what am I supposed to do? please, I need help - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-21-2009, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vanauken View Post
Isn't there a difference between sleep-training and CIO, though?

Yeah, I guess, enough to say: I don't think equating every form of sleep-training with straight-out CIO is fair.
I thought the same thing (also don't know about the Weissbluth guy). I thought methods such as Elizabeth Pantley's were acceptable here.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by yogafeet View Post
I thought MDC was sleep-training-talk free? ::

Twins are hard, but CIO is not on the table. Unplug the clock in your bedroom, it helps.
Well, if the options are CIO or seriously hurt the children, then yes, CIO is on the table. And yes, that's where I was at midnight last night.

And I don't even have a clock in my bedroom.

Can you tell how I'm doing? : Twins are hard, yes. Twins and a 2.5-year-old are even harder. Doing all of this COMPLETELY ON MY OWN is apparently impossible.

I now have one baby who will only sleep at night if he's being held. Not even in bed next to me, ONLY while being held. Plus my 2.5-year-old is waking up 2-3 times a night also, and waking everybody up.

No clue what to do, except that I might have to either hire somebody or convince my parents to sleep train them (and yes, I mean CIO, full-on Weissbluth style...better that than end up hurting them or worse).

And yes, I am seeing a psychiatrist, although since my main problem is lack of sleep I'm not sure how much it will help. And I am not going to hurt my children. But I sure as heck got close--it's the knowing when to leave the room that separates me from somebody who'd actually do it.

Thanks for all of the support and advice. I did side-car the crib like I had with DS1, and so at least I'm not afraid of babies rolling out of bed at night.
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vanauken View Post
Isn't there a difference between sleep-training and CIO, though? I don't know who Weissbluth is (sorry!), but I know there are some methods of sleep-training that aren't CIO or abandonment-baed. You know, the kind where you pat the baby or rock, but don't nurse (is it called night-weaning?), where you work gradually to help the baby learn to sleep better - I mean, part of being a parent is showing and teaching our kids the skills they need to be adults (gradually, over the course of 18 or so years!). Not pushing them into something they're not ready for, but helping them do what they are ready for.

Yeah, I guess, enough to say: I don't think equating every form of sleep-training with straight-out CIO is fair.

I agree, not all sleep training should be equated to CIO... I was responding in particular to the posts about Weissbluth and having your parents take the babies and have them STTN within 1-3 nights. Weissbluth is known as a CIO method, and getting your kids to STTN in 1-3 nights sounds like it to me as well. I don't like condemning people but I am passionately against these methods. I think they are cruel, unusual and abusive. Other forms of sleep training, like night weaning, I don't have a problem with when done at the right age for your child and you... in fact I will start thinking about that ion the coming months and will be looking for advice.

Moving on though I want to send Mama Tigress support. It sounds like you have hit bottom. In your case it sounds like CIO is better than hurting your babies and I absolutely agree. I know where you are coming from. I have been reading your blog when I check in to this board from time to time and I have seen a rational, loving mom. I know that you want the best for your kids and I know that you are doing your best. It sounds like you don't have a support system. I am so sorry. I have definitely had nights where I just could not be the one to be there for the twins... I have come close to hitting rock bottom when it comes to sleep deprivation. Fortunately, that is when I tell dh he needs to drive the girls around and then sleep in the parking lot in the car with them. Then I can get 1-2 hours of sleep and when they wake up they come up to nurse back down. Where is your dh at night? I couldn't even imagine doing it all alone every night with a 2 year old to boot! No wonder you are losing it. Really.

Is it possible to talk with your dh and tell him you need help at night? You need time for you... to decompress a little. It seems you have this heavy weight of your entire household on your shoulders. That is just too much for one person.

Twins are unbelievably taxing. I am so sorry that you are having such a rough time. We are here for you. Continue to update us and let us know how you are doing. If you need a twin buddy, PM me and I will be it!

