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#1 of 8 Old 02-15-2014, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a Mom to a wonderfully inquisitive, engaging, spunky 12.5 month old little girl.  While I am endlessly grateful for this little being, I am feeling so pushed to my limit right now... especially in the area of sleep.  We have co slept since the beginning, and she has always been a frequent waker- especially at the beginning of the night, when she is by herself.  I feel so guilty, but I am just starting to feel so resentful that I can't even have 2 uninterrupted hours of free time before joining her in bed.  I usually nurse her to sleep, and then my husband will go to re settle her when she wakes, (usually an hour later), but sometimes it just feels like we are almost doing her a disservice by not 'teaching' her to sleep better on her own (even as I write that, I know deep down I can't teach/train/whatever her to sleep better).  She is also an in arms napper as well, along with a VERY active nurser (thinking pinching, gymnurstics, you name it).  All this combined makes me feel like I have no time to myself, and I am feeling very touched out, and frustrated that the short amounts of "me" time that I do take don't even feel close to rejuvenating.  I'm not sure what I'm looking for here (too exhausted and drained), so I guess any input, commiseration, and "I've been there, and it get's easier" anecdotes would be much appreciated!  Thanks!!

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#2 of 8 Old 02-15-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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My youngest is the exact same age, my older two eventually learned to sttn, both weaning past 2 years and sleeping all night a bit past 2.5 years to fully get there and wakings weren't often toward the end of that anyway. But now they're 4 and 7 and run off together giggling and barely need me most hours, and they go off to bed alone after a book and a hug. I just keep telling myself this baby is my last one and soon enough they'll all sleep all night and rarely need picking up.

 

I do set limits while mine are babies, hold wandering hands during nursing, lay down beside until they're asleep then leave so naptime is my free time. Also since he walks and uses stairs now I'll try to remind myself I don't have to carry him, just let him take his time going to another room with me. My best me time is doing the errands or walking the dog while DH watches the children, actually getting out for a bit completely without children. Time with just one of them is a bit of a break too and it's good to connect that way and change up the dynamic. Sometimes reading a book makes me feel I'm indulging and escaping a bit too.

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#3 of 8 Old 02-15-2014, 05:51 PM
 
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I am with you! I have a 3 year old and a 9 month old and am 27 weeks pregnant. My 3 year old is just now sleeping consistently every night even if there is other commotion going on. She is even good at going to bed most nights. My 9 month old is trying to kill me with her sleep! Naps she is good but she goes to bed around 8:30 and sleeps soundly til 10:00 pm then tosses and turns, tries to roll over and crawl in her sleep straight until 5:00 am when she finally settles in and usually sleeps soundly until 7:30 am. I wake up tired but feel better after breakfast and coffee, afternoons are rough and I have that energy crash and if I don't just drop whatever I am doing and sit/lay down during naptimes by Sunday I just have nothing physically or emotionally left.

So, I am kind of in this rough state of never quite having enough rest and never feeling like I am caught up on my 'to do's'. I try and be thankful for them and am thankful to be 27, and know that when they are older I will actually miss this! But oh MAN, am I TIRED these days!! For what it is worth my oldest only nursed for 4 months and did not co sleep and still had night wakings until just before 3, my youngest is not breastfed because of health issues and does not co cleep either so don't base your decisions to nurse or co sleep on thinking not doing them will get you more or better sleep, because its no guarantee.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-25-2014, 07:10 AM
 
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I like your term "gymnurstics" and will use it now with my son, who seems to have the exact same temperament as your daughter.  He is 10.5 months old.  I am totally with you with everything you said, and I'm so grateful to hear from someone going through the same thing.  My son wakes all the time at night (sometimes 5-7 times, but who's counting?), and only sleeps about 45 mins during his naps.  We co-sleep and I nurse him to sleep at night and during the day.  I absolutely love attachment parenting and the bonding, etc, and I am not a fan of CIO at all.  I've read so much about babies and sleep, etc, and I've tried everything I can think of to get him to sleep better (other than CIO).

 

That being said, it hasn't been easy (or fun) lately.  Over the past 8 days I had 5 meltdowns, the last one ending with a hysterical phone call to my Mom, screaming and crying about how I can't handle it any more.  This is NOT the first time I've broken down from lack of sleep.  It's happened on many occasions.  I have fought so hard against CIO, and have even had a few issues with in-laws and my husband over the issue.  I HATE conflict, and most of the time I just do what people tell me to, so this was a huge step for me.  I just couldn't stand the idea.  However, at 10.5 months, it's taking it's toll.  I am literally at the breaking point, and while I hate CIO, one of us is crying-it-out no matter what I do!  The past two days I put my son in his crib (after nursing, rocking, etc for half an hour) to see what would happen, mostly because I was starting to lose it again (when he starts playing with my face and goofing around after all that time, I get really frustrated!) He cried and screamed and I can only handle it for about 10 mins, at which point I go in and rescue him.

 

I am not trying to "sleep train" him.  I am not following any rigid schedule or program or whatever that tells me to go against my instincts and not pick up my screaming child no matter how much I want to.  When my heart tells me it's time to go in, I go.  I am only resorting to leaving him in his crib when I literally cannot handle it anymore.  When I feel like crying every time I spend half an hour getting him to sleep (4+ times during the day) only to have him wake up when I put him down, I know I have to calm myself down somehow.  My plan going on from here is this: nurse him, rock him, try to get him into his crib without waking up.  Do what I've been doing.  But if I feel myself starting to break down, I may just have to leave him alone for a bit so I can have just a few minutes to myself.  It's not ideal, but taking care of yourself as a Mom is so important, as I discovered the other day.  My breaking down definitely scared the heck out of my baby.  So while I try to avoid tears at all costs, sometimes I just have to tell myself I can't do it all.

