Friday, June 13, 2008

Too Tired to be a Good Parent

It seems like for the past 2 weeks Maggie has woken up crying between the hours of 1 and 3 am. So I have done what any exhausted parent would do: stick her in bed with us and try to get some shut eye. Now there are some co-sleeping families out there that are fine with that. I'm not one of them. In the waking hours of day I think to myself, "Sleeping with a kid sucks. They kick. They claw. They take up half the bed. It's ridiculous." And yet the next time Maggie calls in the wee hours, I grab her from her crib and once again trade in a good night's sleep for one interrupted every 2 seconds (as if my full bladder, sore hips, and aching back don't already do that.)

Finally I decided to go back to what my sleep expert pal Vhari had taught me: let Maggie cry it out. But the plot thickens. Maggie's climbing skills on the playground translated to every mother's worst nightmare: Mags figured out how to climb out of her crib.

No longer could I even hope to let Maggie just cry it out. Now I would have to chase her down, put her back in her crib, chase her down, put her back in her crib, chase her down, put her back in her crib, THEN let her cry it out. While I continued to chase her and put her back in her crib. The thought was more than I could bear. So, I resigned myself to being kicked all night by a toddler rather than face the chase.

Then I figured that there had to be another way. I went to the bookstore and purchased "The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep--From Birth to Age 5." Out of all the sleep books, I chose this one for several reasons.
  1. It said "easy" in the title.
  2. Conan O'Brien endorsed it. Dan said that's kind of silly to buy the book just cause Conan used it, but you know... Conan is funny and he stays up way late. He probably wouldn't be so funny if the book didn't work and he was up getting kicked all night by his kid. He'd probably be rather surly (like me lately).
  3. It was shorter than the other books. I feel really dirty admitting that. I mean, I was raised by a librarian and an English teacher. Choosing one book over another just because its shorter makes me feel like a cheater. Its almost as bad as Cliff's Notes which I severely despise.
  4. I really want to know how to get my twins to sleep "from Birth to Age 5." That's a really long time and it would really save us a lot of money and stress if I didn't have to worry about taking care of them too much since they'd just be sleeping until they were in Kindergarten. Besides, kids are cutest when they're sleeping.
The book has lots of good stuff in it. But the sad part was when it said that you shouldn't transition a kid from a crib to a bed before age 3, unless they were climbing out of it. But you definitely shouldn't transition them to a bed if a) you recently moved or b) you recently had a baby or would be having a baby within 2 months. So, basically we're going to scar Maggie for life when we put her in a bed. Hopefully she'll recover emotionally before she graduates college.

Anyway, tonight was my first night using the program. We did our good night routine and then the crying and climbing from the crib ensued and I put her back in there 30 times (that was NOT an exaggeration). First she cried for me ("Maaa!") then she cried for Dan ("Daaa!") and finally she cried for her binky ("Beee!") which she incidentally kept throwing from the crib. But after only 10-15 minutes she gave up the fight and sobbed into the mattress. Success. Hopefully she doesn't wake up ready for a slumber party at 1:00. If she does, it'll be Dan's turn for the chase. Wish us luck.


Kristalyn said...

Maggie sounds a lot like Mason. I react the same's just too exhausting to do anything except bring him in. He used to demand milk as soon as I got comfotable, but I stopped giving it to him. We put him in a bed a couple months before Carter was born, sometimes he would cry, or just stay up and play a little longer, but he would always find his way back to the it might help in that respect-you won't have to keep going back in there and putting her in her crib.
Good luck!

Emily said...

good luck! But I wonder why you are the one getting up in the first place? Aren't you pregnant? When I am pregnant Stew knows it's almost always his turn. :O) When the baby comes and I am the milk maker then I make up for it. but with two I think you will both be up.... But before I induce a panic attack can I say this? Although I have never had twins I did have two babies at once and I think it will be just fine for you guys. Yes, you will be exhausted at times, but it will pass and also be sprinkled with pure joy and delight. Mags will take naps for probably another year or so and the twins can be trained to sleep at the same time as her and you will get a break. I promise it so!:) And my final tip that I am sure you don't want is to buy some really intense under eye concealer before you have the babies. :)I had bags and dark circles like I never knew existed. But I'd put on my make up and TaDa! It looked like I had slept. I mean, the last thing you want to hear when you are tired is "wow, you look really tired." - not a help. I like to hear "wow you look so great and happy. You must be doing really well." Then I actually felt like that was true. LOL

Amanda D said...

I must say I think that you don't need to wait until 3. Or until after the babies are born. My oldest was 18 months when we put him in a twin bed, and he did fine. My daughter was two, and it was a month or two before my youngest was born. And, my youngest will be three next month, and he has been in a twin bed for at least a year.

I hope that the program in the book does the trick! Good luck!

Tiffany said...

Does the book say anything on how to make your kid like their crib? Nate will sleep ANYWHERE else but his crib..yikes.
Good luck w/Mags!! I'm sure things can only get better- right?

Rachel said...

Jadon our youngest is the only child who has been able to enjoy the crib longer than 18 months. Seriously! When I had Brennan the other's followed suit one right after the other.

The first couple of nights of "letting them cry" can be difficult but it pays off in the end. You are nicer than me though. If my babies crawled out of bed or the crib I left them until they fell asleep (always with their faces crammed against the bedroom door so that when you opened it you had to shove them with the door and they'd usually wake up screaming and crying.........) BUT they learn real quick crying isn't going to get them out anymore.

Sleep is precious in this household. :o) Makes mommy happier which makes everyone else happier.

Good luck tonight! And yes......let Dan take her if she is up in the night.

the fellers said...

if it makes you feel any better...we put scoty in a toddler bed in january, I had the baby the end of April. He slept wonderfully in it....I am a nazi parent though, I shut the door, and sometimes, he cries himself to sleep on the floor of his room, he has only done it a couple of times though....cause I think he likes his bed better then the floor. It will come....I promise!!! So, dont worry about not putting her in the toddler bed, I dont quite agree with will be ok!!! Good luck...and I agree....we SHOULD have hung out more, but you really dont live that far away....we NEED to get together again!! ok?


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