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feeling rage when putting the baby to sleep--update & another question

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I am so embarrassed to even admit this, but it seems lately that when i have to struggle to put ds to sleep, I feel the most intense rage,wanting to squeeze him or handle him roughly, because I am so frustrated. He is SUCH a good baby---easygoing, transitions well to and from daycare/grandma when I go to work, cheerful, friendly, so much fun, he's such a a joy to have around. But I NEED for him to goto bed at night! I know he's tired, but some nights getting him to sleep is a battle. we follow an exact routine every night (flexible on the exact time dpeending on when he gets tired, but pretty much always between 7 & 8): WE have dinner, then he plays in his room while I tidy up and lay out his pajamas, then bath, get dressed, brush teeth, songs/sometimes stories if he's not fidgety, leche (nursing), and when he is asleep or almost asleep I lay him down. He usually goes down ok. But then 5 minutes later he is up again, crying. I pick him up, rock him back to sleep, lay him down. I try to be sensitive to the fact that onm days when I have been gone from him, he is craving that closeness. But...I am a single parent, I work FT, go to school MORE than FT, I have to pump twice between his bedtime and mine, do laundry, cook his lunch for the next day because he won't eat baby food, etc. I need that window from 7 PM to 12 to get stuff done, especially schoolwork, because the deadlines for assignments are at midnight. I am not a totally GD person when it comes to other things, but I really, really want to make him feel secure and loved. I don't want to CIO, but I don't want to feel so angry when he wakes up. I feel really, really overwhelmed right now...sometimes when I hear him crying I go through the house saying, "I just want him to shut UP. This kid is getting on my nerves..." etc etc But my heart aches for him when I hear him cry, and I go an get him, and then I feel so angry because I have to nurse him AGAIN, and now I have ton stay up longer so I can pump, and then the dryer buzzes or a dog barks or something and he wakes up AGAIN, and I have to hold him tightly to me because now he is kicking and screaming and pushing me away (and I have very tender breasts, it HURTS and I feel like smashing something) and rock him FOREVER. I already take medication for bipolar disorder and I had hoped it would help with these feelings, but it's not. Please help me put this in perspective....I know it won't last forever and I know he's a baby, but I'm so TIRED.
post #2 of 35
Oh, mama.

I know exactly how you feel--after almost 3 years of sleep deprivation and sleep battles, I can say that I've totally been there. I'm thinking it's got nothing to do with bipolar: it's about been sleep deprived and overwhelmed.

So let's see. You already know that this isn't about him--it's about you. You know it's not fair to expect him to sleep just because you need him to: you're angry because you've got other things you can't stop thinking about.

My first thought is this. You have WAY too much stuff going on. Any one of these would be overwhelming and exhausting in themselves! (1) single mama; (2) to an infant; (3) full-time WOH; (4) full-time+ student....OMG!! I can't believe you've been doing all this--you're amazing, truly. But something's got to give: you're obviously (and understandably) overwhelmed.

So here are my thoughts.

- can you cut back on school, even for a semester? I don't know your situation, but this seems like the first thing to try. Honestly I would drop everything if you can and start again in the spring.

- can you get any help? Someone to help with laundry or housekeeping stuff, at least?

- GET A WHITE NOISE MACHINE! It's saved our sanity, for sure: ds was also the lightest sleeper and it's made us so much less paranoid about making noise after he's in bed.

- cut corners as MUCH as possible. Do you really need to COOK him a lunch, at this point? Can't the sitter/grandma just give him some fruit or veg or something that doesn't involve much prep? He's only 8mo: he doesn't need meals.

- I can't believe you're pumping twice between 7pm and 12... Is that really necessary? (Not saying it's not; just asking.) This seems to be a big issue for you: honestly, if something has to give, there's no harm sending one bottle of formula if you can't manage this nighttime pumping. I'm a huge lactivist, but formula is going to be less harmful to your LO than an angry mama.

- is he teething, perhaps? Waking so soon after he goes down, crying, makes me wonder.

- would swaddling help? Is he too cold/hot? What about leaving one of your shirts from the day with him?

