Stop Trying To Fix My Kids Sleep
Ugh, I apologise if this is a bit ranty and not terribly well written – I’ll explain why. Last night my 1 year old and 4 year old “tag teamed” me all night. ALL night.
Baby has a blocked nose, it was pissing her off, she couldn’t feed, couldn’t lay on her back, flip flopping around all night, occasionally crying and arching in frustration of not being able to feed. At one point she flopped off the bed. Oh dear. Not a good night for little princess. Her brother woke 3 times, once just to be resettled in his bed, once because he’d walked into furniture in the dark, once to go to the toilet. He slept in our bed the rest of the night because I just couldn’t get up again. (remember, baby is screaming and arching between her brother waking) long night.
SO – sounds pretty crap right? But colds are normal, babies catch them, it happens. 4 year old is going through a bit of a patch of waking at night, he’s starting to be a bit afraid of the dark, also drinking more in the afternoons but insisting he’s thirsty, so while it’s a pain getting up to help him pee, it’s better then dealing with a massive wee patch in his bed, like the other night. Also – normal.
Just really unfortunate that they both woke through the night, on the same night, because it’s doubley exhausting.
BUT – this is what happens every time we have a truly craptastic night. If I see anyone today, they’ll see I’m tired, they’ll ask how I am, I’ll tell them “I’m tired” (no point trying to pretend I’m not) they’ll ask why and IF I tell them, then commences the investigation on how to “fix” my perfectly normal, usually healthy, absolutely wonderful children.
They don’t need fixing. They are fine. My parenting doesn’t need critiquing. “have you tried….. ?” “could you do…..? “” what about this…… ?” “shouldn’t you try…..?” is not necessary.
No I haven’t just left my 4 year old to pee alone if he’s asked for help (are you offering to clean my bathroom in the morning?) yes I have seen a children’s health nurse for my daughters sleep, no I don’t think she (or he) is “old enough” for controlled crying, I’m 25 and I’m not old enough to be left alone in the dark to cry. No, I don’t want to give baby formula to see if she sleeps better, I haven’t, no I won’t, I don’t. NO thank you! Oh but thanks for trying. I really do understand that people are only trying to help.
I just think why can’t people just offer me a cup of coffee, assure me I’m doing everything right and telling me that little people grow, it’s hard right now but this time will pass.
Why when mothers are sleep deprived and sensitive do people feel the need to tear apart how they parent? Do you sleep through, every single night, without fail? Do you never have a bad night? Never have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Don’t you!?!? You must be in the tiny minority of humans who never ever have trouble sleeping.
My tiny humans sometimes have bad nights too. They aren’t broken. I don’t need to fix them.
I’m a bit broken though, you are welcome to try to fix me with a bit of kindness and caffeine.