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hmm question ~ is this abuse?? Sleeping while children play... - Page 5

post #81 of 100
I'm late, but I'll add my opinion. My daughter (16 months) and I live in a very small apartment (2 rooms and a bathroom) and she has the run of the main area of the place. This means she is sometimes out of sight but always quite close.

I have been showering with her awake and playing since just before her first birthday (prior to that she got in the shower with me every time.) I don't run the water when she is sleeping, too loud, and she sleeps in my bed and can get out herself anyway so quite honestly trying to shower when she is sleeping is somewhat riskier since I could think she was sleeping when she was really awake walking around I suppose.

The co-sleeping is actually an additional point; she has been able to get out of bed herself since 7 months, so (since I don't always sit in her room while she sleeps) she has ultimately been unattended then, too.

I don't sleep when she is awake unless she is in bed with me watching TV; if she gets up, I get up. I also refuse to leave the apartment without her in my arms (some friends have suggested that I run to the car or check the mail while she sleeps and I don't feel comfortable with it) and I never leave her in the tub -- two things not brought up but I thought I'd throw them in.

This is the arrangement that works for us and I feel safe and comfortable with it. I will add that my apartment is baby/toddler-proof to the absolute hilt, but accidents can happen anywhere. I don't feel neglectful in any way.
post #82 of 100
Can I post here? I'm not a single parent (and I haven't read the entire thread)... so here goes.

When I am home alone with them and exhausted, yeah, I'm a single parent.

There have been a handful of times when I'm wiped out and NEED to sleep during the day, no adults around. I turn on a kids movie or PBS and they'll watch in the room with me (on the bed) while I take a needed cat nap or whatever sleep I can manage. It usually helped tremendously.

But no, I would never let them play alone downstairs or something, with me upstairs sleeping deeply. My best compromise is that they have to stay in the room with me.

Showers - no TV (I try to limit it as much as possible, I do not encourage it.)

They'll play in the other rooms (I am awake and can hear them) or she'll stay in the bathroom with me (decide to bath with me or not) and sometimes the 3 of us with bathe together - no biggie.

AM Showers - yeah, sometimes she'll wake up screaming for me and comes in crying with her pjs. I'll tell her I'll be right with her and she can stay in the room with me or go lie down and wait for me. Best I can do! But they have to wake up anyway and so I'll shower anyway if I feel like it.

There was a story in the paper just yesterday about how some 3-year-old was found in a diaper wandering through TRAFFIC and motorists stopped to help him. The mother was home sleeping and was charged with child endangerment. Sad. (She sounds neglectful to begin with.)


My worse fear is that they make their way outside and drown (we have a pool) or get hit by a car or something. Best I can do is keep them in the room with me if I am out of it (asleep). If not, then I can hear them and I know where they are at all times and what they are doing. But if I am asleep I can't hear squawk. So, best I can do is keep them in the room with me.

While I refrain from name-calling "that's abusive!" I will just say I don't think it's a wise idea to sleep and have the kids up and about with no one else awake.
post #83 of 100
On the wandering in traffic...