:::

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yogafeet View Post
I agree, not all sleep training should be equated to CIO... I was responding in particular to the posts about Weissbluth and having your parents take the babies and have them STTN within 1-3 nights.

Where is your dh at night?

:::
I think we need to be careful when talking about sleep training/night weaning. There have been nights when I am exhausted and DH will get up with the babies for the whole night - they will refuse bottles and fall back to sleep while rocking in about 30 seconds. Then the next few nights, they will sttn. It is only when I go to them that they demand milk. I think the same thing may have happened w/ pp and grandparents coming over which led to sttn. Babies want love and assurance at night but this doesn't always have to come in the form of nursing. Every baby/parent/situation is different and though I feel I know the "right" way to parent my children, I want to be careful about making blanket statements as to what will work for every family. Remember ap is not a checklist.

I may be wrong, but I believe mama tigress is single. So this changes the whole dynamic for her. She is working 24/7 - no breaks, no time to catch her breath. She is beyond tired. I feel for her and support her with whatever decisions she makes for the good of her entire family - all three dc and mama.

Sorry if this sounds snarky, that is not my intention.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I'm separated, so I'm doing all this as a single mama at the moment.

In the light of day things seem more reasonable, especially when I've gotten out and had fun with the kids. I know things will get easier with time. I just need to buy myself a few months, somehow.

I would definitely night wean if I could think of a way to do that with 9-month-olds (and they're not even 7 months corrected). I could try to get somebody to help.

sigh
thanks all
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Sorry, I didn't know you were single!

We're here for you

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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I am here for support mama tigress - I have a wonderful, loving and extremely helpful husband at home and I can get to the stage you are talking about! Everyone knows that twins are hard - no more so than on this site. Please lets just be kind and helpful to everyone - I don't think that we should exclude anyone from talking on this site as we are just all trying to get through life and it obviously helps to have friends out there that are all in the same situation.
I know what you mean that in the light of day it all seems different - how frustrating is that but also very good as it puts all our frustrations into perspective. What I wrote earlier about the sleep rules for the toddler really has worked this week with my 2.5 year old. She really is getting it and awfully proud of herself in the morning when she wakes up really rested and in her own bed! So fun to see!
Here's hoping to you being able to find some concrete help that you need!
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm separated, so I'm doing all this as a single mama at the moment.

In the light of day things seem more reasonable, especially when I've gotten out and had fun with the kids.
me too! their dad does spend some time around here sometimes though (is mostly useful with the older children), plus the older children will hold a baby or two whilst i cook (lunch at 4 o clock!) on really hard days. i find i'm actually most stressed by my inner dialogue about the separation and feelings about their dad which i sometimes find i'm taking out on the children iykwim.

i also find the amount of crying really hard to deal with.

my clock is hidden by the junk piled up in front of it

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Old 01-21-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I'm so sorry, Ellie! : You are doing the best you can. Most people cannot comprehend how hard it is to have newborn twins, plus a 2 year old. I had my dh's help at night and I still almost went crazy. Things will get better! They really will. My twins are 3 now and I *almost* have forgotten those terrible nights of no sleep. In an ideal world, all babies could co-sleep comfortably next to mama, but sometimes the real world isn't like that. We did co-sleep for 2 years and I did not get much sleep during that time. No advice, really, just wanted to offer support. Sleep deprivation can literally make a person crazy and I remember almost hallucinating at times. Hope things get better soon. :

Blessed mama of four
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Have you looked at this method for night weaning?
http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp

It's more of a selective night weaning than all-out - that is, you pick whatever hours you want your babies to be able to sleep, and then work with that. The author does not recommend it for babies under a year unless there's an emergency. Well, I think major sleep deprivation turning us into MoMsters is an emergency.

We tried this in our house, and it worked okay, except we picked the wrong hours (11-4), and so the girls were ready to be up for the day at 4. Now we're trying it again but doing 12 or 1 to 6am. So if you try it, I recommend making the final hour in the sleep stretch the aimed-for wake up time.

