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Surely I'm right and my wife is wrong...

(25 Posts)
AndyTheHat Tue 04-Aug-15 20:43:09

Sorry for the ambiguous and provocative subject line, but I could do with some advice... Our DD is 20months. Has been sleeping in own room since 6 months; unless we have a bad teething night or a cold etc she will generally sleep 10-11 hours straight. My issue is with the hour to an hour and a half it takes my wife to get DD down.
On the odd occasion I am trusted with this task (I.e. once a month when Wife is out at a meeting) I do bath as normal for 6.45, pj's and story 7.15, down 7.30 and glass of wine in hand 7.32.
Wife however insists on allowing DD' s demands for another song/story/teddy bear, then cuddling DD to sleep in the rocking chair, then trying 3 times to get her down but DD "wakes up" and starts whole thing again... Wife eventually comes downstairs frazzled at 9pm.
I would never deny my wife important mummy-daughter time but how can I get her to see that cuddling DD to sleep now is just storing up problems for the future? Or am I completely wrong about this?
And no we can't apparently have a sensible grown up conversation about this - which is why I'm writing this in the spare room...

Methe Tue 04-Aug-15 20:47:49

Give yourself a pat on the back for being the best dad in the history of the universe.

why haven't we got a medal emoticon yet?

Or a sarcasm one?

Iggi999 Tue 04-Aug-15 20:48:18

Children behave differently for different people. If your wife followed your routine you are assuming it would work the same for you as for her - I doubt that it would. Does she want to be in for 90 mins, is that what you think? Why not send her out for a few evenings out (as she doesn't seem to get any) and see whether your routine works well when tested on a more regular basis!
I may be slightly bitter as it sounds like your lo has a great sleep pattern already tbh..

QuiteLikely5 Tue 04-Aug-15 20:51:12

Why don't you put her to bed every night then so your wife can avoid the situation?

SunshineAndShadows Tue 04-Aug-15 20:51:29

Why won't your wife 'allow' you to put your daughter to bed? Couldn't you ask to share the bedtime routine so you both get quality bedtimes with your daughter and your wife is less frazzled?

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Tue 04-Aug-15 20:51:49

Then, in order to help your wife, why don't you do bedtimes for a while. Your child gets into a better routine. You & your wife get quality time together in the evening. Your wife gets a break from the 90 minute bedtime routine. Everyone wins?

chickenfuckingpox Tue 04-Aug-15 20:51:54

look my ex could get our son to sleep faster than me didnt make him a good dad just meant he was good at one thing when he stopped doing that ONE thing it fell to me to do it like everything else in the universe (as i said he is an ex)

perhaps she likes the cuddles

fleamadonna Tue 04-Aug-15 20:54:02

DP sent me to live with my mum while he cracked our DS' terrible sleep problems.

I mean, much worse than what you two are dealing with.

but yes. I admit I was the problem.

AndyTheHat Tue 04-Aug-15 21:01:27

Yep to much of the above. I am not claiming that I am worthy of adoration - far from it! - but I worry that my Wife has allowed DD to dictate things. Indeed Wife has pulled out of most things she used to be involved with and rarely lets me "do" bedtime - since she heard me on the monitor once saying "one more cuddle then it's bedtime" you would have thought I was committing genocide. As we are BOTH (ahem) slightly more mature parents, I defer to Wife's judgement on most things, but her constant insistence on nightly torturing herself is starting to grate. My point was supposed to be that SURELY we should be letting DD self settle by now? She does for her midday nap (again, only if it is me "on duty" but this is most days), so isn't Wife cuddling her to sleep at night storing up problems?

Cake0rdeath Tue 04-Aug-15 21:03:21

I sort of get where you're coming from but i think you have to see it from your wife's perspective.

If bedtime is the only time of the day your wife gets with DD then she's going to indulge her. I work FT and DS's bed time routine is our time together; yes, it's shorter than your wife's (mainly because DS is not a cuddler and exhausted by 730 and just wants his bed) but if I could extend it to get cuddles, I'd do it in a second.

The issue is that your wife seems "frazzled". If the routine is leaving her stressed then it should be an indication that something isn't working and new strategies are needed. However, this is her decision to make.

As for encouraging sleep issues in later life, your DD clearly CAN sleep of her own accord (as proven by your routine with her) so don't worry about it. Yes, you'll probably have a rough few weeks when/if your wife decides to stop rocking her to sleep, but it'll pass.

For the time being you should let your wife do what she feels is right; you may not exactly agree with it but if she's the one doing 99% of bedtime then it's her choice how she goes about things.

Liara Tue 04-Aug-15 21:07:49

ds1 is 8 and ds2 5 and I still cuddle them to bed for 1-1.5h every night.

They love it, it makes them feel loved and cherished and has made our bond very strong. It is our special mother-child time. As they have become older and less awful sleepers and less demanding, it has also become a time for me to unwind (what I am currently doing right now).

Yes, children will adapt to whatever you give to them, but some things have hidden benefits that may not be apparent in the short run.

If your wife is OK with her bedtime routine, then good for her. If not, she can figure out a way to make it better herself. If she asks for your help, then feel free to give it.

If she doesn't, then you should butt out.

AndyTheHat Tue 04-Aug-15 21:09:56

Ha. Aha ha. Aha.
Sarcasm, sorry.
My point is my concern for my Wife. She is irrationally convinced that she should put DD to bed in order to be a good mother. She is a fantastic mum, but has allowed DD to dictate her life to such an extent that she WON'T consider going out for an hour of an evening. Once bedtime starts she is locked in to a cycle and will NOT let me in - I feel I am missing out too, as I would dearly love to be the one reading the bedtime story! But when we have tried it, mummy simply comes upstairs when I first put DD down and says "but you haven't done X Y or Z yet, she won't go down yet" and takes over...

