Thursday, January 21, 2010

I win no parenting awards today

I am having a crisis.

One you probably have all experienced so I'm not sure if I just need to vent it out, or if anyone might actually have a viable solution OR IF THERE'S EVEN A SOLUTION AT ALL.

Here's the deal,

S. was a terrible sleeper at first, you know, the newborn stage and whatnot.  Then one night I swaddled him tight and he slept like 5 hours.  Miracle.  Then the swaddling continued and more sleep at night but still no napping during the day.  This continued for about 5 months, night sleeping but no napping unless he was napping on me.  It near sent me over the edge.  Then one day I just put him in his crib and walked away throwing my hands in the air.  He cried for 25 minutes and then slept for 2.5 hours.  Then the heavens opened and poured out good fortune upon me and from that point on he was a 2 nap a day for 2 hours and 11-12 hours a night kind of kid.  I never had to rock him all the way to sleep, just put him in his crib and he'd do the rest and if he did fall asleep while we were rocking than I could just put him in his crib and he'd continue on napping or whatever.

Teething a mouth full of fangs all at the same time didn't even phase the kid, barring the occasional random episode he still napped and slept like a champion.  I had hit the jackpot.

Until Tuesday.  

Tuesday entailed an early wake up call (about 5:50 am), he usually sleeps until somewhere around 7 at least.  So we get up, we eat, we play, watch some toons.  Then the eye rubbing, the yawning, the tell tale signs of exhaustion and nap readiness.  So we go to his room, rock in the chair and he falls asleep pronto.  I go to lay him down and he wakes as soon as I stand up, terrified, screaming and clinging to me like a spider monkey.  Back down I sit, more rocking, back to sleep, go to get up and the whole episode repeats itself.  So I just lay him down thinking he'll cry for a few minutes and go down.  WRONG.  Screaming, lots of screaming.  No sleeping.

Repeat for the last 3 days.  

Here's the kicker, at night, for the most part he's going down with absolutely no difficulty whatsoever.  How do you explain that?

Teething?  Perhaps.  Tylenol doesn't seem to be helping much and then how would you explain why he's going to bed at night with no problem?

Giving up naps?  Then why is he falling asleep instantly when I rock him and acting so sleepy?

Growth spurt?

Ear infection?  Again, why would he be sleeping at night so well (except he is waking up super early, especially today.  Hello 4:30 am!).

If he were simply giving up naps that would be fine, but I think I've demonstrated that's not the case.  Crying it out hasn't worked so far (though he's finally quiet for the time being).  I've made an appointment with the pediatrician to have his ears checked.

The worst part of it all is how I'm handling this situation.  I find myself without any patience, on the verge of screaming and yelling back at him.  I know how wrong that reaction is, he's 17.5 months old for pity's sake.  Why am I not more motherly and loving?  Where has my nurturing spirit gone?  It's like the first time he tries to really test my patience and motherly skills I go berserk and selfish and only think about me and how I'm losing it and how I can't take this anymore.


What else doesn't help is that we live in my in-laws basement and every move I make I feel like I'm being watched.  It's seriously the fishbowl effect.  As if I didn't feel awful enough about how poorly I'm handling stress, I snap at everyone and generally am acting as ugly and dramatic as I possibly can.

I hate that they're seeing this side of me.

I hate that we don't have our own space.

I hate their damn dog and his clicky toenails on the hardwood floor or the way he barks and goes bananas when the doorbell rings.

I hate the advice they try to give me.

I hate the weather.

I hate not being home alone to deal with this.

I am acting like a petulant child.  Sullen, defensive, and quick to anger.  

I am a train wreck.

I am a bad mommy today.



sue-donym said...

I don't know how to say any of what I'm thinking without it sounding trite. I am NOT trying to sound that way.

It's been a while since I was at that stage, but I do remember all of those feelings. The frustration, the guilt, lack of patience, and wondering what the heck I was doing. And the feeling like all I did all day was try to get my kid to sleep.

I also remember that most phases didn't last too long. (Although it seems like it when you are living in the moment). You're doing the right thing, having his ears checked, etc. He may just be testing whether he still needs these naps or not. It could also be separation anxiety.

I wouldn't dare give you any recommendations for what to try, I would wait to hear from the younger moms with small kids who I'm sure have dealt with this (or something similar). But know this! Don't be too hard on yourself. You're doing fine. It will get easier, and what works one week, won't work the next. That's just how parenting is. I have to change my mom skills sometimes on a daily basis to keep up with the princess.


La Yen said...

1. He is not going to die from crying.

2. Ipod turned way up so you can't hear it.

3. Ignore the inlaws. They just want to help, but it isn't helpful.

4. I am so, so, so sorry.

Queen Scarlett said...

