I am in a rather interesting situation and would appreciate some feedback, views or help from you all!
I've recently become a single mum - our family has been the victim of some serious alcoholism and I chose to leave in April - and am currently staying with my mother. The childhood I had in my mother's care has since time immemorial been...difficult. I moved out at 16 - as did my two sisters after me - and now that I'm a parent, I am going on instinct and having a really lovely time. My daughter is almost nine months old and she makes life absolutely great! She's generally a very happy little girl, apart from teething time and when she's ill or tired. Always smiling and learning - pulling herself up now, and 'talking' up a storm!
Anyway, being a single person and previously a freelancing housewife, really, I use the time when she's asleep to work. Sometimes I work very late into the night - 3am, sometimes even past 4 because that's when I can work. Naturally my little bean and I get up probably at about 9am because of the late hours I keep - she wakes naturally and we get up and start the day,
We have co-slept since birth, with occasional naps in the crib. Bella would often start the night in her crib and go through until about 3am - sometimes later, when she'd wake up, and we'd snuggle in the big bed.
Lately she's not been wanting to do this so much, preferring to sleep in the big bed from the get go - or only sleeping in her crib (since I put her down and then work, rather than actually going to bed with her) for perhaps three hours or so. I'm okay with this - the only drawback is that at my mother's house, we sleep in a single bed together and I often wake up incredibly cramped and aching all over - personally I'd prefer at least a double, even for myself! Bella has worked out how to crawl out of that bed too - and has fallen out (albeit onto cushions I put there for the purpose of catching her) twice. Thankfully it's a low bed! But my problem is that it's upstairs, and the second time she fell out, I didn't even hear it on the baby alarm - up I came to check on her, and there she was, playing on the floor perfectly happily!
Yesterday my mother was telling me that if I only allowed her emotionally to sleep in her crib, then she would. My mother is a bit of a cryptic person at the best of times, and I asked her what she meant, to which she implied that the reason Bella wouldn't sleep in her own crib was because I really didn't want her to... (hmmm, suss that one out!)
The night came last night and Bella did go to sleep in my arms as she normally does - which personally I love. Of course (typical since I had a deadline for work that night!!!) almost as soon as I put her down she woke up and was upset at her surroundings - which were her crib! I tried to rock her back to sleep as I usually do, but the same result. My mother came in and I asked her if she would mind taking Bella and rocking her to sleep - since sometimes, she goes down sound asleep if it's not mama trying to put her in the crib! I thought it'd be worth a try.
So my mother took her, and she got nice and sleepy and relaxed, over my mother's shoulder. Which was nice. Funnily enough though, she popped up very upset when my mum tried to lay her down in the crib! Which she tried a few times... I sat working downstairs, hearing the happy, attached silences where Bella would be being cuddles, versus the cries of protest as she was laid down.
But after a while, I noticed the cries weren't going away. I went upstairs and found my mum leaning over Bella in the crib, talking to her softly - Bella was crying her eyes out, but stopped as I approached. Then off she went again, crying. I thought I knew what my mum wanted to do, and thought perhaps she would calm down. I thought "I'll give it a few minutes to see what happens..."
So I went down again, but the crying didn't seem to be getting better. In fact, it was getting worse! I sat there, uneasily for a little longer until Bella's cries turned into massive wails - really enormous sobs, shaking breath, barely able to breathe type things. I rushed upstairs at that moment - Bella has only cried that when she's been very ill - and there was my mother, still trying to comfort her by leaning over the crib.
Well at that stage, Bella was totally hysterical. I then intervened, since it in my view was not working and I was in no way comfortable with that. I thanked her for trying and then went over and scooped my shaking, sobbing, confused daughter up and held her close.
Now my mother was just angry as could be! Man, I got accused of not letting her finish what she started, of using her to try to get my daughter to sleep but not letting her work through the emotions of being left in a crib with my baby! My mother was so mad that she started near shouting at me at 11.30pm - said I had now broken my daughter's trust with her, that she'd never help me again, and all manner of furious talk!
I simply calmly told her to keep her voice down, as it was 11.30pm and I was now trying to get my daughter, wracked still with violent sobs, to sleep in the big bed as it was clear to me that she just wasn't emotionally ready to go to sleep in her crib by herself and I didn't agree with crying it out. Of course my mum said that wasn't what it had been at all as shed been there the whole time. But in my view, it was still CIO, especially in the end where things got really really hysterical. Am I wrong?
Anyway my little bean did go to sleep in the big bed, after cuddling with me - but the leftover sobs were still so violent I could hear then for three quarters of an hour through the baby monitor...
So now - and if you got to this stage you're a saint - my mother is angry with me and trying to get me to "see sense" as it were. I don't fell bad for intervening - after all, she's my daughter... There were aspects of my mother's parenting that I wouldn't choose to carry over to my parenting - and I now wonder if she did this to me too as a baby and that might be why we have a physically quite distant relationship now.
Your thoughts on this? I'm still quite affected by the whole deal...
Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...