My Entirely Unattainable Dream.

I sit here and sit here staring at a blank screen.  I do not have writers block.  When I decide to write something down, I get it out no matter what.

I sit here and sTBRonanSleepingtare at this blank screen because there are problems in my household, and I aim to write about them.  However, I know what kind of comments my writing will inspire, and I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to put up with them.  In my dreams, there is a place where people are supportive, and caring without judging, disapproving, or saying “I told you so.”  And even if the choices I’ve made as a parent seem entirely foreign and quite frankly stupid to you, I’d love you to just be able to comfort, commiserate, and care.

For one blessed week, we had sleep in our house.  A whole week went by where Ronan went to bed at night, and only woke once in the night to eat.  He didn’t scream upon waking, and he didn’t wake to play.  He slept, and I slept, and Daddy slept.  After a whole week, I thought we’d beat the battle, the demon had been slayed, and our son had finally become a good sleeper.  Better days were ahead, bad nights behind us.  That’s what I thought… what I’d hoped.

Instead, we’ve had a massive regression.  I’m not entirely sure what happened, and even though there are other people in this household that would like to lay the blame on me, I don’t think I’m the cause of the problem.  Perhaps that’s just my way of trying not to feel like I’ve messed everything up royally.  Whatever.  It’s my blog.

Ronan goes to bed around 7pm.  I say ‘around’ because we try to be very flexible and guided by his cues.  If he’s acting very tired around 6:30, we’ll put him down early.  We want to get him in bed during his sleepy time in order to get him to sleep easily.  We don’t like to let him get over-tired, which causes a battle.  This is a lesson learned the hard way.  During the day, Ronan has at least three 50 minutes naps.  Every now and then, he’ll get a 2 hours nap, which is great, but difficult to repeat.  At night, Ronan has a bath, then baby lotion, then pajamas, then a book.  His routine has been the same every night for nearly 5 months now, so he KNOWS when it’s bed time.  Usually right around the time we get the lotion on, he starts to cry.  He’s not hurting, or hungry – he’s upset.  He knows that we’re about to try to put him to sleep, and he’s mad about it.

Typically, putting him to sleep for the first time at night is easy.  I no longer nurse him to sleep, so he doesn’t have that sleep association.  We’ve worked very hard at being able to get him drowsy but still awake, and to put him down.  We can put him down in his crib, or in our bed, and he will usually fall asleep.  Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 tries, sometimes it takes 15, but we persevere.  I don’t want him to have to be rocked to sleep every single time he wakes up.

So.  The child is asleep around 7pm.  And… he wakes up around 8pm.  We go up and give him his paci, pat him on the butt a few times, and he’ll go back to sleep on his own.  Why does he wake up in the first place?  Why can’t we make it beyond that 50 minute sleep mark?  I don’t know.  However, the 8pm mark is the easy one.  It’s the 9pm mark that is the cause for distress in my home.  At 9pm, Ronan wakes up for the night.  He’s had a great 2 hour nap, THANKS MOM, and he thinks it’s time to play.  It doesn’t matter WHAT I have done to try to discourage this behavior… I can spend hours in his room rocking him, bouncing him, nursing him, laying him down in his crib, walking with him, singing to him, cursing at him, crying to him, begging him and any other number of activites trying to encourage him to stay in bed – inevitably he wears me down to the point that I can’t take him any more, and quit.  Because I’m about to lose it.

Have you ever lost it at your child?  It’s not a proud moment.  I set him down in his crib, and he starts screaming, and I walk out of the room.  I close the door behind me, and I go downstairs to try to compose myself.  Usually, I tag Brock in, because I can’t deal with him any more.  Usually, Brock gets him up because he’s not willing to get that upset over sleeping.

It’s at this point, from 9pm on,  that Ronan will not go back to sleep until after midnight.  MIDNIGHT.  From midnight on?  He wakes every 2 hours and screams to eat.