I think I may be done having kids. ;-)

You just brought back the first three months of my #2's introduction to the earth. Colic...awful.

First... I am so sorry... it's even more hard not having your own personal space.

Since he seems to do well when you rock him to sleep... would it work to sleep with him? That way you both get some snooze.

My sister has her little guy sleep with her still..and he's 13-14 months now.

Good luck! Hope you get some relief/answers soon. That's the hardest...when you can't figure out what the crap is going on.

~j. said...


Here's what I would do (not that I've ever had to do this) (almost every day for over ten years):

~ step outside. By yourself. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. If, when you exhale, tears fall, just let 'em. Just cry. 'Sokay. Keep breathing, and stay upright.

~ Go back inside and grab Nub. Take him outside for a few breaths of his own.

I don't know why fresh air helps, but every time I do this I'm mad at myself for not doing it earlier.

Maybe this will help. Maybe it won't.

I'm a big fan of napping with the baby.

Let us know what the doctor says about Nub's ears.

undefined said...

I have no advice to offer, only solidarity.

We have a six-month-old daughter. For a good while she was just easy, sleeping 10 hours at night and taking two naps during the day, but recently she decided that's not as fun as it used to be. Now we're up twice every night, at least, and we fight and fight and fight for daytime naps. She's not sick, she doesn't seem to be teething, and we can't figure out that anything at all is actually wrong.

Cue drama. Cue me, on edge. Cue frustration, guilt, me feeling absolutely not motherly. Cue anger. She's only six months old, for cryin' out loud, and I still sometimes feel like I can't handle it. At all.

So. If it helps any, you're not alone. And for what it's worth, reading your story has somehow helped me feel better.

annie said...

i feel like you wrote that straight from my brain. that's exactly how my daughter was...every bit. and at about 17.5 months, she started doing the same thing when i would put her down for her previously tearless naps. i was a wreck. so i gave in. i stopped trying to put her down in the morning. she was clearly exhausted and needing a nap, but she was also clearly done taking two a day. it was a rough transition, but once i stopped trying to force the morning nap, the afternoon nap got easier and easier (maybe because she was sooooo tired?), and now she's back to her normal sleeping habits...just minus the morning nap. it's like she was so mad at me for trying to get her to nap in the morning that she refused to even consider it in the afternoon. as soon as i stopped trying to force it, she calmed down. so that's my advice, but good luck with whatever you try. it will all work out eventually!

annie said...

also, i moved the afternoon up a little...that helped.

soybeanlover said...

That's about when my first started giving up his morning nap too. It was awful, plus we were dealing with jet lag. We switched between 1 and 2 naps for a few months depending on how bad of a fight it was. I've had to leave the room before, and calm down/cry in the bathroom. My favorite part is going back for the baby hug afterwards. Good luck, say lots of prayers, and as has been said go outside and breathe!

Kalli Ko said...

Oh my comrades.

I feel loads better already.

For the record he screamed for close to an hour around 10 am this morning and then finally succumbed for over 2 hours. And I cried for about an hour of those 2 hours.

Now I'm at my parent's house seeking refuge and it's interesting how much more relaxed I feel already.

I'm going to try foregoing the morning nap if he does this again tomorrow. Maybe that's the ticket. Let's just pray he doesn't wake up at 4 am tomorrow too. That I am not up for again.


Also, no ear infection, healthy as a horse at 28 lbs.

The Sartori's said...

Sleep Regression (Noun) Several points in an infant's early development, usually around 3 and 6 weeks then 4, 8, and 18 months of age, in which the child develops sleeping difficulties, wakes frequently and sleeps fitfully, often in erratic spurts.

I hope that helps some. I had no idea what had possesed my 12 hour night sleeping 3 times a day napper. You can google sleep regression and find some websites with more info. My only word of hope, it does end. The sleep regression often happens before a growth spurt. It is the mind working hard to develop and work things out before it sends the body the message. Usually following the sleep regression is a few days of more than normal sleep, when the rest is being caught up on, this is usually when parents think the growth spurt starts. It has been happening for awhile though. It is mean and rotten and it brings out the worst in all of us. Just asks my husband.

dalene said...

sorry--late to the party. not to mention a total failure at the sleep thing. but i can tell you that in my experience at least 3 out of 4 kids who don't sleep well as babies eventually turn out ok.

and eventually you will sleep again. and not be living w/ your inlaws.

(but you prolly won't ever love getting unsolicited advice from your in-laws. and that's ok.)

GreenJello said...

Sounds like he wants only one nap a day now. It's about the right age.