Sunday, May 6

Bedtime Battles

Bed time can be a pain in our house at times.  For some reason Miss Just Eleven is under the impression sleep is evil.  If she had her way she would have as little of it as possible.  She was about 18 months old when we began to battle over sleep.

I was young.  I was on my own.  I didn't know any better.  Did I mention I was young?  At the time I didn't think I was.  I thought I had sailed the seven seas if you will.  The only thing left was for me to settle down and have children.  Looking back I cringe.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

Back then the Internet wasn't like it is now.  So easily accessible.  Computers were expensive and far beyond my budget.  Not that I cared.  After all the silly Internet was one of the reasons I was experiencing life as a young single mum.  As far as I was concerned I was better off without.

Desperate to avoid stereotypes and show to the world I could make it on my own without a man I worked and studied in the hope to still one day land my dream job.  Despite still not actually knowing what that might entail.  All I wanted was power and prestige.

Of course this meant that my young child needed to be placed in day care.  And of a night we were both tired and grumpy.  As much as I wanted to sit and play with my little darling.  I needed her to sleep.  She needed to sleep.  Did I mention I was desperate?

Thinking back now I can't really remember for how long I pursued it but it was more than one night.  And it was on more than one occasion.  I remember feeling at my wits end.  I could have pulled my hair out.  Why wouldn't she just lay down and go to sleep?
Oh my how she would scream.

When she learnt how to climb out the cot, I gave in.  I was too worried she would hurt herself climbing out.  I began looking for the silver lining that would come with laying with her each night to get to sleep.  

Nearly ten years later I am still battling at bed times with her.

Every now and then we go through a phase where there are no battles.  

Oh how I love those times.  

Mind you I spend so long trying to work out what went right so it could be replicated at a later date that I don't really get to enjoy those times.  It all seems hit and miss.  I am yet to crack the rhyme or reason behind it all.

I know that this is a tough age.  I know that she wants to test the water and push the boundaries.  I know this is just a phase and it too shall pass.  That doesn't make it any less suckier to deal with though.

On the bright side.  Because I like to think there is always a bright side to every situation.  At least so far the other two prefer not to battle at bedtime.

What is bedtime like at your house?  Do you battle or do you have sleeping wonders?


  1. Bailey will battle sleep and always has, from the minute he was born. He is pretty good though and usually knows when to give in.
    It must be so frustrating for you. I cant even imagine having to deal with that at that age!

  2. Funny hearing it from another with an older child. It's always the parents of littlies talking about sleep stuff, isn't it? My first loved his sleep, and yet when he went through a period of wakefulness at around four months (in his case because he had undiagnosed infected eczema), I was encouraged to use the popular settling method of the time - controlled crying. I did it for a couple of night and then gave it up, it was so distressing for both of us. He didn't settled, he just cried harder every time I went in to him. The MCHN told me he was probably one of the 10% it doesn't work for - she didn't tell me there was 10% before we started.

    I was determined never to employ that method again. My next baby was not a sleeper. In the first three years of his life, I was lucky to get an hour of sleep in any one stretch, for six months at one stage I got two broken hours all night, every night. I ended up in hospital with seizures. It wasn't pretty.

    My last two slept, well, like babies. They didn't sleep through until they were in their third years, but would at least give me 2-3 or more hours between wakings. it was bearable.

    Now these kids are 12, 10, 6 and 3. They all sleep through the night, ha! Getting them to bed usually involves some form of terse parental, 'I'm not asking you, it's time for bed - I NEED a break, now scoot!' They go at 7pm (3 and 6 year olds) and variously at 7.30, 8, 8.30 or 9 - and sometimes 9.30 when being extra special quiet and me not noticing... It depends on what else is going on (did they sass me that day, are they grounded, do I have a headache. etc.)

    I agree, they push the boundaries. That's what kids do. They push, we resist, they push and sometimes we give a little - it's all good.

  3. OH MY GOD! I am sooo with you on this one..I have 4 kids 10, 9, 7 and 5 and at the moment, theyre the tiredest and crankiest bunh of ragamuffins you could ever come across becasue no matter how hard I try, they just wont bloody sleep! Tyler - who is 10, is adamant that he is older so he should get to stay up later, and he's always been one of those kids that can handle little sleep - go to bed later and still wake up before anyone else in the house! The only problem is, he doesnt shut up, which keeps the others awake. Lily & Ella, the 2 younger ones, are "scared a fox will come into their room during the night" they think a fox will get through their window when it's tightly closed every night, is waaay beyond me, but every night, about 15 minutes after putting them to bed, theyre out telling me theyre scared. I take them back to bed, tell them a fox cant get inside & if there was even a remote possibility that one could, Dad's snoring would scare them away real quick!, read them their book, and tuck them back in. Kianhi - Miss 9 - isnt such a big problem, except she sleeps in the room next to Tyler and shes the one who certainly CANT handle less than 10 hours sleep a night or the whole world knows about it! First she's thirsty, then she's cold, then she needs to go to the toilet, then she just cant sleep, then she heard a noise outside...meanwhile Im at my wits end and I just crumple into a heap and zonk out..hahahaha No jokes..I perservere and then I get the wooden spoon out..I dont need to use it, just the threat of it is enough to put them all straight back into bed where eventually, despite all their protests about not being tired, they fall into blissful sleep...and in the morning get woken up bu me, cause it's time to get ready for school, and theyre TIRED! No way..I could never imagine why you might be TIRED! hahahaha

  4. Oh..n I forgot to add, that these kids up until this year, have been THE best sleepers any mum couldve wished for..weve never had sleepless nights, scary foxes etc until this year! They all slept through the night within 5 weeks of birth and stayed that way till now..which I think is why it's that much more frustrating! We are moving house in a few weeks time, but thats then and I dont know if it's the excitement of moving that is the bit that's keeping them awake and edgier or what, but here's hoping that once we move, it'll be back to the normality of a non sleep deprived household! Fingers, toes n ears crossed!

  5. My littlies have always been good sleepers however we battle now at bedtime with a couple of them particularly if the routine has changed. The littler ones are in bed by 6:30 and then the older between 7:30-8pm but some nights we can still be battling at 9:30-10pm on bad nights. Routines are good I've found, even with the older ones. They love a story and a cuddle before bed but so many nights I am so desperate for a break I tuck them in then get out of there! I pay for it though with them being unsettled for the next hour or so. If only I'd learn to spend an extra hour settling them all one by one then they would settle so much better. I think!! lol :)


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