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Mixed routines causing marrital disharmony

(4 Posts)
AliPen Sun 20-Jan-13 09:24:50

My closest friend is near breaking point. She is desparately tired with a DS 1yrs and DD 6yrs who do not sleep well in the night. DH works away for 1-3 weeks at a time. When he's not at home she has her routine which involves allowing the kids to sleep in her bed whilst waking up every 2 hours dealing with DS who wants to be entertained and won't get back to sleep .When DH is home he tries to enforce a routine of regular bedtime which partly works but inevitably causes upset because she believes her routine is the only way. She's so tired and gives in to her DS crying whilst DD gains attention by playing up.

They tend to communicate through bickering and often undermine each other as to who is doing a better job at parenting. They cannot seem to agree on what to do; there is some resentment because DH works away, comes home and then kids are happy again. He's frustrated because she gives in and does not have the willpower to do controlled crying. Bad habits have crept in and with good intention to undo, involve DS crying harder and mum backing down.

My friend declines any offer of help, insisting she does it all herself. All I can do is listen when she's upset and be there for when she does need me. I feel for them both as they are trying to figure out what to do, I try not to get involved. I never take sides and quite often feel uncomfortable when my friend is quite acid towards her DH who I honestly believe she loves. She's almost past the point of being rational and seems to be in survival mode, he's trying his best to understand but cannot fully appreciate what it's like when he's away.

I don't know how else to help her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Jan-13 09:30:14

The only thing you can suggest is that they try couples counselling and get some help communicating... and probably also someone who specialises in getting children to go to sleep, because that seems to be the root of the problem. Other than that you're going to have to maintain your non-involvement status. Neither of them are in the right here.

financialwizard Sun 20-Jan-13 09:55:32

A lot of it is probably due to lack of sleep on her part, and on her husbands part due to the fact he is away so much.

If I were her I would be having a serious chat with the HV or GP to get help with sleep training.

Is there any way you could have a girly night at hers and ply her with drink so she sleeps just take over.

financialwizard Sun 20-Jan-13 09:56:20

I'm with cog on the marriage counselling too.

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