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non-sleeping, boundary testing 2 yo, frustrated mama!!

473 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SleepyMamaBear
I am having a really hard time - I need to vent and would love some supportive suggestions from you great mamas out there. My dd, 2.5, has not been sleeping well since the start of DST (big surprise there!). Adding to the problem, I have a rotten cold so am even less able to deal with sleep deprivation than usual, and there's a lot of other stressors going on: we're moving in 3 weeks and just found out about it, the furnace broke tonight, I am facing a court battle for permission to move dd out of state so I can be nearer family, etc.…

Anyway, she has lots of reasons to act out and to have trouble sleeping at the moment, in addition to 'normal' 2 yo stuff… I know this, but I am losing it! In my ailing, stressed out, sleep deprived state, I have yelled at her several times in the past day, I have grabbed her and held her so she couldn't escape from the bed… I've basically been acting like a loon instead of the (relatively) calm, GD, adult mama I normally attempt to be.

I feel horrible, guilty, rotten about treating her this way, and I know it will ultimately make things harder for both of us, in the short run and the long… but I'm having a really hard time knowing what to do instead. If we both manage to get a decent night's sleep tonight, I'm hoping to be on the way back to normal, but I'm terrified she's going to be up and going for 2+ hours in the middle of the night again, in which case, I don't know what to do!

Thanks for the space to get this off my chest, and please - any advice, suggestions, reminders, etc. are very much needed!
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Hugs to you, mariamaroo!!

Sounds like you are in the middle of a tornado of events, and being sick makes everything so much worse. Sleep deprivation is enough to make me lose it too- I remember that from the newborn days. I don't have any real suggestions except to take a deep breath and take it moment by moment. Ask for help, too, from whoever may be able to lend a hand so you can have a break- any change of scenery.

Forgive yourself for treating your dd the way you did. Apologize to her too. I get angry with my 2.5 year old STRONG willed dd, and I just have to do the best I can and remember that I'm getting better- and that every time I act ridiculous it's a reminder to do better next time. So often we have to be at least one step ahead of our kids- and when we're sick or preoccupied with stressful events (in your case both) it is really hard to maintain that focus.

I'll be thinking of you- sending you and your dd hugs and sleep and health.
When my dd and I are about to strangle each other, I've found it most helpful to throw my own agenda out the window for half a day and just follow her lead - like from morning to nap time or from nap to evening. Just one day, to reassure her and give her a little sense of control. I follow her lead and try REALLY hard to ignore my "to do" list for a few hours.

I had a morning that I didn't feel well where I spent two hours trying to get out of the house and then finally wrestled with her to get her coat on. It ended with her sobbing on the floor with one sleeve on and the other off. I was sitting on the floor about to start sobbing too. That was when I realized that we needed to just stay home. I gave up and we read books, played what she wanted to play, etc. Then we took a long nap together and both were SO much better after nap. And better the next day, when I got all my errands done.

I'd reccomend holding the line on bedtime, but I'm still learning about all that so take my sleep advice with a grain of salt. Still if she feels more control at other times, perhaps she'll be more cooperative in the evening.

You have a cold and if something's going around, perhaps its gone to your dd's ears? My dd is awful at night and very stubborn all day when her ears are full or infected. I always figure this out after the fact...

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I was just coming to post something really similar, except rather than a cold I have my end-of-the year project due in my grad class. I can only work when DS is napping, and he didn't nap yesterday, and almost didn't today. I yelled and scared him. I apologized, we snuggled, and he finally fell asleep, and now I feel guilty. I think it happens, give yourself a hug and permission to try again tomorrow.
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My 2.5 year old son had some trouble with the time change as well. We used to be family bed folks, but he moved to his own toddler bed (in our room though) at around 2. What I found helped was letting him fall asleep in our big bed again... but I told him I'd be transferring him to his own bed when we came to sleep. (Have a new infant, so it's not safe for both to sleep in the big bed.) We did that for a few nights and it seemed to help. Now we're back to story time in the big bed, but going into his own bed for sleep.

I also told him that if he got out of Mommy's bed, he'd have to go into his own bed. That kept him from coming out of bed a gazillion times.

I also moved bed time back by an hour to start (so it was the same as pre-DST)... and then gradually moved it to the normal time by about 15 minutes each night. I realize I need to be flexible though.
When my ds was somewhere around this age my dd was an infant and I was SO tired. I had no help at all, except very occasionally from dh (he worked alot). I really thought I might have a nervous guess what I did...

I took almost everything out of ds's room. I did put the matress of the spare bed on the floor and brought up a few toys. I left in a dresser, which I put our tv and vcr on top of and I popped in a video that had three or four disney movies recorded on it from when dh's first dd was little. Then me and the baby slept. I don't know what ds did. From the looks of things he played a while, then layed down and watched the movie...and when I woke up a couple of hours later he was asleep. I'm a light sleeper (at least I was at the time) and woke up when he made a noise or came to me so I knew he was ok and I'd locked the bedroom door so he couldn't get out.

I know it's not an ideal way to spend the day...but when you need sleep, you need sleep
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i JUST went through similar no sleep cranky toddler crankier momy situation with my 21ish month old dd.

i got lots of good advice like you are getting now just by asking on MDC. what i would do without this place i dont know.

sleep is definately needed, and sometimes just being able to voice how you feel, let it out, outloud, not just online. to anyone you think could possibly help you, helps alot, especially if they CAN help you.

*big mama hugs to you*

forgive yourself and appologize to your child and start healing and moving on.
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