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OK, mamas, I need some advice. I am a SAHM to my 14 month old DD. I have had problems in the past with depression and anger management. Now, Im glad to say, those issues arent as big and I am able to handle them when they do arise. My days with DD are pretty cool, shes a sweet, funny, intellegent child. She naps like a dream with me, I can handle her little tantrums when she wants another cracker to feed to the dog but I wont let her have one and so on. My problems dont start until DH comes home. He loves his DD of course, and she loves her daddy, but the only one who can put her to sleep (unless shes VERY tired) is mama. If she wakes during the night (but before I have gone to bed), one of us has to go and get her back to sleep. If DH goes she will usually cry and call for me, sometimes to the point of hysterics. Lately, she had been going tothat hysterical point consistantly so Ive been going in, instead of him. Last night she missed her 2nd nap and threw everything out of whack so she was up till 11 and then kept popping up while half asleep and wriggling out of my arms. I got so frustrated with her and myself, I put her in her crib (she cried) I walked with her a bit (she started waking up) I put her on the bed (crawled around giggling) back in the crib (cried). Im very ashamed to say that I wanted to spank her (my anger issues in the past were often physical) but I DIDNT. I know it wouldnt have helped one bit. I know when I get to that point with her though, that my frustration is very evident and I do get a little rougher with her, like when changing positions or putting her in the crib. I know she can tell somethings wrong with mommy. So, DH took her and put her to sleep while I went outside withthe dog. I know she cried for me a little but she was very tired so she went to sleep quickly. What do I do when I need a break, I know Im at the breaking point, but I know that she will CIO with DH? (He doesnt just stick her in the crib and let her cry, he holds her and comforts her.) DH is more than willing to help and is a wonderful father, but I feel very guilty about "making" him do it or about making her go through what she goes through. I hope this post makes sense, Im still pretty tired from last night..... Just looking for some advice.
 

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Oh my lord I could have written your post!!! Well, we don't own a crib
but other than that part --- 14 month old dd, have a great day all day long, bedtime is sometimes a nightmare, she only wants me, cries for me when dh tries to comfort her or help her to sleep, I feel guilty, take her back, on and on....

Well, dd doesn't really have any bedtime, as long as she is agreeable she can stay up until whenever, but she has her own *rhythm* which is usually around 9-10pm --- begins to get fussy/tired/clingier than usual etc... I always tell my husband my gentle discipline clock turns off at 9pm
which isn't true, I am still gentle, but from 8am until 9pm it isn't *work* to be gentle... once 9 oclock rolls around, I am forcing myself to be gentle sometimes ---

What helps us a lot is for me to have wind down time when dh gets home from work, which sometimes isn't until 8pm because he is a private guitar instructor... but it helps A LOT, it really does. I go out back, alone with a cup of tea or coffee, meditate, read, sometimes take a walk, sometimes just chat online with a close friend (mdc friend!), whatever... just to unwind and get myself ready for my "second shift"....

Sometimes I jokingly call dh our daughter's "handler". We never force her to sleep AT ALL (how would you do that anyway lol) but when she is really tired and doesn't want to play, doesn't want to sleep, doesn't want to do anything but whine and get down, get back in our arms, then whine and get down... I let dh take her as long as she is comfortable with him comforting her/trying to get her to sleep/play with her... and when she calls for me, I take her. This is after my *wind down decompress* time so I am more able to be patient and calm.

Do you have a yoga ball? One of those huge balls you bounce on I mean? Our daughter calms right down when we bounce on the ball and usually falls asleep pretty quickly.

Also a nightime routine helps too, do you have one of those? We are not *schedule* people, and we do the routine as long as it is agreeable to our daughter ... but we do bathttime with low lighting, lavender, nag champa, baby massage... then quiet story time --- she can still play and stuff if she wants, but we try to facilitate more calm play, books, toys that don't make noise etc....

I think *most* children and people in general need a wind down period. I find it is hard for us to go from fun to sleep without a (sometimes long) period of just *chilling*...

Good for you for not spanking or giving in to your anger impulses ---

The only thing I would suggest with this long novel, is to get your calm time before your breaking point like I mentioned above. Have dh play with her while you do some calming things, before you both are at your breaking points (you and your daughter I mean)....

Be gentle with yourself as well as your daughter. I don't know if you impose a bedtime but not having one has helped us A LOT. We have no set time we feel she *should* be in bed, though we do assist her in getting to sleep when she seems very tired and needing that. If she is cool just playing, she plays.

