keep calm, keep quiet and be firm that it is bed time. It can be a hard slog but you will all get there eventually. Don't expect it to happen overnight or for you to get your much needed hour's peace for a while just yet.

keelz Thu 11-Aug-11 13:26:23

Thanks for the advise guys. (ive changed my screen name from keely77). MrGin, my kids speak to their dad everynight and just see him at the weekends at the mo.

Ive always let my kids get in my bed in the night, its just how ive coped with sleepless nights and working. Me and my ex used to share getting the little one to sleep at night because she would mess about with me for the first half hour and when he took over she knew it was sleeptime. My gut feeling says dont be too hard on them its early days, but I know that they need a good nights sleep with our routine including very early starts 3 days a week. (we have to be out of the house for 7.20am)

gillybean2 Thu 11-Aug-11 14:45:21

Keelz the reality is that as a single parent you have to be both mum and dad when you parent. So if your dd is used to getting away with things until dad puts his foot down then you need to accept that that option isn't there anymore and you will need to put your foot down now in teh way you relied on him to do when you were together.

Being both parents at the same time isn't easy. And yes I think you are right when you say you don't want to be too hard on them. But dc need boundaries and they need to know those boundaries will be enforced. It makes them feel secure and safe and when their boundaries aren't enforced they can push all the harder to get that feeling of security they need.
So be firm and stick with it. Otherwise your dd will come to realsie if she plays up for long enough you will give in and she will get what she wants. And next time it will be even tougher for you as she will think she just has to keep going and you'll give in...

keelz Thu 11-Aug-11 18:09:21

thanx 4 your advice gillybean2. im gonna try and not stress myself out with the bedtime routine anymore, like u said its hard been mum and dad. Im gonna try lettin my little one go 2 sleep in my bed with some boundrys, shes most relaxed in my bed but is really insecure on her own so i dont know how it will go.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 11-Aug-11 18:34:22

Boundaries and patience. Decide if you're going to let her sleep with you (difficult in the long-term if you get a new partner), or settle her in her own bed. Things are up in the air for them right now but you need to remain consistent.
It isn't easy, but it will get better. I agree with gilly about children needing the security of boundaries. Be firm and stick to your guns.

BertieBotts Thu 11-Aug-11 18:52:17

I actually think that things like bedsharing are probably good compromises to make when you are the only parent, because slower transitions are so much easier to implement even if you are tired or having a bad day etc. I slept with DS since he was born, and he transitioned really easily into his own bed when he was about 2.5. I think all children will be ready to leave the bed at different times but they will all get there. If you have only just split up then it might be that she needs that comfort for a few more months than you were thinking, but she will still move out when she's ready.

With a new partner, I haven't found it a problem, because DP wasn't sleeping over for quite a long time, I took the relationship slowly, so I had time to think about moving DS and I definitely didn't want him to feel I was pushing him out of my bed to bring someone else into it. When DP did start staying over he would sleep on the sofabed downstairs, I'd sleep with him until DS woke when I'd go up to him. After a few months I noticed that DS slept a lot longer when I slept downstairs, than when I was in the bed with him, so I moved him to a bed at that point and he was absolutely fine. He still comes into bed with me in the early hours (usually 5ish) and DP now lives with us so he's sometimes there as well (I say sometimes as he works nights, so not always at home) and it isn't a problem for him because he's always known that was the situation, if that makes sense. Actually recently DS has been waking just before DP gets home from work, so he usually takes him downstairs for an hour or so which is lovely!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now