When we moved to our current apartment, I was dismayed to find that the door has a french door, lever-type handle rather than a knob. DD can reach the handle and pull it easily. She cannot reach the deadbolt, but I don't trust myself let alone a sitter etc. to be sure the deadbolt is thrown 100% of the time. This was a huge focus of mine and the door now has both a kiddie-lock and an inexpensive, if annoying , chime on it.
post #84 of 100
Originally Posted by Tanibani View Post
When I am home alone with them and exhausted, yeah, I'm a single parent.
I am NOT trying to pick on you and I know this is somewhat off-topic (but not completely) and I also know you were kidding but it always bothers me when people say this. I think it's cause I'm feeling especially single-parentish these days. It's not the same if you know there is respite on the horizon. I am currently undergoing a period of almost burnout with zero breaks from the kids for even five minutes for weeks now. No financial support emotional support and sick kids as well as being sick myself. I spent christmas morning in the emergency room with my son AND cooked a big christmas dinner for guests and and ourselves all on the same day. All that while dealing with an abusive almost dead-beat dad. I think it *is* different for ingle parents and we need to parent differently. If I didn't sleep sometimes while my kids were still up, I would become very, very ill. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it f I was partnered but I don't think I would do it nearly as often because I wouldn't need to.
Blech., I'm sorry if this is coming off as harsh, it's not meant to but it's just hard sometimes.
post #85 of 100
I agree with Mamajama. When anyone's alone with the kids, yes, they're the only one on duty so of course have to be on the alert. And all Moms work super hard to the point of exhaustion, married or single! But it's not the same as being a single parent. Even if I was sitting here with two broken legs and pneumonia, then too darn bad for me, I can't call anyone to come home. I think that's the biggest difference.
post #86 of 100
When DH and I were separated we would drop DS off before he went to work and I was just getting off the night shift. Now DS1 would sleep a few hours but there were times when he would play and eat a snack while I dozed on the couch an hour longer (then I would nap after he got picked up) I don't think there was anything wrong with it, the house was kid safe, child locks on the doors so he couldn't get out etc.
post #87 of 100
I think it all depends on the situation.My dc are 5 and 8,and yes I do sleep sometimes when they are up.I hear everything they do,and they always ask me for things they need or want.Ds will watch a dvd or play V-smile in my room while dd is on my computer,which is also in my room.Dd will make her brother and herself breakfast(using either the microwave or toaster,or something that doesn't need to be cooked,I knew how to cook at her age,but I don't allow her to use the stove).Sometimes they play in their room,which is right near mine,or watch tv in there.I have all the stations blocked except for Nick,Disney,and Sprout so they are limited on what they can watch.

I don't sleep all day of course,and I don't do it everyday.Once in a while if I am very tired,or sick.If I have my 2yo neice(her mom is a single mom too,and needs to work so sometimes I have to care for her no matter how bad I feel),I will put the baby gate up so that she can only go between my room and dc's room.Dd will keep an eye on her,but that is only for a few minutes so I can just close my eyes to let my meds kick in to get rid of a headache,I don't actually sleep.

My dc have gotten into more things while I am pooping or showering than when I've been sleeping.The one time ds needed staples,was when I was taking a very quick shower.I had him in the living room,which I thought was completly baby proofed(he was about 14 months).Somehow he cut his head open.To this day we still have no idea how,as there was nothing sharp in that room at all.They've cut each other's hair : while I was pooping.Ds has thrown yogurt all over my kitchen,ripped books apart,colored all over himself,etc while I was taking care of dd.

There are times when I have to leave them alone for a couple of minutes.When I do laundry I have to go downstairs into my dad's apartment.I can hear my dc,but I'm not in the same apartment.I go get the mail.I take the trash out.I bring the groceries in.I try to do most of these things when they are in school now,but it doesn't always work out that way.I had to do all these things when they were toddlers too.Most of the time I'd take them with me,but I can't carry groceries and laundry with a child in my arms.I'd always put them in a safe place,usually the pack and play,and I was never gone for more than a couple of minutes.I would usually carry the baby monitor with me.

At my dd's age I was walking to and from school alone,and coming home to an empty house. I won't do that to my dc.I don't consider napping while dc are up to be neglect or abuse,unless the children are not fed,changed,or taken care of.If the parent is doing drugs,or something like that and the children are not taken care of,then of course it is abuse and neglect.
post #88 of 100
Thread Starter 
yeah i was going to say that mamajama. i hate hearing other mothers say that... it bugs me because (as previously mentioned in the solo- thread) i don't have anyone else. i can't wait for a dp / dh / so to come home because there IS no dp / dh / so. even if i get really really sick i can't even ask their dad to take them since he's not in the picture and the only child care i have now is their Day Care, i don't even have a trusted baby sitter anymore. i'm It.
post #89 of 100
Originally Posted by KristiMetz View Post
(Also, people, especially on this board, throw around the A word (abuse) a LOT more easily than they should... JMO.)
: I REALLY have to agree with the above.