No one in my house gets sleep.  Brock has started sleeping in the guest room, which fosters feelings of unfairness – I don’t get nights in the guest room.  And then I get bitter.  Mad at dad, mad at baby, mad at me.  And I don’t know what to do to fix this.  I don’t know where we went wrong.  I hate this feeling, and I just want one good night.  JUST ONE.  Put him to bed, and he stays there.  I don’t even care about the stupid night feedings.  Wake up and eat, just QUIT SCREAMING AT ME.

I take a deep breath.

I close my eyes.

I remember that a few years from now, I will miss every moment of his babyhood.

I tell myself ‘this too shall pass.’

What more can I do?

Facebook Comments
  • kristin

    maybe just let him have one nap or two naps a day.. i dont really know anything about babies tho but i know when i sleep a lot during the day i tend to have a hard time sleeping at night.

  • Stacy

    have you brought this up to his doctor? I really don’t have any advice for you. I’ve battled this before with Kailyn. Thankfully, there IS an end. Kailyn is sleeping through the night-every single night now. Just know there IS an end to all of this. You’re doing everything right…it’s not you.

  • Alena

    Jackson takes two naps during the day.. and then we don’t even put him to bed until 9pm. Maybe make his bedtime later? That’s the only thing I can suggest. Oh, and make sure his tummy is full before bed. Hope it works out!!

  • Holly H

    I know I just started reading your blog, but now I can’t stop posting. I hope you don’t mind 🙂
    I need to say that – Dude you are amazing!
    I can tell that you are doing everything you can, all the right things and so NO it is not your fault. I don’t think advice is needed in these situations. Each baby is unique in their sleep needs but yet I think all mothers have been through these same trials. You WILL find what works best for your and Ronan, but remember it may not be what you had planned.
    You are right in saying it will get better, it will. But know that my son Kai is 3.5 and still not sleeping through the night. He comes to our bed around 5 am every night. I love it though as we cuddles in with me and goes back to sleep. We have gone through so many different sleep battles I had almost forgotten when it was like to be in situations like yours.
    It sounds like Ronan is saying he isn’t ready for bed yet… BUT this is a fine line as you def. don’t want him over tired (as you mentioned). I have found that my son’s bed time completely depends on length and times of naps. I was lucky Kai was a fairly routine napper – but bedtime did still change sometimes.
    I am rambling now… I hope sleeping stops being a battle for you guys soon! Did you feel like a new women after all this sleep last week?

  • Supa Beff

    It’s all about The Word of The Day.

    This is what I know:
    When Scally was little, he used to spin and spin around in the kitchen, then, he would get dizzy and smash his head on the kitchen table and bawl his head off like a Banchee. It drove me insane! I would overreact and yell at him like an Old Ugly Hag. It was Drama at it’s finest.
    Then, the little bastard got sick and nearly died. When the doctors told me that he would die, the FIRST thing that came to my mind is that he would never spin around in the kitchen again.

    Thing is, even tho this dosen’t ‘help’ the problem, but just know that this whole ‘sleep deal’ is TEMPORARY!

    Seriously, it’s like diapers. He’s so not going to school shitting in his pants, and YES…Missy, YOU WILL SLEEP through the night again one day soon!

    Maybe in 2 years….MAX…but you will, and, eventually, you will foget about what a Grumpy Old Hag you were because you were totally sleep deprived.

    Don’t be mad.

    Be thankful.
    🙂
    Suck it up Buttercup!

  • i feel so sorry for you guys!, but you like you said it will pass sooner or later and you’ll look back and wonder how you ever managed to get through it at all.

    i honestly don’t know anything about babies, except from from the mommy blogs i love to read! 😛 but maybe it’s time to get strict? go less on ronan’s cues and when he wants to do things and have a strict schedule you can get him into where he knows what’s coming? like: it’s 8pm, time to sleep. now sleep!

    i’m not sure if you’ve tried that already, but what my mum always said with me (and still does haha) was: “i am the parent, and you have to do what i say.” we all have to do things we don’t want to because our parents say so and they know what’s best for us, and just because you’d have him on a stricter schedule obviously wouldn’t mean you’d love him any less, just that you’re taking charge of the situation and showing ronan that he has to sleep when everyone else sleeps because it’s what we do, and if he doesn’t then his mum and dad are going to be so tired and so is he ..

    i just remember watching episodes of those shows like supernanny and nanny 911 where the kids never wanted to go to bed and they used to scream and scream and try anything to not sleep, but then the supernanny came along and got tough and left them to scream it out or kept putting them back to bed; and in the end they always went to sleep and everyone was happier 🙂

    good luck!

