So, ds has always been held until he falls asleep (he is 12 1/2 mo.). He is very high-needs, and I work a lot of hours, so I think I try to make up for being away at bedtime (when I am home for bedtime). The thing is, I know that he doesn't know how to fall asleep without being held, and I don't do crying-it-out (one of the reasons I like this page is that crying-it-out isn't a thing here.), but I am so short-tempered the past few days, and tonight I just had to put him down and sit outside the door, because I was SO ANGRY that he would NOT sleep. It took 2 hours to finally get him in bed, after I had just worked all day, hadn't eaten because everything I saw made me want to throw up, and I was just so tired. Does anyone have any advice? I guess I just need a gentle way to get him to feel safe falling asleep on his own, or to ease him into it. I don't like the way my temper has been this week, I am generally a very patient and calm person, and have always prided myself on keeping up with my son, whether playing or bath-time or bed, no matter what else was going on, so getting this upset is really... upsetting.
My favorite thought when I'm struggling with my son is "I don't know any 16 year olds that need their Mom to...." Whatever the issue. In this case, I don't know any 16 year olds that still need their mom to rock them to sleep. It is frustrating at times, but he will figure it out. And it also reminds me that he isn't going to want me to rock him forever, so I need to enjoy it while it lasts.
I'm sorry, and I understand what you're going through. We rocked our son to sleep until he was 2.5 :/ He's much better now (will be 3 next month) but still occasionally backslides. I've actually wrapped him in the woven a couple of times since I've been pregnant, to put him down (extremely frustrated all the while!)
The solution that felt tolerable for us was to let him fuss and cry and let out his frustration in bed while we lay next to him (we have a family bed, but I know people who have squeezed into a toddler bed). We would rub his back and quietly say "sleepy time now" until he tuckered himself out enough to sleep. It wasn't pleasant, but he knew he was safe and didn't feel abandoned, just pissed off. In a couple of days (seriously!) he was a thousand times better at it.
I hope you find a solution that works! It's so hard to find a compassionate solution to sleep troubles. I too appreciate how these boards don't default to CIO.
I am in the same boat as you, the only difference being that I struggled with anger even before I was pregnant. Like serious anger. But I've been working on it a lot and now am able to diffuse it or channel it in another direction. I have tried some of the things these mamas have said (my son is 14.5 months and still needs to be rocked to sleep). Twice he has fallen asleep peacefully while I was lying next to his bed with my hand on his back. Several times his has cried or screamed miserably, not understanding why I won't just cuddle him (he is also very high needs). I was hoping that if he could fall asleep more easily in bed maybe he would sleep through the night. For now I have decided to just keep cuddling him to sleep. I figure that if all he wants in the world is to cuddle me, and if that makes him feel secure and loved, then it's a pretty special bond. Even though some nights I am distracted by other things on my mind or to-do list, I just breathe him in as I rock him and remember (as these mamas have said) that this is a deceptively short and temporary part of my life with him, and I know I will miss it later. Whenever I have decided to accept the things he communicates are important to him rather than try to change them based on how I think things *should* be, I find so much peace compared to the turmoil of trying to fix things. Good luck!