Different parenting choices or standards does not mean abuse.
post #90 of 100
Wow, I hope my dd (3yo) isn't getting scarred by all the time I spend not in the same room with her! Like, when I'm making food and she's playing in the other room. Or when I have to pee and I don't make her come to the bathroom with me. Or a million other times a day when I'm trying to manage to have a household that's semi-functional and a life that doesn't involve debtor's prison or the loony bin.
post #91 of 100

People were asked for their opinions here...

with the question, "Is this abuse? sleeping while children play," and it was explained that one of the children was a tot of about three.

The question was not, "Do you ever let your child out of the same room you're in?" nor, "Do you leave your child in their own room when they go to bed?"

People are entitled to their opinions, and when asked for them, why are others attacking or mocking their answers?

The question was asked... the op used the word "abuse," when asking opinions about her own parenting choice, so it's not really reasonable to suggest that responders have thrown out the word abuse. It was part of the question.
post #92 of 100

I do not see how it can be considered child abuse.
post #93 of 100
Earlier in the thread someone mentioned that it is a "calculated risk" and I tend to agree with that. I have dozed off on the couch while my 1 year old watched Sesame St. in the same room as me, but I always feel a little paranoid about accidents. Then again, accidents have happened when I have been within arms reach of her, too. It's not possible to protect our children all of the time from everything. But I don't feel like I could be in the habit of napping with my daughter unattended. I guess it's just what you're comfortable with.
post #94 of 100
I can't say what I'll do as a Mom, as my son is not old enough yet for me to have faced it.

However, my sister was allowed to get up and be playing alone in her room as a toddler. Our room (we were there part time and when we (my brother and I) were there my sister and I shared a room (she lived there full time) was fully child proof and there were gates up. The guest room/my brother room had nothing in it she could get into, and the bathroom had very high counters and latches on everything she could reach. That left my Dad and stepMoms room which if she went into they would wake up.

When we were there she was even allowed downstairs in the morning. We were 6 and 8 when she was born and when she'd wake up in the morning she'd go nurse and then we'd take her downstairs to play. As she got older she'd play first, and when T woke up she'd nurse then.

Not neglect or abuse IMO.
post #95 of 100
My DD is now 3.5 and I have a dayjob finally, so things are a little different now, thank goddess.

But since DD was 1.5 or so until just a few months ago, I was working the late shift and got home at 4 or 5 in the morning (I'd go to my mom's after work, where she would usually spend the night). Aria would wake up at 8 or so and I'd get up with her, take her home, make her breakfast, and go back to bed. She'd be playing with me on the bed, we'd be reading books or something, and I'd just fall flat asleep.

Like several pp, she and I lived in a tiny apartment, I had the whole dang place child-safe'd, and if I happened to sleep longer than an hour or so, she'd wake me up with no problem. More often than not, she'd play for a while and eventually curl up next to me and I'd wake up with her sleeping under my arm.

I'm perfectly comfortable with that. Maybe with the next one I won't be, I suppose it depends on the child's personality and on my options as the parent and what's feasible to survive.
post #96 of 100
I guess that my sister and I were negleted when we were kids then, because we would get up at about 6 am on the weekends and summer breaks to watch cartoons. We would get up get cearal, and watch cartoons almost every morning. Ever since I can remember. My 3 year old niece does the same. Gets up eats cearal and watches cartoons until her parents get up. (between 8 and 10) I have fallen asleep a few times ( on acident) with my son, but he is an infant that doesnt walk or even crawl yet, and my house is baby proof. He usually just plays with his toys. I am such a light sleeper I usually wake up when he activates one of his toys or makes any kinda loud noise.
I know that its not always good though when my sister was with her x, then he worked nights and she worked days. He would often sleep in his bed (Was a very heavey sleeper) and their daughter would run around the house doing what ever. ( Which wasnt baby proof at all. In fact he lives in a apartment above an old mortuary and often left the door open. Which are the old steep narrow wood stairs. This building is atleast 80-100 yrs old.) My sister came home often to the house trashed. Once when she came home the baby, ( because at that time she was just over a year old.) had gotten into the kitchen cuboards and covered the floor with a mixture of dish soap, fabreez, and dishwasher detergant and some other cemicals. She also covered herself, and the dog, with windex, and fabreez. Shampoo, conditioner and what ever else she found in the bathroom. That was the last time that he stayed with her during the day!
post #97 of 100
My kids from time to time have gotten up in the wee hours of the morning, especially around the age of 2 1/2 to 3 years old, and I didn't know they were up. Once my son woke up and went into the office. He marked little red X's all over my X's research paper (some 25 pages). Both of us parents were sleeping, and normally our son was in bed with us. Don't know why he did that, but I had a special chain lock placed very high on the door so he couldn't get out of the house in case he did that again, but a fireman could knock it in very fast if there was a fire.