Milkyway1304 Tue 04-Aug-15 21:16:25

My husband and I usually alternate bedtimes with our 15month old unless I'm working late/night shifts. Takes both of us ages mind! I normally feed then story+cuddle; my husband does a story, then she wanders around the bedroom for 10mins(!), puts her dolly to bed and and then she goes to bed. So about 30-45mins on average. But we both work full time so quite enjoy the time.

Liara Tue 04-Aug-15 21:16:41

Just let her do it her way. Or agree that every x days you will do it your way, as a favour to you because you enjoy it. And don't come down saying 'you see, my way is better.'

If she feels like that is what she needs to do to be a good mother then that is what she needs to do to be a good mother. There is always an easier way, but those of us who go for the other way feel that it is worth it.

They are little for such a very short time!

AndyTheHat Tue 04-Aug-15 21:17:24

I wish I could work out how to respond to individual posters... Thank you (mostly) for some interesting points - especially CakeOrDeath and Liara.

Methe Tue 04-Aug-15 21:18:34

Maybe she just likes it? Some of my favourite memories are those of putting my children to bed when they were babies and toddlers and being loved and needed.

It's ok, it doesn't last for ever.

There is no right way.

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Tue 04-Aug-15 21:20:23

If she will not accept your help, leave her to do it her way. As previous posters have said, if it's the only time your wife gets with your DD, it's precious to her. Sometimes it can be hard to articulate something like this, doubly so when you're not fully sure exactly how you feel, or why. Please don't expect her to be rational about it, some things aren't rational. Parenthood is one of those things.

Having said that, I totally see your point that you sometimes want to be the one reading the story to your DD - have you told your wife this?

Seriouslyffs Tue 04-Aug-15 21:20:26

Who's with her in the day?

sugar21 Tue 04-Aug-15 21:37:38

Andythehat Im thinking you are a great Dad and have a good perspective. Consider if you had other children, what would happen at bedtimes then? Maybe you could say you would like to do bedtimes on xyz day a week and your wife the other days. I do agree that your wife is making a rod so to speak.Gently explain that you are still a couple and as such need time together. Having said all this, dc are only little for a short while and both parents should enjoy them. I'm sure you could put my words into your own vernacular iyswim Hope things improve for you

Cake0rdeath Tue 04-Aug-15 21:40:32

Getting "a shot" of bedtime is going to be hard if your wife is as attached to it as I am!

I am a creature of habit and routine is very important to me; DH, not so much. We have vastly different parenting styles and I worried endlessly about the "mixed" messages we were sending DS. As such, I wouldn't let DH put DS to bed for a really long time.

He indulged me for about 6 months and then was quite abrupt with me. We both missed out on DS during the day and he wanted a chance to bond too.

We segued into this gradually and, for the first 5-10 times, I had to really work hard to restrain myself from taking over.

I suspect there's a part of your wife that doesn't want to relinquish bedtime as its "her and DD" time. If you really want to do bedtimes, then I suggest framing it honestly. It's not about giving her a break/training DD, it's about your chance to bond with DD. it may also be sensible (I'm just thinking about what I would have liked) if you go in to the conversation with a specific day (s) each week you would want bed time duty. The routine may help the transition for your wife.

Cake0rdeath Tue 04-Aug-15 21:45:59

I sound like such a control freak!! I'm not, I just really loved bedtime!

purplemurple1 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:02:20

I've nor rtft but ny oh is the same faffs about talking, playing, letting ds decide everything and ot makes no difference some nights he shouts out a little others he just settles.
But they both enjoy it so I figure its their choice on my nights its faster so I do all weekends.

wafflyversatile Tue 04-Aug-15 22:11:01

It does sound annoying however it's her way. You will not always parent in exactly the same way and your relationships with your DC will not be the same as each other or over time. that is in 6 months time your DC might not let you put him down, at 3 years he might want to be wherever daddy is at all time etc etc.

Maybe just agree that on your nights you do it your way without interference from her, and on her nights she does it her way without interference from you?

Lilipot15 Tue 04-Aug-15 23:30:48

I regret that I didn't let my DH do more bedtimes when our eldest was younger and I could have had more evenings out!....I was under the wrong impression that she needed me to get to sleep. He's now done a fab job with a routine that they both enjoy, and we've got our evenings back (although now we have a new baby!!).

Guess the issue is if your wife is saying to you that she finds bedtimes difficult (you think she looks frazzled so presumably yes) or if she enjoys the time. BUT another thing to consider is your daughters amount of sleep - our daughter is definitely more cheerful all day (rather than cranky late afternoon) now she is getting to sleep earlier - perhaps this is the way to open discussions (in a very non-confrontational way).

If I could go back and do it again I'd ensure we shared bedtimes a bit more so that I could have had more evenings out before having my second. But there is plenty of time for that!

Chloris33 Wed 05-Aug-15 12:51:12

Sounds like you'd like to do bedtimes sometimes & that it might give your wife a break if sometimes you did it, if she'd be happy with that. A calm & constructive conversation about this might be best way forward- one in which there isn't any implied criticism but framed more as an offer to help, plus that you'd like the chance to do bedtime by yourself more often. It's certainly true that babies/children behave differently for different people btw. My baby son tends to demand more from me, and whereas my husband can often rock him to sleep easily & quickly, for instance, this doesn't work for me as he wants breastfeed from me & can't forget it in my presence even if not hungry. Good luck & be easy on each other.

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