 

I do believe that this stage will pass for your baby and for mine.  My advice is this: do your best to get your baby to sleep without tears, but also take time for yourself.  At 10.5 (and 12.5 months) I really think a few tears won't hurt anybody.  But that's your call, each and every time.

 

Hope this helps!  I'm right there with you!!

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#5 of 8 Old 02-27-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollysmom31 View Post
 

I am a Mom to a wonderfully inquisitive, engaging, spunky 12.5 month old little girl.  While I am endlessly grateful for this little being, I am feeling so pushed to my limit right now... especially in the area of sleep.  We have co slept since the beginning, and she has always been a frequent waker- especially at the beginning of the night, when she is by herself.  I feel so guilty, but I am just starting to feel so resentful that I can't even have 2 uninterrupted hours of free time before joining her in bed.  I usually nurse her to sleep, and then my husband will go to re settle her when she wakes, (usually an hour later), but sometimes it just feels like we are almost doing her a disservice by not 'teaching' her to sleep better on her own (even as I write that, I know deep down I can't teach/train/whatever her to sleep better).  She is also an in arms napper as well, along with a VERY active nurser (thinking pinching, gymnurstics, you name it).  All this combined makes me feel like I have no time to myself, and I am feeling very touched out, and frustrated that the short amounts of "me" time that I do take don't even feel close to rejuvenating.  I'm not sure what I'm looking for here (too exhausted and drained), so I guess any input, commiseration, and "I've been there, and it get's easier" anecdotes would be much appreciated!  Thanks!!

 

I can totally relate, I went through the same thing with my first DD, who is now 6.5. Your post reminded me about how intense and clingy (I know that "clingy" has negative connotations but I can't think of a better one at the moment) babies can be (I'm pregnant with #2, which is my last) and because of my experience with my clingy DD I really learned to value my alone time. I also want to second what another poster said in that they are only like this for a few years, even though the day to day experience can be very draining and intense. I'm grateful for the large age gap between my kids because I would go crazy if I had two kids demanding this sort of attention. That being said, I was in such mental and emotional distress, due to my DD's intense clingyness and a very stressful relationship with her dad, that I decided to ween her at 15 months. She also did "gymnurstics" because she would want to nurse but pay attention to everything else going on around her, and she used to pinch and bite. I found that using a nursing cover or a blanket helped to keep her focused while nursing and I would restrain her hands when she wanted to pinch. At 15months she was only nursing during the day for comfort, so what I began to do when I started to ween her was I would give her a blanket she had become attached to and cuddle with her. This actually worked quite quickly. I think it's important to remember that nursing involves a reciprocal relationship, and that once it is no longer physiologically necessary, which I think is usually around a year old, if that relationship is no longer working and one person is feeling strained and resentful that relationship needs to change or end. I know that is easier said then done with when it comes to very small children, but I think that because the child parent relationship is reciprocal if aspects of that relationship are creating stress and resentment those aspects need to reevaluated because they are not conducive to you being the best parent you can be.

 

I also got her out of our bed, but kept her in our room when she was around 9 months, because another part of my mental and emotional distress was poor sleep from DD waking me up all the time, and being uncomfortable in a bed not big enough for the 3 of us. We would put her in her baby carrier carseat, with a blanket covering it, and rock her to sleep because without the base they can rock. I had a really important experience recently that showed me how important enough sleep is to my parenting abilities and patience, and am taking that experience to heart as I plan for #2 coming in a couple of weeks. So I guess what I'm saying is I was right there with you at one point and that I had to make some difficult decisions/changes that went against my hopes as a parent, meaning I wish I could have nursed my DD longer and I wish we had had a bigger bed so she could have slept with us longer, but I was so stressed out by both of these situations that they had to change because I couldn't handle it anymore. Something had to give. I should also say that I was probably suffering from undiagnosed postpartum depression at the time too, so that didn't help matters either. Good luck I don't know if anything I mentioned about what I did with my DD helps, but if anything I just wanted say that I can totally understand what you're going through!!!!!!

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#6 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone! I appreciate the support. I think allowing myself to establish those boundaries of needing to take me time without guilt, has been helpful lately. I also find that stepping away during naps when possible has also been very helpful.
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#7 of 8 Old 03-08-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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Reading this was so good for me. My almost 13 month old daughter is just like yours! I'm really struggling here!! But I'm comforted hearing I'm not alone. I just have work to do trying to help DD be more at ease sleeping on her own *sometimes*. Sigh.

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#8 of 8 Old 03-09-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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Setting boundaries when things aren't working is so key!
I love Janet Landsbury's blog for ideas on how to respect our babies and set limits too http://www.janetlansbury.com/  She also has some great in action videos on you tube.  

Also there are some gentle strategies in the no cry sleep solution that might help your baby get better more uninterrupted rest so you can too!  http://www.amazon.com/No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Through-Foreword-ebook/dp/B000OVLITC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394383720&sr=1-1&keywords=no+cry+sleep+solution
 


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