I understand the lack of sleep making you crazy thing. I am NO good whatsoever without consecutive hours of sleep. The past few months have been so hard.

I hope things get easier for you.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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I also wanted to say that I certainly do not judge whatever choice you make that you feel is best for you and your children. Everyone is different with respect to how little sleep they can get and still function. It's a totally different equation than I had with having my twins come first & a DH who, though he didn't do any night-time parenting, could take care of the girls when they woke up and let me get an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep.

Assuming your ex-husband isn't your ex because he was abusive or something else making him unsuitable to be around, can he come over at night, sleep in a separate room with the babies and night-wean them? Or can the 2-year old go spend the night with him for a week or two? Or your family? If I lived close by and didn't have an all-night nurser, I'd come help.

If you want a night nurse & aren't a member of your local MOTC, contact them & I am sure they will have tons of recommendations. It seems that that's about all the Moms in my local MOTC talk about.

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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I think there's just a big difference in CIO as a sleep method, and letting your babies cry for a little while because you're simply past the point where you can parent them. I could never support CIO as a sleep method, but I can definitely relate to feeling like you just can't take it any more in the middle of the night. PLENTY of times, after what felt like an all night nurse-a-thon, I've just gotten out of the bed, told DH I can't take it any more, and walked out of the room for a little while. Babies, even though they were with their dad, would cry like crazy; I'd go sit on the other side of the house for a few minutes and regroup. And back when I was a single mom, I didn't use CIO as a sleep method, but there were a few times when I left my baby safely in his crib, but crying, while I stepped away to get myself together. There was even one time when I called a friend and said, "Please come help-- one of us is about to go over the balcony!" (we lived in a 3rd floor condo)

You definitely need to try to round up some help, if you can. It's so hard doing ANY kind of parenting alone, and I'm sure it's even more so with twins.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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Ellie,

I am sorry you are at such a tough breaking point. I was there. But I won't bog you down with my story right now, I'll just tell you the things that helped me get through it. I apologize if I repeat what has already been said, as I only glanced through the responses.

1. I think it's important to remember that night weaning does NOT necessarily equal babes sleeping through the night. It really doesn't. When folks reminded me of that, it helped me to focus on other possible solutions (just saying this because you don't seem to really night wean but are only considering it out of desperation.)

2. I moved my 2 year old's bed into my room on the floor, and put my bed on the floor next to hers. You could barely walk into my small bedroom. I focused on just getting her to sleep longer stretches first, and then worried about my twins. Sometimes it was up to 2 hours waiting for her to fall asleep!

3. How flexible is your schedule (I'm sorry, I don't know if you're working, in school, both, at home, etc.). I bucked the wisdom of the books that talked about putting kids to bed at 7:00. I gave up that idea and found much better success with a 9:00 bedtime. Some people have different clock rhythms, and my kids definitely did/do better with this later bed time.

4. I increased physical activity. It's hard with two babies, I know. But it worked wonders. We have a small house, but I made us all move from room to room every hour or so to do different things and move around more. Does that make any sense? Especially in winter weather when we couldn't get out for walks and such as much. A lot of floor time.

5. Snuggle the twins up close together once they are asleep. If mine felt a warm, breathing body right up against them, they slept a couple of hours at a time, instead of only 30 or 40 minutes.

6. I'd really recommend avoiding the tylenol at bedtime, even if they are teething. I know you have some medical background (if I remember correctly from Diaper Pin), but I have found that tylenol (or any other type similar) really hypes my kids up and will mean little sleep. It still has this effect (and my twins are 3 1/2). I had much better success with frozen washcloths before bed and if they woke up than any pain medication.

None of this is probably helpful to help you deal with the emotional aspects of little sleep. It is hard. I reached a point where I was afraid that I'd hurt my kids when my twins were little babes. It's terrifying. But I really encourage you to try to find help or another creative solution before going to CIO. I'm not judging. If I thought you were pro-CIO, it would be a different story. It is because I believe you want to avoid CIO that I wrote such a lengthy response. I send you warm thoughts and sleep vibes to your babes. Good luck.

