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Old 10-02-2010, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My girls and I co-sleep, mainly because we've done so from their births and now it's just habit. I'll be brutally honest here and say it's a habit I wish we could break... I miss sleeping in DH's bed, and the girls (now 5 and 3 years old) wake me up at least once a night. The problem is that both girls refuse to go to sleep unless I'm right there, laying down in the bed with them. I've tried just sitting on the edge of the bed until they drift off, or beside the bed... no dice. I refuse to let them CIO, which is what would happen if I played hardball and left them in the room by themselves.

The worst part is that my 5-yr-old has never gone to sleep willingly, so most nights I lay there for at least an hour, waiting on her to start snoozing. It usually creates a feeling of resentment in me (mainly because I want to get back up as soon as she's asleep and have some me time before bed, or spend time with DH, or whatever), and then she picks up on this frustration of mine (she's very sensitive to my feelings, even when I'm silent) and gets all upset about it, and then I have to console her, and there's another 15 minutes down the chute, plus I'm worried she's going to have a complex about sleep when she's older thanks to all this.

I've offered her her own bed now that's she's a big girl, and she flat-out refuses. "I want to be with you, Mommy!" she says. So I don't know what to do. Wasn't it Dr. Sears' wife who said that if you resent a situation, you have to change it? But I don't know how. That's why I'm posting here, I guess... to find out if any of you can clue me in on what to do next. Many thanks in advance if you can do just that!

Traditional Catholic, aspiring to everyday sanctity. Mama to two amazing girls. Wife to my best friend.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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First,

Secondly, if you are resenting it, then something does need to change. At the ages of 5 and 3, I don't think it is considered CIO.

I think they are old enough that a plan can be put into place for you to transition out of their bed and back w/your DH. Your current setup has been in place for a long time, so a gradual approach may work best. Maybe talking about it and coming up with a plan where you sleep in their bed on Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun and w/DH the other nights. Then gradually drop a day after a couple of weeks. etc.

I'm not saying they won't cry on the first night you aren't in there, (or even every night you aren't in there) but I think they should be able to understand that you are just in your own room and are there if they need you/have a nightmare/get sick, etc. Plus, they have each other, so they aren't "alone."
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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time for some bribery. however if that doesnt work you know your girls are not ready for it yet.

your oldest is at a great change in life.

if she is more than ever clingy its coz she's getting ready for her major emotional growth spurt after which they become more mature

i think my dd went thru that when she was 5 or 6 and was much more open to reason than before.

do you want ur bed back or do you want more time with dh in the evening?

would you mind if your girls slept in your bed?

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Old 10-02-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I remember when I was around age (4-6), and I also had great trouble sleeping. I had vivid dreams and an overactive imagination. When I awoke, I would be so disturbed that I couldn't go back to sleep. I remember lying awake for hours in my bed and always needing to go sleep with my parents to feel comfort and safety. I also remember feeling intensely guilty because I knew that they wanted me to sleep in my own bed even though they would let me in every night. I would also have trouble falling asleep because I had nightmares that took place in my room that I couldn't clearly separate from reality. I was not old enough to express any of these emotions to my parents.

No advice, just wanted to share. Maybe your girls have a lot more going on than you realize. Also, really trying not to worry you, but I do still wake up a lot and have a hard time falling asleep. I don't think it has anything to do with how I was parented at night. It's just in my nature.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post
First,
Thank you-- I needed that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
your oldest is at a great change in life.

if she is more than ever clingy its coz she's getting ready for her major emotional growth spurt after which they become more mature

i think my dd went thru that when she was 5 or 6 and was much more open to reason than before.

do you want ur bed back or do you want more time with dh in the evening?

would you mind if your girls slept in your bed?
Hmmm... I guess I'll have to be patient and see if that's the case here. I honestly wouldn't mind co-sleeping if they would go to sleep fairly quickly (like, within 15 minutes); so it's not so much as wanting my bed to myself as wanting some time to myself... and also time with DH before my own bedtime, you know? Being an attachment parent who's also an introvert, I sometimes get overwhelmed with being 'on-duty' (for lack of a better word) all day and then not getting a timely break in the evening, when I'm really craving some down-time and relaxation. At the same time, I know it'll happen someday, when my girls are ready for it. I was just feeling sorry for myself last night... but I'm happy to report that things seem brighter today.

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Old 10-02-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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inchbyinch this is just 'my' philosophy... but attachment parenting to me means meeting both the needs of the child and the parent. never one at the cost of the other if its causing deep pain.

great if you can handle it. but absolutely i can relate. i also want you to know that this is the age of fear. any sound, shadow is pretty scary. maybe one of the reasons why your 5 year old wants you.

has she had the same bedtime all these years? is she not needing that much sleep?

one of the things i have done is find my own time within time with dd. so she and i have been in bed and i have told her she doesnt have to go to sleep but she needs to give me some space. so we can both be on the bed and she would either have to play with her toys quietly or read and i could literally be next to her and lost in my book. and that 5 mins of peace and calm (i got more) but that initial few minutes of just being was such a huuuuuge help to me.

however dd has always been used to me asking her for downtime. its actually worked for her. i've told her how tired i am and i need my space. u know its actually made her more sympathetic and nurturing. provided i wasnt trying to find space for me when she needed me. many times she needed me close to her but not my complete attention.

i tell you for some reason its really brought us closer together.

so i would do something about it. its a viscous circle. you get down when you are all used up, then you get upset and then you find something to pull you up and you are able to deal better. dont get into it. slowly start finding things that work for you guys. and stretch your dd a little. i know the 3 year old will complicate matters but she has a big sister to emulate. so since you really arent opposed to cosleeping, try figuring out ways to make it work.

i tell you you'd be amazed at your own children. dont give up. keep trying.

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