Good luck


Oh I just edited to add--- Bach's Rescue Remedy is a wonder for me... it helps bring about calmness very quickly, I don't know if I can post a link to buy it but you should be able to find it by typing it into google or whatever.... chamomille tea and tension tamer tea helps with calmness, as well as champa flower which is known for its calming effects --
 

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I've definitely been there, mama, and occasionally still am there!
I wanted to tell you, it may get better soon. DS used to only cry for me, only allow me to put him to sleep, etc, but around 15 mos (I think?) he started to accept DH instead, and even sometimes asks for him instead of me!
Most of the time now he cries for me when he first wakes up and will push DH away, but after he calms down from the initial crying, he often will let DH bounce him to sleep and I can slip away. So, it may not last forever... I know how exhausting it is when you are your DC's only source of comfort!
 

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Well, I wouldn't feel guilty. I've had nights like that, too, and I've gotten to the point where I just let dh take over. Ds was crying almost as hard with me, and I was too tired to deal with it. So dh goes in and rocks him and sings him Kingston Trio songs and eventually he settles down and goes to sleep. I don't consider it CIO at all -- he's his father, and they need to figure each other out too. Dh can learn what ds likes, and ds can learn that he can be comforted in more ways than one.

A caveat, with my first child I was a lot less willing to let this happen. I felt guilty that my dh should have to deal with that and go to work, while I just stayed home with one child. But now I've got two kids and one on the way, and I'm just a lot mroe tired.

BTW, this has turned out to be a really good thing. My ds and dh have a great relationship. Much better than dd and dh did at this age. And dh is more confident in his parenting, which is awesome because he then is more willing to help me with decisions, and I feel less burdened.
 

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I've been there too. Get up a hundred times a night, the crying the wanting to just walk around the house, blah, blah, blah...my toddler does this all with my DH. Once DH is home for the night, the child cries ALL the time for him. It's so frustrating. It's okay to leave them alone for a few minutes to calm yourself down, it's okay to have these feelings..I commend you on being able to post them.

What we have started doing is all go in the master bedroom and watch a DVD, talk or just snuggle with a good book...all of us! Things start to settle down then. Put you and daddy together so she will know you are a package and both can *help* her. Maybe that will help. But, we co-sleep..so that might not work for you.
 

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What I think you are seeing in your situation is that something has got to change. It sounds like you've tried to work on your anger and that you are sensitive and concerned about your child. I would take this as a time not to feel guilty - but instead to ponder specific changes that might improve your situation. That might include: making a plan to walk the dog every night by yourself, making sure you get enough exercise, sitting down with your husband and talking about rethinking the way you are approaching bedtime (that may help you feel less like you are imposing something on him), taking time off on the weekend alone, etc.

My suggestion would be to let dad take over bedtime for a week, take a walk or do something to get out of the house during this time and see how it goes and then reevaluate. Oh and to me crying it out is being left in a room alone. Your dh reading her a story, singing to her or whatever and holding her isn't crying it out. It is being cared for by a parent.

Oh and I should probably also add we did something similar with bedtime around that age and it worked well at our house. Our child and his dad needed some time to find their way, but they did and in the end it lead to much better sleep and I felt better to get a break too.
 

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First of all, you're not making her cryITout if he's holding and comforting her. You're trying to allow him to solidify that aspect of his relationship with her (his ability to put his child to sleep). While this is difficult (was for me), it's really rather necessary. I tend toward morbidity rather often, so please forgive me, but I often think when my natural tendancy is to take control over WHATever, "What if I died tomorrow? This (name the activity) wouldn't be any easier for DH to do just because I REALLY couldn't do it for him!" And then it's a LOT easier for me to let him establish his own way with her!!

HTH
 

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Honey we all have those days!
I think that you need to let daddy hold her and put her to sleep. If someone is holding here and there to support her feelings then she is not crying it out. Maybe starting a bedtime routine would be good? Doing the same thing every night getting her familiar with after this then this will happen...And make daddy a key figure in the routine. Good Luck!
 

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We had the same problem around the same age. First of all, don't feel guilty for taking the time that you need to calm yourself, even if your dd is crying.

We had been putting ds to bed together for a couple of months. Dh would read stories and rock, then I would nurse to sleep. We came to a time when we found it neccesary for dh to do the bedtime routine on his own (often because dh hadn't just spent 12 hours alone with ds and still had stores of patience that mama did not have.) The problem, like you describe, is that ds would scream for me hysterically. Our solution was for me to leave the house before dh took ds up to bed. I would get on my coat and say goodbye, get kisses, etc. Then I would leave and dh would take ds up to bed. No tears. As long as ds knew I wasn't in the house, he didn't cry for me. This became a regular part of our bedtime routine, so that when I got my coat on, ds knew he was going up to bed.

I would usually bring in our firewood for the next day, or take a short walk. The key was to leave before ds went up to bed, so I wasn't leaving when he and I were both frustrated.
 