  • WulfCry

    Sounds like an adventure the house is alive and there are great story’s to tell. Like you said its a live to tell moment. Muscle up your doing great ^^.

  • I AM SO SORRY. I can’t even imagine. Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with a situation like this, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but maybe put him to bed a little later, just whenever he seems tired? You’ll miss out on the wonderful couple hours when he’s in bed and you’re not, but it doesn’t really sound like you’re getting those anyway.

    As for Brock and the guest room, eek. I don’t know how I’d react to that besides being spitting mad and bitter!

  • Michelle

    Oh, Mandy. Okay, here I go. You have been warned…LOL.

    First, there is NO ONE WAY to parent. Period. It would be alot easier if that were the case, I think. You have been given a lot of good advice here, but the most important thing for you to ALWAYS remember is to go by your mother’s instinct. Pay attention to what feels right to YOU. Feel free to try other options that friends/family may advise, but never forget that YOUR way is right for you and Ronan. I could give you a whole lot of advice here, and if you want it, feel free to email me. The thing is, I think you are doing the healthiest thing, which is to vent. This is tough, no doubt about it. Going without sleep makes it difficult on every level. Yes, this will pass, one day, and a new challenge will appear. Believe it or not, you will get through them all…and with flying colors. Know how I know this? Because you love that child so very much. It really is that simple. You will all survive this. And, yes, all of us that have been there know exactly what you are going through. You have every reason to need to vent.

    As far as Brock’s behavior is concerned….
    Here is the deal. You are the Mom. From now until enternity, get ready for this. Brock loves that child every bit as much as you do. But, he is a man. Doesn’t make him bad. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Ronan just as much as you do. However, in the years to come, you are likely to find that it is YOU that is up all night with the sick child, You that is dealing with the tantrums and meltdowns, and YOU that deals with most of the “not fun” stuff. It isn’t all men that behave this way, but MOST of them do. It is natural. Is it fair? HELL NO! Is it right? NOOOOOO! But, it is typically the way it is. Maybe it is our maternal nurturing instinct? I don’t know. Just start to accept it now. When there is sleep to be lost, it will most likely be yours. There is nothing wrong with Brock…other than he is a male. I’m not man-bashing here, just stating what most Moms know. Of course there are those men out there that are different, but that is rare, not common.

    I’m here if you ever need to vent…without being judged. Any time of day or night. I’ve been there. 🙂

  • I just want to disagree with the “it’s natural that men won’t care for their children as much as women” thing. That all depends on how you define “natural.” It’s not biological–it’s cultural. Our society tells mothers that it’s our job to be the primary caregiver, and we’re the ones who should lose sleep and deal with sick or fussy children. Since we’ve all accepted that that’s just how things are, of course it’s “natural” for men to opt out of the parts of parenting that aren’t fun. Wouldn’t you, if you had such a ready-made excuse?

  • In regards to Brock sleeping in the guest room:

    Please know that I am in no way passing judgement however, does he work a Monday-Friday job? My best friend is a nurse so I’m assuming your schedule is similar to hers in that you work every three days or so (?) in which case…

    could you guys take the days that the other is working the morning? That way you don’t feel like your the only parent making the effort to calm the baby down.

    Also, am I wrong in assuming that your husband believes that you should let the baby cry and just go to sleep as opposed to going in to try and get him to doze off. If so, then disregard my previous suggestion because if he believes one thing and you another it’ll take some time before he comes to your side of the court.

    Just remember, “love prevails”. You three will make it through! Bags and all. 🙂
    .-= Dahnya, dahnya@gmail.com´s last blog ..tiny post, big smile. =-.