Just last night, my 5-year-old son had some reservations about going to bed. He, apparently, caught sight of something that scared him on an electronic device a neighbor had. When he ran in, shaking, the lion in me emerged. When anyone messes with the wellbeing of my children, and especially their sleep, you better watch out. The entire situation reminded me of some sleep training moments that'll leave you wanting your own mom, because my baby didn't sleep well last night and, well, I definitely wanted my mom there.
This incident wasn't the first time my sweet boy's been too scared to sleep and, unfortunately, probably won't be the last. While I can't protect him from everything, I do my best to shield him from whatever I can that might affect his sleep patterns. I never realized how difficult this would be, though, until I became a mom myself. Go figure, right?
When my husband and I first started sleep training our daughter, we weren't prepared for the time commitment, how our patience would be tested, or the regressions that would follow. Still, we felt as if they'd be good lessons to remember if, and when, we ever had another kid. Turns out, every baby is different (who knew?!) and our son would require a completely different set of sleep rules. Though there are some similarities, training him to sleep through the night, in his own bed, definitely left me screaming for my own mom on more than one occasion.
When The "Get Up Repeatedly" Game Begins
This is a fun way to waste everyone's time and energy. In the first few nights of trying to get my son into his own bed (after we put the crib away), he searched for any reason to get up. He was thirsty. He heard a noise. There was a light. His blanket told him to. He wanted to see what I was doing. It's cute once or twice, but before I knew it I was sobbing in the bathroom because I was so exhausted.
Yes, I heard him tip-toeing around just outside the door between cries.
When Your Kid Cries All Night
Some nights (like last night), my son has a hard time falling asleep because he's scared or overly tired. We've only recently given up his daytime nap, so staying awake all day as been just as challenging as the initial sleep training. By mid-afternoon, he's tired and cranky. I hate when either of my kids are upset but there comes a point in the evening where I'm ready to throw up my hands in defeat (or plea for my mom's help).
When Your Partner Isn't Cutting It
I love my husband but, just like with my kids, there comes a certain point where he's done for the day. I don't blame him, because I'm the same way. However, we both can't necessary call it a day at the same time, especially when our kids are having trouble sleeping.
It seems like the nights one of our children is having the hardest time going to sleep is exactly when my husband has no trouble at all.
When There's Illness Involved
When my daughter just mastered the art of sleep training, she had a couple rough nights that involved the stomach bug and lots of vomit she ended up rolling around in. I only discovered it because of the smell. Apparently, she'd fallen back asleep right after she threw up, and it was everywhere. I think I silently wished my mother would just magically appear, before talking the cleaning. Because, gross.
When Those Dreaded Regressions Hits
There's nothing better than finally getting your child into a solid sleep routine. There's nothing worse than watching that solid sleep routine disappear.
Just when I thought everything was easy peasy, that's when both children felt as though I needed a wake-up call. Sleep regressions are a real thing, and they usually happen when everything is going well.
When You Discover All The Pee
Kids who don't get up to go to the bathroom will inevitably pee the bed. My daughter moved through this stage pretty quickly, with only an accident or two. My son is a whole other story. We're still in nighttime diapers because he's too scared to leave his bedroom at night. Some mornings when I peel back the covers, I can almost hear the horror music playing in the background.
When You're Sick
When I'm sick, I still try to power through in order to parent my children. However, there have been times I just can't. It takes a lot, but once I'm there, it's everyone for themselves. Sleep training when mom's fighting a fever in bed (leaving my husband to pick up the slack) hasn't proven to be successful. If anything, it set my son back because, apparently, there's no sleep routine like his mommy's sleep routine.
When Nothing Seems To Help
I've been through so many phases of sleep training, it's easy to feel frustrated every night. The truth is, some nights certain things work, and others, those same things don't. That's the fun of having children, right?
When Your Kid Refuses Sleep Altogether
The best part of all my exhaustive efforts is that, some nights, one or both of my kids just won't sleep. They might be overstimulated, too tired, or just resisting for the sake of driving me bonkers. Regardless, every part of it makes me realize just how much I appreciate my own mom who I'd love to come get my kids to bed so I can sleep again. Please.