"We think we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away." Paul Simon
DD-7 & B-G twins, 5
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think there's just a big difference in CIO as a sleep method, and letting your babies cry for a little while because you're simply past the point where you can parent them. I could never support CIO as a sleep method, but I can definitely relate to feeling like you just can't take it any more in the middle of the night. PLENTY of times, after what felt like an all night nurse-a-thon, I've just gotten out of the bed, told DH I can't take it any more, and walked out of the room for a little while. Babies, even though they were with their dad, would cry like crazy; I'd go sit on the other side of the house for a few minutes and regroup. And back when I was a single mom, I didn't use CIO as a sleep method, but there were a few times when I left my baby safely in his crib, but crying, while I stepped away to get myself together. There was even one time when I called a friend and said, "Please come help-- one of us is about to go over the balcony!" (we lived in a 3rd floor condo)

You definitely need to try to round up some help, if you can. It's so hard doing ANY kind of parenting alone, and I'm sure it's even more so with twins.
The thing is, at this point it almost seems more cruel to leave them crying every single night, which is what it's come to, without doing it in a way that they're actually going to end up benefiting from it down the line. They are up there crying right now. Here's what happened...if anybody can figure out how I could do this, please do: Toby will only sleep ON me. The second I put him down he is up and screaming. So I was in bed with him on me and Ari next to me. Then DS1 woke up and I had to put down Toby, who of course screamed, and then DS1 wanted to come to bed with me. So I put him in the bed and picked back up Toby and fine, everybody went back to sleep. A bit later Ari woke up and I managed to nurse him while holding sleeping Toby. Then I don't even remember what happened but both babies were awake and I couldn't get either back to sleep. I tried to take Ari to the other room to get him back to sleep, so then at least I could hold Toby, but Toby was screaming and that woke up DS1...so then all 3 kids were awake. So I took DS1 back to his bed and tucked him in and went to my bed and nursed the babies together, but neither would go to sleep. So at that point I had no idea what to do, and I was getting overwhelmed (also their fingernails need cutting, I do it once a week but they grow so darn fast, so I'm all scratched up by this point), so I just left them and came downstairs. And they are up there crying now. They absolutely need sleep. They are exhausted. Also I feel bad for Ari because really Toby is the problem; Ari sleeps quite well in bed with me, if everything else goes well. And I feel bad for Toby because if he was my only kid I could just hold him and he'd sleep solidly. But of course reality is reality.

I got in touch with a night nurse a while back. There was NO way I could afford to hire her for more than one night, tops (even that would be a stretch). I really don't have that kind of money. And one night wouldn't make a difference, we'd be back to the same the next night. At this point it's not even so much MY exhaustion, but the fact that my kids aren't sleeping. And I am physically touching and/or nursing a child almost 24 hours a day, and it's just gotten to be completely overwhelming.

I did post an ad for a mother's helper at the local college, and I have a few replies, so at least during the day I should be getting some help soon.

I don't *want* to resort to sleep training in the form of full CIO, but at this point it might really be my best choice. The problem is that Toby has had a runny nose for like 2 weeks, and he's been refluxing more again (he stopped when I cut dairy, no clue why it's back), and so I really can't see making him CIO when he's sick like this. I mean there have been a few nights recently when I left them crying, and Ari went to sleep, and then I just picked up Toby and went from there. It sounds awful, but I'm considering sleep training only Ari. He's much more receptive to it, for whatever reason. Like I said before, I did try to sleep train them a few weeks ago, but stopped because they got a cold. Also I just spent the whole time weeping myself. I don't know if I could do it again. It makes me feel evil. I don't think it's a good idea. But I also don't know what else to do.

