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I would love some advice right now...(25 Posts)
I will try to keep this short....
I am a single parent with a not too helpful exH. The girls see him every other Sunday for a few hours.
I am at university studying to become a nurse. I have worked really hard to get a place. The last 5 years have been very hard but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger as they say. I am now in a position where I can finally see more security for me and my girls. Money is tight and my mortgage is ridiculously high but it will get easier.
My problem is....
My daughter who is 8 sleeps in my bed as about a year ago for absolutely no reason she wouldn't go to bed alone. I would cuddle her in her bed until she was asleep and then it started to take hours. My whole evening was spent sat on her bedroom floor. I decided to allow her in my bed as she settled better. I then re decorated her room, new bed, bedding etc. She won't sleep in there! I have tried everything and I mean everything. Been to the doctor and apparently I have to make her. Tough love the doctor said. She gets very anxious when I discuss it with her. When I put a plan in place she won't eat she talks about sleeping on the floor. It's got so out of hand I go to bed with her.
I have no 'me' time at all.
My first placement is next week which means 12.5 shifts an hour away. Meaning she will have to sleep at my mums. She is having a melt down. Not eating. Crying every day. It's just awful awful awful. I don't have an option as this is the only way to complete a degree.
Sorry so long. I have missed lots out but honestly it's been a battle....
The doctor was right, tough love is needed here or you'll never have a romantic relationship again.
There's going to be a school trips like PGL. She would miss out on sleepover parties and the like.
Can you get a referral to a child psychologist from your GP?
Can she sleep in the room with her sister ? Not sure of sisters age.
Could you try rewarding her for sleeping in her room? Just very little things.
I'm a lone parent and my dd always wants to sleep in my bed too. She stayed at my sisters and slept fine on her own! I think if your mum just does her own thing she will be fine. Try to gloss over it for now and take the focus off it.
Can you think back to what might have been happening a year ago? And/or a bit before then? Is it possible something disturbed her?
Ah you poor thing, sounds very tough.
Firstly, a year ago when she started to insist on you being there it wasn't for no reason - it was for a reason you don't yet know, and one she might not be able to articulate.
How do you feel about cosleeping generally? My 7.5yo shares with me, and we love it. (apart from the duvet stealing - she's bad for that!) Different to you because she will go to sleep on her own at her dad's, or with a babysitter. She much prefers me though - and who can blame her, who doesn't want a mummy snuggle?
The GP is probably right that being tough will stop her. I don't call that tough love though, just tough. And you know what, if you need the space back, I won't judge you. But it's not what I would do.
She has a big change coming up, with overnights with your mother, and she's already anxious. But she's also 8 - she's old enough to talk to.
I'd tell her that you love her, and you can see that she feels she needs you at night. I would explain the shifts you have - and at 8, I'd also explain that work if necessary - for money, but also because you've trained for your new career and you want to do it. I'd tell her that you need some time to yourself to do boring things like housework, but also to have fun so that you can be relaxed and happy. Involve her in the solution. Tell her that during this transition period of overnights with grandma, she'll be in with you on other nights, no pressure to move rooms. Involve her in the solution. Hopefully she'll suggest you cuddle her for 10 minutes (etc) or you can suggest it. Explain to her that you need to find a way to keep her in with you that works for both of you.
And when you wake up in the morning and your nose is buried in her hair, and she rolls in for a cuddle in her sleep, and you get to hear the first thought coming out of her head as she wakes, remember that cosleeping has it's upsides too
I would try to compromise by taking the pressure off both of you to move her out - tell her you won't even talk about it again until after Xmas. But the payoff is she needs to compromise on you not going to bed at the same time.
I'd also go back to the GP but not focus on the sleeping arrangements but on the anxiety.
Re never having a romantic relationship again: I've managed to fall in love and get engaged all the while having a cosleeper.
My fiancé and I have a lot of sex on the sofa
And he respects that cosleeping is a choice for me.
Oh, when I wanted her to go to sleep without me but still allowed in my bed, I promised to keep coming to check. Didn't tell her off when I did, either giggled wit her that she was still awake, or just said hello and promised to be up again soon - gentle not tough.
Have you tried letting her sleep in your room whilst you sleep in hers?
Thankyou all so so much for your posts. I lost the post straight after sending it 🙈
It was lovely to find such a response so thankyou 😊
I have tried everything and although she is 8 she is a bit of a diva. It's my fault I find it exhaustig sometimes.
I wouldn't my her in with me as I have absolutely no time to date anyway but her big sister who is 11 plays up saying it's not fair. I have them both in with me.
I'm hoping I can sort nanny's out and when she's home come in with me until I can tackle it again.
The doctor wouldn't refer as she won't talk so would be a waste of time. I try to reason with her and she puts her fingers in her ears.