My random musings...hope something in there is helpful. I really feel for you, mama. You're doing a great job and your son is lucky to have you. Look after yourself, though, too--ok?
post #3 of 35
Hugs to ya mama. I've been there. I'm still there at times. I also have the sweetest little one. I had to change things around bigtime to alleviate tension. I also got into counseling again to help sort it all out. It's been a lot of basic issues teased out of complicated looking problems with many commonsense solutions.
First of all, it is ok to feel angry and tired like you do. You are stressed out and tired and lacking sleep so it is normal to be reactive, you just need to step back and say to yourself that until you have a better plan this is how it is. You can only control the environment for sleep, you can't force him to sleep.
In the meantime develop a new strategy.
Somehow somewhere the schedule needs to change so he is even more relaxed for bed. Remember too, if you are stressed he will pick up on that.
It may be that you need to call in reinforcements and help you at night somehow if possible. I nurse and my dh puts her down. Perhaps you can nurse him and someone (if possible) lays him down and goes to him when he cries 5mins later. He will cry but he will not be alone and he WILL get used to it I promise. Be willing to ask for help but also be willing to take it--that would mean letting him cry with someone. It's not CIO.
I don't have a solution beyond that. Just some words and prayers. We are also still working on this.
Try the common books like No Cry Sleep Solution and so on.
And yes, yes, yes mama it will get better. I myself am also banking on that advice...
post #4 of 35
PP said it all.

I just wanted to add that its so great that you notice, acknowledge, and admit the problem!!!!!!! You'll figure something out.
post #5 of 35
I'm right there with you on the feelings of frustration at bedtime - and mine is an easy, happy baby, too. I WOH full-time, but I have a DH who is extremely helpful. But, the WIGGLES at night, and the craziness before bedtime...

Sunday evening, I was alone, so I took DS into the guest bedroom - with a low futon, rather than our regular bed. I nursed him down, but he was still up. Climbing around, flopping like a fish, flailing. So I told him it was sleepy time, and I left the room. After a few minutes (less than 3), he was fussing and crawled to the door. I went in immediately, and nursed him back down. He was up again...I got up, told him it was sleepy time, and left the room. This time, he didn't even wait to fuss -just started right up. I had just shut the door and I opened it again and went to him. I picked him up, told him it was sleepy time, and by the time we laid down together, he was asleep Whole thing took less than 15 minutes, including the initial nursing down.

Last night, I did a similar thing, but I didn't leave the room. As I stood up and told him it was sleepy time (as he's crawling around the futon), he crawls toward me with his arms up. I picked him up, and he relaxed into my arms. I was able to sing him to sleep in my arms - something I haven't been able to do since he was a few months old. I think he quickly learned that I mean business. Sorry if that sounds harsh to some mamas here, but it's much better for all of us if he gets to sleep rather than futz around on the bed for 45 minutes. DH can deal with the futzing - he just grabs the remote or his laptop, and grabs one of DS's ankles so he won't fall off the bed. (all of this after the bedtime routine, stories, and nursing). But I can't deal with it that way.
post #6 of 35
I have been there too. Sometimes, I still am. I have found that when I try to control my son's sleep it just makes me angry. I try to roll with his own idea of when he wants to go to sleep as often as I can.
I think there are some very good suggestions in the previous replies.
Can you let some things go?
Would cutting back on pumping, or cooking lunches, or laundry, etc - help?
Could you wear the baby in an ergo while he sleeps from say 7-10 or 7-12 at night while you're doing homework? maybe he'd sleep if he were close to you?
Maybe a later bedtime would help? My son was "napping" around 8 and then he wanted to stay up very very late. Now we gently discourage the 8 pm nap (nothing harsh, we just don't nurse him to sleep/walk him outside at that point which makes him go to sleep). We wait til 9 pm, give him a bath, nurse again at 9:30 pm and he's out. It works most of the time.
It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Do you have some friends or family who can help you out?

more hugs!
post #7 of 35

You've gotten great advice. Your frustration is understandable. I just quickly wanted to add that a sound machine might really help with the sounds waking him back up. We have one & I set it to white noise all night long. There's no way my girls would sleep through the night without it. Just a fan wouldn't do as well, the sound machine has volume control. I know this is just part of the issue your having, but it could help.
post #8 of 35
OMG, I can't believe you're doing all that you are!!