Oh yeah, and if I could just sit there and nurse them all night, that would be one thing. But they don't want to nurse most of the time.

eta: DS1 falls asleep pretty easily for the night, in his own bed. I read to him, tuck him in, give him his water bottle, and he's usually good. He just wakes up a bunch at night for no good reason. I tried to get him to go to sleep for the night in my room, next to my bed, but he wanted none of it. He likes his bed, I guess. Some nights he insists on going back to his bed, but he wants me in his bed. If he does come to my bed, like tonight, he ends up rolling closer and closer to me, and pushing Ari over in the process (hopefully not waking Ari up), and then I end up sleeping in the side-carred crib with Toby because there's no room. lol
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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Would a postpartum doula be any less expensive than a night nurse? Not sure about, but it seemed worth asking.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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can you find a homeopath who would prescribe for a low cost? my homeopath was negotiable with prices because she wants to see ppl treated. i reckon the children would benefit from pulsatilla.

i'm thinking outside the box for a longterm solution. you know, babies are at that separation anxiety time and pulsatilla helps with that. i know whenever i've got that 'had it' or totally touched out vibe ALL my children want to be somehow physically attached to me again!!!!! so it's a cycle of emotion and homeopathy can break that up really effectively.

is there anywhere you can go and stay a night elsewhere/ friend who can come over with her babies to yours?

i also sing when i'm overwhelmed. i sing whatever i'm doing, like: 'now we do a nappy change agaaaain. this fresh nappy on your boooottom. so you're nice and cleeeean. ah. thats much niiiiicer'!!!!! try it in the middle of the night to any mellow tune you can/ try opera style

i'm crackers which is fine by me

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I went back up after I could hear only one baby crying, and surprisingly it was Toby who had fallen asleep, and he slept from 5ish to about 8, only waking once to nurse but going back to sleep off of me. Ari was easy, he went right back to sleep until 8, too. And DS1 had been up so much that he slept until 8 too! (DS1 was the kind of baby who woke up for the day at 4 am lol...he went to sleep at like 6, though, and insisted on it).
So I feel much better rested from 3!!! hours of sleep. I'm in a great mood Definitely going to go out and have a fun morning to make the most of my energy and mood.

I'm thinking the current answer might just be convincing Toby to sleep off of me. I don't mind nursing them multiple times at night, with the side-carred cribs. That's fine. If Toby will sleep next to me, and on his own for periods of time, I can stay sane. So I guess that's my current goal.

thanks again for helping me brainstorm here
I'll check into postpartum doulas
shukr, I also sing! At this point even Ezra is pretty good at making up his own songs--he's heard me do it enough :-P
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. One of mine is going through something similar and wants to be right beside me all night and if I unlatch to roll over and nurse his sister he cries. He also doesn't want to nurse all the time so I'm struggling to find some other way to put him to sleep (patting, singing, etc...) but it's not working and he usually wakes up baby dd too.

The only thing I think I would be able to do if I was in your shoes is to call a good friend or family member. We don't have any family nearby but if I was as desperate as you seem to be and my dh wasn't available I do have one friend who's children are older and don't "need" her at night. I would call her and ask her to spend some nights at out place to just help out. Even if she just held a crying baby in another room I would feel better about it while I was getting the other baby to sleep.

Wish I could be more helpful .

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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It sounds like Toby's reflux meds might not be the correct dose. I know that babies with reflux issues have a hard time sleeping and like to be on people because it tends to elevate their heads. You also might try taking out wheat, soy, or corn and see what happens with his runny nose (although, as worn out as you are, it just might be too much right now!).

I agree that you need to get these kids sleeping. Get some help, and go for it. Make a plan, tell your kids the plan, and go for it. A friend who can be there to help keep you going and a shoulder to cry on will be helpful.

Sometimes as a MOM (or a mom of a tough kid or both as it sounds like you are!), there are things that we have to do just to survive. Getting some sleep is necessary, especially if you are the only parent around. THe last thing you need is to get into a car accident because you are too tired.

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