My 10 old dd wanted to cosleep with me when her dad and I split but I just couldn't get any sleep because of her snoring and shifting around so I just had to explain why she couldn't sleep with me, reasonable excuse I just couldn't get any sleep!
I know all kids are different, but the fingers in the ears is something I've never experienced.
The longer it goes on the worse it is? What if they were ordered to stay overnight with their dad as part of the custody arrangement?
I know you need to get over the initial 12 week course, but long term it's a serious issue.
I have heard of the mum going into the child's room to sleep as well Joy.
I tell her mummy is tired. I tell her it's not for ever (sleeping at nannys) I have tried everything that's why I wonder am I being too soft.
It's the hardest thing I have had to go through.
Unfortunately their dad won't allow over night sleeps. They only see him every other Sunday for a few hours and then he goes to his parents as for some unknown reason they don't go to his house where he lives with his gf of 6 years. Strange!
BTDT. Try getting angry about it and set a date in the future as her last day she gets to sleep with you - maybe her next birthday - and then talk about it a lot as the day approaches. But, I think you have to get your motivation from anger. Empathy, being supportive and understanding and gentle - you are past any of that being effective here.
Reasoning with her isn't going to cut it. This issue isn't based in reason, it's emotional. So that's the terrain you need to be on when you talk to her about this.
Draw her about her anxiety. Listen to her. Use all the active listening techniques to get her to open up, and ask probing questions so that she can articulate what this anxiety is really all about. She probably doesn't know it herself! Just that something has her fearful enough to demand to sleep with you, as a palliative.
She needs to be able to state that fear, so that it loses its power.
Firstly, congrats on your achievements! you're doing great.
A few suggestions, you may have tried some;
1. Offer her the choice that she can fall asleep in your bed and you can move her back to hers for sleep or you can lay beside her while she falls asleep in her bed.
2. If she'll go in her bed, gradually reduce the time you lay beside her, till its 5 or 10 mins in the end.
3. If you can afford it at all, any way you can jazz up her room to make it appealing and/or get her a new teddy/soft toy
4. would star charts work?
Awful, awful advice from bubblingup, advising motivation from anger as opposed TO understanding, support & empathy? WTAF?
Can you put an inflatable bed in her room and both sleep in there? Stay the full night for the first week, then slowly start to go back to your own room.
Not talking is being effective for her. It means she doesn't have to tackle the bad feelings and gets to be in with you.
You might have to be the bad guy. Stop letting her be in with you. It will be rough but ultimately she will either go to sleep in her room because she is exhausted or she will start to open up about the anxiety.
Have you tried any books like "What to do when you worry too much" or "The big bag of worries"?
Was this when you started dating???
can she sleep with her sister??
I have just bought this book, I am reading it before starting to work through it with my son it comes with threat reviews
Firstly can I say thankyou all so so much. Sorry I haven't replied I have been working super long hours.
I have redecorated her room, new bed, bedding, blankets, pillows, books, bits and bobs to make it girly and cosy. We all swapped rooms so my room was next to hers. She won't sleep in with her sister either.
Thankyou for all the advice. My mum has been coming to my house at 6 am so they don't have to sleep out but I know this can't continue as my mum is exhausted already and it's only been 2 days. My mum has a new partner and the girls don't like him. He stays a week at a time. I don't want to make them even more anxious staying at hers when he is. I asked my mum to stay here but she won't leave him and I know I sound super selfish but I don't want him to stay here either.
I thought I could tackle childcare once getting into uni but it's seems to be a bit poop first week in placement.
Sorry I'm completely moaning about something else now arnt I?!
Something which helped my DS to stay in his bed:
We told him that if he was frightened then he could come into our bed but he would be tired the next day so the next day he wouldnt be able to play out with his friend because he was tired. Not a punishment but a simple consequence.
Quite quickly he worked out that coming into our bed in the night was not as good as being able to play out with his friend. Didnt mean he couldnt come into our bed if he was really frightened.
Could something like that work for your DD?
I tried that. She would stay awake until I was asleep. I go to bed super early. If it's a weekend she will stay awake until I go to bed. Moan and moan the whole evening she was bored and tired. When am I going to bed!! She is adamant she won't go to sleep and is going to wait up until I'm asleep.
Then she is tired (ie your definition of tired not hers) the next day which means that she cant play on tablet/watch a video/watch a particular program she enjoys. Whatever it is, there is a small consequence.
It could be that you turn it around:
tomorrow you can play on tablet/watch a video/watch a particular program but only if you arent tired because of not sleeping in your own bed.
Whatever it is, you have to stick with it even if it is a bit tedious for you.
There has to be something in it for her to break the cycle.
I sympathise completely my DD was like this until she was about 10/11. I'll occasionally still wake up with her having sneaked in at 14 ! Its murder and exhausting all round.
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