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I feel selfish

(10 Posts)
bacchanalwoman Sat 16-Feb-13 22:50:26

My partner has recently been given residence of children after a long and difficult battle which I supported. They are difficult sometimes but I understand that this is due to some of the unfortunate experiences with mum. I get along fine, they are very affectionate to me and vice versa. I have no kids so have had to get used to lots of things, plus I work away Monday to Friday. I feel bad enough not being there more for him but he copes well. I manage lots of the practical organising family stuff from a distance. My issue is co sleeping on the one hand I feel that they need their dad more than ever and want to give them that space with him, but it also means that sometimes I spend both nights we have together alone as I get pushed ( not on purpose) out of bed. Tonight after a difficult week and all day decorating and cleaning with partner for the kids I am alone in a spare room for the second night of the weekend. I go back to the city Sunday night and that's it. I feel Lonely sometimes in a busy house and I know my partner is trying but with this sudden change and a 7 and 8 year old having gone through so much, how can I complain. He's seen how I feel apologises and sometimes even the girls do but they can't seem to sleep alone many nights and I spend all week alone and now practically weekend nights. I feel so selfish saying this but I've been in tears for an hour. We have no time together and keep talking it through but it still does not stop me feeling like this sometimes. i think they need to go to their own beds really but I'm aware of my own bias Has anyone else coped with this?

deleted203 Sat 16-Feb-13 22:56:02

I haven't had to cope with this, but I feel for you! I do think they need to go to their own beds really. If they are struggling to sleep alone is it possible to put a double bed in their room (or the spare room?) and pop both girls in it so that they have each other for company? Whilst understanding that the girls need their dad, it seems that the four of you are a family unit and you have needs too. It isn't fair to sacrifice one of you entirely for the others, and it is (presumably) difficult enough keeping your relationship going with the pressures on it, without being relegated to the spare room on the two nights you are home. Can you have a family talk about this?

Flojobunny Sat 16-Feb-13 22:56:39

I was in a similar situation. Partner lived with me in my small flat then suddenly got full custody of 3 DCs, had to move out and get bigger place so I kept mine and stay with him at wkends. I looked forward to it then found myself sharing with 2 of his young DCs. What we did was buy a double bed for one of them then I'd go in that and he'd sneak in once they were asleep. They soon fell asleep with the comfort of him there, sometimes woke up and came looking for him but we at least got some night together.
Sounds like they need a stricter bedtime routine then u can at least get some time in the evening.
It's very very hard but it will get easier in time. Only u know if u can wait.

purpleroses Sat 16-Feb-13 23:00:29

I think it sounds tough on everyone. I've had same issue with my DD (9) and only recently got her out of climbing in with me at request of DP when we moved in together. Did it by escorting her back to her own bed each time and staying there til she settled but it was pretty knackering. Could they be pusuaded to climb in with each other?

bacchanalwoman Sat 16-Feb-13 23:10:08

Thanks everyone. We tried that, letting them sleep together, they seem to some nights but nights when they are up a little later, which means weekends, they tend to want to be in our bed for stories etc. we tried partner taking them to their bed and getting out when they are asleep but the youngest especially will play up a little before bedtimes which makes it difficult. Their bond with him is important just now because of some experiences with mum so it's hard sometimes to say no. Partners solution is to go buy a bigger bed tomorrow which I know is trying to please everyone and the girls wanting to sleep between us but this means the relationship between us suffers somewhat and when will they ever sleep on their own? . I don't want him to feel torn but I am going to try getting him to get out of bed with them .

Fairy130389 Sun 17-Feb-13 10:21:42

I'm sorry to be the wsm and wade in here - but buying a bigger bed?!! no no no!!!!!!!! Yes I'm sure they have had a difficult time and they need physical contact etc but you will just build up a dependency. Children with attachment issues in particular do this (my dsd gets VERY into specific routines and would have slept in our bed every night if DH and I let her...)

I think, make their bedroom(s) as nice as possible, include them in it, put up fairy lights, the works, then put them to bed and sit in the room until they're asleep. if they get out, put them back in. you will just make a rod for your back if not. Give them plenty of cuddles and reassurance, but NOT in your bed!

Xalla Sun 17-Feb-13 12:56:17

Totally agree with Fairy. My DSD was allowed to sleep in her Mum's bed so she wanted to here. We never allowed it and I'm glad we didn't; we've since had 2 of our own and there would be 5 of us in the bed by now if we had!

None of our kids are allowed to sleep with us. On the odd occassion that one of them's particularly ill, we sleep in their room but that's it.

My DSD's Mum is struggling atm; her boyf just moved in and it's no longer convenient to have a 7 year old in the bed...

Lafaminute Sun 17-Feb-13 13:06:58

Poor you. My two end up with us sometimes - the younger one almost every night and the older one occasionally. I move out which is fine as they are my babies but I would so resent it otherwise. At least I can get cross firm with both of them and callously kick them out when I've had enough. I got my older child to stay in her own room by giving her a cuddle then bringing her back to her own bed and - if necessary -cuddling her there until she fell asleep then, if I was still awake, I'd go back to my own room. She prefers her own bed now (at 10!!!) but sometimes wakes from a nightmare and comes in. Maybe your partner could work on this during the week....

purpleroses Sun 17-Feb-13 15:21:33

You could try audio books - my DD loves listening to stories before sleep, and also sometimes puts on stories or music if she finds herself awake in the night.

But you will need your DP full on board with whatever you do. All week long he's functioning kind of as a single parent, and letting a child sleep in your bed when you have a double all to yourself is so easy to do, and nice even to have a cuddle. Add into that that your DP has just been through difficult court battle, and DSDs are unsettled and clingy to their dad, and it could really be quite difficult to get him to get them out of his bed in the week.

But if he doesn't make the same rules in the week as at weekends it's going to be difficult to enforce them at weekends, as they will of course feel pushed out by you.

Could your DP get a comfy chair and small reading lamp for their room, so he could sit and read whilst they go off in the evening, or whilst settling them at night?

Even a super king sized bed is going to be crammed with 4, and you are right to expect some privacy with your DP in bed. You need to get him on board with the long term plan (they sleep in own beds) even if you need to compromise a little along the way.

bacchanalwoman Sun 17-Feb-13 21:15:05

Thank you so much everyone. We had a talk today and came up with some strategies. It was nice to be able to vent a little in a safe space. I needed that. And no we're not having the bigger bed!

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