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letting dh settle her down is not crying it out - she cries a bit but she is being comforted and soothed by dh ...so no need to feel guilty - you do not have to do everything for her - let dh take some of the strain and get some replenishment for yourself
I fully agree with everyone's suggestions about how to get some breathing space and nourishment - either during the day or in the early evening
I also think that you can let dh put her to bed or at least try to so that over time she has the chance to get used to him putting her to sleep instead of always relying on you - that is good for both you and for her (and for her relationship with dh)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all so much for the responses and kind words!!!
I think we do need to let bedtime be daddy/daughter time for awhile. They need it and I sure do, as well. Now that shes getting older, smarter and more willful, its just getting tough. I too tend to think about the morbid side of things, and it has ocurred to me many times that if I wasnt there, DD (and DH!) would be thrown for such a loop. So we can all benifit from a change in the routine, for sure..... I see long night walks with the dog in my future!
Thanks again for the support.
 

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I agree with everyone else, let her get used to her father's brand of loving care, it'll be of benefit to all three of you and daddy will feel good about learning how to communicate with her through the stressful times. You need some rest and time to reconnect with yourself.

I would just add - please do something about destressing and learning to manage your anger now (starting with these daily breaks will be good!). The tests of patience can get more intense with the child's age. If I had known at 14 months how I would struggle at 6 years trying to deal with all the emotions (mine and my kids'), I would have made a plan right away for anger-decreasing/parenting-smarts-increasing. I was parented with anger, yelling, shaming, punishment, spanking, and other mean and ineffective tactics. When I became a mama I had all these wonderful ideals that I would always let peace lead my interactions with my kids, but sadly I had never learned the positive coping skills to replaced the awful behaviors that had been modeled and deeply ingrained in me by my mother. So now I am trying to catch up. Just a heads-up so you don't have to write what I'm writing in 5 years!
 

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At what point do I step back in as far as our new nightime routine? WE did our sleepy stuff, I nursed her, she stopped and wanted to go to DH. I went on a walk, came back to her screaming. Its quiet, now...wait, a little screaming....
She went down for a nap today with DH like a champ.

Sphinx, can I ask what you do/did for your destressing and anger mngmt? PM me if you want....
 

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oy. Well, for me it has really come down to having to reevaluate EVERYTHING about my own childhood and move on from there. Trying to understand my own feelings, my own reactions, how I was taught and then what my goals and ideals as a parent are. I am finally seeking out a regular therapist - which I should have done many years ago. Other than that, here are some ideas: meditation, yoga & dancing, getting massages, going to cultural events and making sure there is some regular and interesting adult dialogue in your life, creating a community of mama-friends, a weekly date with dh is crucial - if you have trusted family or friends you can take a few hours out midday and go out for a walk or coffee or something. Ib addition, llots of reading up on gentle parenting, thinking and talking with dh about desirable approaches to future potential discipline situations, and... whatever you like that makes you feel happy.
good luck.
 

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i feel like that sometimes like when im trying to get my babies back in bed they try and crawl out and when im putting them back and there fighting me, i really feel like i am go ing to lose it!! and maybe have been a little rougher than usual (i really hate writing that)
 

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Wow... Its day 2, DH stayed home today for other reasons and was able to put Eddy down for her naps; there was some yelling (no tears), asking of "mama?", but no signing for milks. Now hes in there trying to get her down for the night (well, until she wakes up!) and its been fairly quiet! Im very impressed. We've nursed until shes had her fill, she asks for her water, her puppy and DH takes over. The level of tension in me has dropped dramatically. Even if Im not getting much done yet, still a bit on tenterhooks, its something.
Maybe this should be moved to the nightime/sleep thread, but I just wanted to share!!

sweetpea: just putting it in words is hard, I know, but its one step towards change! Hang in there. Ive found that singing "you are my sunshine" helps me, the part where you say "youll never know dear, how much I love you, please dont take my sunshine away" always gets to me.

oh, and sphynx, I totally agree that reevaluation of ones past really helps! Im working on learning more about GD and those weekly dates with DH. And doing more grownup/me stuff! Thanks a bunch.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sweetpea333
i feel like that sometimes like when im trying to get my babies back in bed they try and crawl out and when im putting them back and there fighting me, i really feel like i am go ing to lose it!! and maybe have been a little rougher than usual (i really hate writing that)
Sweetpea, I have seen other posts of yours. You have a lot on you right now. I'd recommend some Rescue Remedy or Elm for feeling overwhelmed. I wish I had something wise to help your situation.
It will get better. It is hard right now.


Pat
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EdlynsMom
sweetpea: just putting it in words is hard, I know, but its one step towards change! Hang in there. Ive found that singing "you are my sunshine" helps me, the part where you say "youll never know dear, how much I love you, please dont take my sunshine away" always gets to me.
Me too! Here's my lyrics change:

"Now don't forget, dear, how much I love you, but now it's time to go to sleep."

Then when my dd heard a Burl Ives version she said he sang it wrong.
 
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