Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frustration at Bedtime

Bedtime.  I hate it.  I hate the whole process.  I hate how my son argues and negotiates and refuses to just wind down.  He's constantly moving and thinking and just stubborn.  Once I get him in bed, the getting up for multiple reasons begins.  I hear, "I'm hungry.  I'm thirsty.  There are monsters.  I'm having bad dreams."  I'm pretty sure bad dreams only happen after you are asleep, but let my kid tell it you can be awake too.  I get angrier and angrier the more he gets up.  My work gets put off later and later with each interruption.  No matter what time we start the process, he just does not go to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Sometimes I just have him lay down in the living room in hopes he just falls asleep while I work, just to keep the aggravation of his getting out of bed to a minimum.

I thought school would wear him out and make him go to sleep earlier.  Nope.  He's just as wound up after school, through dinner, and beyond bedtime.  What's worse is he gets MORE hyper as he gets more and more tired.  Like now.  He was just bouncing off the walls and getting up and wanting to watch the election results with me.  I'm glad he's interested in the elections, in that he watches for the checkmarks for blue candidates.  I just don't want that at 10:30 pm.  I'm starting to think X@nax was made for mothers who have to put stubborn children to bed.  Heaven knows I could use one at bed time to keep me sane most days.

So here I am, my son is finally falling asleep, FINALLY!  All I feel is guilt and shame that I can't even get a 4 year old in bed.  Why?  How can I not control a 4 year old child's bed time?  I'm definitely feeling like a crappy mom tonight, and wondering how come other moms seem to be able to manage multiple children without freaking out.  I have one and I feel like it's chaos here at night.  I try to roll with the punches.  I try.  My patience has limits and I am not letting this child run things here.  Oh well.  I seriously hope this gets better when he goes to kindergarten all day or we're going to have a super stressed out mom here.

Now that he's sleeping, I can finally get my work done.  Another all-nighter in store.


Shannon said...

Oh, I could have written that last paragraph. I feel so bad about myself for being unable to get my one child to sleep. I feel totally manipulated by him. He won't stay in his bed and he pops up several times. The only thing that works is letting him fall asleep in my bed, with me in it. And I have to lie in total silence and darkness, no reading, no TV, no tiny flicker of light that would illuminate some stupid stalling activity like playing with a water cup. Sometimes he takes like 2 hours to fall asleep like this. It is torture. And then I just get more and more frustrated about what a bad parent I am because he has totally blown any attempt to get on a regular sleep schedule, so he'll be crabby and naughty at school the next day, the teachers will judge me, and everyone will say, "You know, he wouldn't have these behavior problems if he just went to bed earlier."

Jennifer said...

YES!!!! Exactly. The constant touching of my face while laying next to me while I'm trying to get him to sleep is insane here. Or getting up from his bed to say, "I just have to tell you something." or "I need a hug/kiss/etc." If one more person tells me to get him on a 'schedule' for sleep or to try to put him down earlier I will SCREAM! We've even had wake up time at 3am where he wants to turn the TV on and has a HUGE tantrum when I say no way. Then my kid is waking up my apartment neighbors upstairs with his loud crying and acting out. It's so ridiculous and how the heck do you put your foot down at 3am when it causes a huge ruckus that's worse than giving in?? Completely manipulated.

I feel your pain with the two hours to get them to sleep because we've had nights where mine is still getting up at midnight trying to fight sleep. I'm a night owl and I work when he's in bed. Trust me when I say I reach my boiling point pretty quick when it gets later and later and I know I'm stuck working through the night, like tonight. What's worse is my ex-MIL tells me he practically puts himself to bed at their house. Should I feel grateful he acts right when he's a guest at their house? Oh well. I pray to God this gets better next year, or by age 6 or something.

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