My 1st daughter usually slept later than me, so never had any major problems with her. However, my 2nd daughter got up frequently in the wee hours and
found sissors and cut her hair and my 1st daughters hair several times, even when my 1st daughter was sleeping. This was around age 3.

My kids didn't nap after age 3 1/2, so I usually would turn on PBS and let them watch for a 1/2 hour while I cat napped on the sofa next to them.

Parenting is so exhausting. You just wanna sleep, and you can't. I still crave sleep because my youngest still wakes up at 5:30 or 6:00 am every day. I try to get her to cuddle with me for a while, but it lasts no more than 1/2 an hour, then she starts wiggling.

I have started going to bed at 8 or 8:30 with the kids, so I don't feel so tired. My biggest dream is to leave the kids with my mom for 48 hours and stay in a very comfy and posh hotel, sleeping, getting room service and maybe getting up to swim at noon, only to go back to sleep for the afternoon until 8pm, then stay up until midnight and sleep again. I want to do this badly, but don't have the money to do it!

I don't think you are abusive to do this, but like other posters, I think you are taking a risk to sleep in your bed (which induces sleep so deeply for "me") and leave your kids playing without supervision.

Good luck on deciding how to handle the sitution. I think the OP who said you could always evaluate how you are handling it now, and change it, is right. Just think about it and think about the things that could go wrong in a instance. I worried about my toddlers and preschoolers climbing on furniture and getting crushed by it while I was awake. I couldn't sleep while they played unless I was very sick. I'm a single mama by the way.
post #98 of 100
Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
I have started going to bed at 8 or 8:30 with the kids, so I don't feel so tired. My biggest dream is to leave the kids with my mom for 48 hours and stay in a very comfy and posh hotel, sleeping, getting room service and maybe getting up to swim at noon, only to go back to sleep for the afternoon until 8pm, then stay up until midnight and sleep again. I want to do this badly, but don't have the money to do it!

Ditto going to bed with the kiddo and dreaming about a sleep vacation! Although, I gotta tell ya, I would not get up to swim, I would just sleep all freaking day. My DS would freak if I ever tried that though - he is sad enough from having to stay with ex during the day while I work.
post #99 of 100
I have not been able to read the whole thread, but did get through quite a few posts at the beginning and end.

I absolutely do not have a problem with taking a nap or sleeping in while my kids are up. None at all. They have never done a single thing while I've been asleep that has concerned me. I don't allow TV all that often, so usually when I want to take a nap I announce that they can watch TV for a little while. They are usually in the same spot I left them at before I laid down. I am much more comfortable with this now that my kids are 5 and 7 though then when they were more in the 2-4 range.

And yea... being home alone during the day with your kids is not the same as being a single parent. The comparison offends me. Even I sometimes feel like I have it much easier just because I have a wonderful GF who really helps out as much as she can. But she doesn't live with me and is only able to come here a couple nights a week.
post #100 of 100
Originally Posted by wemoon View Post

And yea... being home alone during the day with your kids is not the same as being a single parent. The comparison offends me.
Thank you.
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