I recommend a white noise machine. What we use is an air purifier running on high all night a few feet from where ds sleeps. We also still swaddle at 1year.

I'm only working PT and going back to school this semester, but decided to take only 1 class. Maybe you can drop down to just 1 class?? I know its a drag to think about not getting more done, but seriously, his sleep should keep improving as time goes on and by next semester you'll probably have a better sleep situation.

And don't worry, I think many of us have felt the rage you explained. I know that it happens for me when I'm way too sleep deprived.
post #9 of 35
I am so embarrassed to even admit this, but it seems lately that when i have to struggle to put ds to sleep, I feel the most intense rage,wanting to squeeze him or handle him roughly, because I am so frustrated

mama, i could have written this. i have my hands full right now, but will write more later .....
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Here's the problem: I'm taking 15 credit hours. If I take less than 12 which is full time, I won't qualify for the financial aid that I desperately need. I am depending on my student loans coming through in October so that I can get a car. That at least will make my life a little easier. nevertheless, I appreciate your replies SO MUCH. It means a lot to me that someone out there understands what /i'm going through. Keep em coming, you all are making me feel better/calmer just from reading your helpful replies!!! Oh and for those of you who suggested the white noise machine, I will most definitely look into getting one when I get paid friday. a 4-5 hour chunk of sleep would be HEAVEN and totally worht the money.

ETA: I found one!!! for $10 on craigslist!:
post #11 of 35
Oh, mama! I'm sorry! The sleep issue was a huge one for me when I NEEDED my DD (it was only with my oldest) to sleep so I could study. It was horrible. Once I was done with school, those feelings went away . . .it is completely situational.

How much time do you need per night just for the schoolwork? That is what I'd focus on finding SOME help for-- will your mom help a few more hours at night? Can you move in with her so that you don't have to work FT? Can you use formula instead of pumping? (I think formula is preferable to a nervous breakdown, and with the demands you have, just about ANYONE would be on that path.)

This is what I'd try to do:
(1) Get his basic needs taken care of ASAP (right after work/school). Some play/cuddle/reading time and feeding for both of you.
(2) Start schoolwork right away, even when he's awake, even if you have to nurse while you do it. This will be the toughest part.
(3) Do chores while you wear him in a carrier on your back. Save the mindless stuff (cleaning) for last-- you don't need to be running at full capacity to do it like you do with school.
(4) Skip the bedtime routine, and bring him to bed with you when you sleep.
(5) If he falls asleep while you are nursing him, set up an area on the floor where you are working so that he can sleep there if he won't sleep in a carrier.

The main thing is, try not to count on him going to sleep. Once you erase that expectation, it helps a LOT. It doesn't mean getting everything else done will be easy, but it will help with getting that feeling of OMG, he needs to sleep!
post #12 of 35
I know you're co-sleeping, but have you thought of setting up a pack n play next to where ever you're studying? My babies didn't sleep right away until around a year (& they still have pretty late bedtimes - 8:30 PM, sometimes 9), but they'll play happily while I read or do crochet or something, as long as they were right near me & could see me. If they were not in the pen, they'd be all over me (& everything else!), but they're safely contained, & I rotate the stuffed toys, board books, etc, that's in there, & they have a ball bouncing around, pulling up on the sides, cruising around the inside, & pitching all umpteen toys over the side (takes a while, then I pitch them all back & get back to my stuff).

Just wanted to add, this is just to keep your DC company & keep him happy until he's tired enough that he's ready to go to sleep - but you can get needed stuff accomplished too.
post #13 of 35
Mine is 10 months and we are right there with you. I have a husband who is in his first year of grad school so we don't get to see him very much, and I have been trying to get homework done on a course I know I will not be able to complete in time.

Last night I was at wits end. I was calling my easy going little boy a nightmare. He was having a Velcro day and I desperately needed to get some homework done. He fought sleep. Thrashed and flopped and flung his arms everywhere. Bit the boobs. Woke up every 5 min or so.

When I think about it after the fact I understand that he is just having trouble winding down, but it is very hard to rationalize when it is all happening and all I want is for him to freakin go to sleep and leave me the heck alone.

Hubby told me to drop the course if that would drop my stress levels because DS is the more important project at this point.

Dropping it all sounds easier than it really is. First, there is all the money I already put into it. Then there is this nagging feeling that if I do not finish, I will be a failure. I was really counting on the money I could make from home after I finish the course, but I would have to put even more money into it because I would have to pay for extensions with money I don't have...

We decided to try to wear DS down before bedtime. Today he had a long bath. He played and played and only took 20 min to get to sleep. (last night took 2 hours He has been in bed for a couple of hours now and has only woken once...
post #14 of 35
(edited by mod for spam quote )

I too could have written this post.
I get so frustrated with my 19 month old who doesn't want to sleep at night until 11 p.m. some nights that I have carried him out of the bedroom to my dh UNDER MY ARM LIKE A FOOTBALL!
I have also raised my voice at him like "GO TO SLEEP!" or "ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL YOUR MOMMY???" in moments of extreme exhaustion when I am hanging on by a thread.
I get very little sympathy on this issue from my dh who gets 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights in his own room, in his own bed.
He believes I am being abusive to the baby. He believes that if I am so sleep deprived, perhaps I should wean the baby.
To give him lots of credit, he will stay up with him on a lot of nights when I can't keep my eyes open.
Anyhow, I want you to know that you are not alone. And yes, this does pass. I have a 7 yr old who left me feeling like a sleep deprivation experiment. Night-weaning changed everything I was hoping to nightwean the baby at 2 years of age but now I'm thinking just a couple more months tops. I do believe in family bed but most importantly, you and your sanity come first. If it's getting to be a bit much, you might consider some night-weaning/seperate sleep surfaces (not necessarily different rooms).
Oh, and YES we use a sound machine too!
post #15 of 35
Oh, major hugs to you.

So, though a white noise machine I feel started my tinnitus that is driving me mad right now, and everyone else has given you good advice, I want to give you major kudos for saying "out loud" your negative feelings. I think that's the biggest positive thing you can do about those negative things, to share it with others. I think that many people (most?) feel things like that, but they keep it inside, feeling fear of sharing, thinking they are alone, and letting it fester. So I'm so glad you were able to say it in a safe place, so it doesn't have to fester.

I've felt rage too. DS had a very long involved bedtime routine, and even though I have my spouse here, I was the one making something for him to eat, so it was so much more draining to me, and I remember lying there just waiting for him to be asleep enough so I could sneak away just for a little.

Hugs to you, and I hope the white noise machine works without side effects for you!
post #16 of 35
I second wearing baby down if that works in an ergo or other carrier so that your hands are free to get things done. I work part time and I find that the days I too my LO is understandibly clingier and wanted to be close to me. My many carriers are lifesavers! I also use a white noise maker that I got from Amazon- it sounds like a loud fan and even dh and I sleep better with it on (babe co sleeps). Take care of yourself Mama- you have a ton on your plate and I don't know how you do it!
post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
you guys are all so sweet. thanks for not judging...I do appreciate the help my mom offers, but she has a different way of doing things so then I feel guilty forcompromising the way I want ds cared for. It's such a tough call. I'm just glad I have the 3-dayweekend to rejuvenate myself and do some major cleaning. I think if I get better organized I will feel better. But the chaos is so overwhelming I don't know where to start. Any VA mamas want to come to my yard sale?
post #18 of 35
Just wanted to send some hugs and agree with the others...do whatever you can to give yourself a break. Take 12 hours instead of 15, use formula, let the housework go, whatever. It sounds like you have SO much on your plate! Good luck!
post #19 of 35
I've had periods like this. We are in such a period at the moment. DS is just not. going. to. sleep! Ugh!

If I had any advice, I'd lend it, but I SO don't! Just
post #20 of 35
Heck, I don't have anywhere near the time constraints/work load you do, and I still feel angry with DD when it's time for sleep and she.just.won't.

You sound stressed and stretched too thin and tired and that makes any person cranky and irritable and quick with the temper.

It ebbs and flows for us, how easy or hard it is to get DD down, how easy or hard it is for me to handle the difficult days.

Hang in there.
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