At 8pm every night, my daughter asks me the same question, “Momma, can I lay with you?” And I answer, “No honey, you can’t”. End of story.
Just kidding!! We co-slept when she was younger. She’s had an issue self soothing herself to sleep for as long as I can remember. After my separation, I went back to co-sleeping. It wasn’t healthy for her or I, but let’s face it, when you’re in the depths of despair and the one little human keeping you afloat looks up at you with those big blue eyes and asks if she can sleep with you, you sleep with her.
Fast forward. She’s 9 now. And guess what? Momma needs her space. Momma needs to breathe. Momma needs you to go to bed and stay there all night like they told me you would when you got older. It’s like an 8pm Sundowner’s Version of Children. Her whole personality changes. In fact, she shows off about 8 of them in a matter of minutes…
Smart Ass Version: “Your just jealous you didn’t have those electronics when you were younger.” (In response to No TV)
Begging Version: “I’ll do anything! I’ll do extra chores tomorrow!”
Negotiating Version: “Can we just write a contract that I sleep with you every Tuesday night and I promise I’ll sleep by myself the rest of the time.”
Scared Version: “I hate this room! My friend told me she saw a ghost in here and now I’m so scared Momma! You know I’m scared of the dark!”
Sudden Illness Version: “My head hurts. My stomach hurts. My legs hurt. Momma, please let me lay with you, I don’t feel good.”
The Babbling Version: “Maaaa…MaaaaMaaaaa… Nooooo… Mommmmmmma…Noooooo… MaMaMaaaaaaaa…..” (Yes, it sounds like this and she’s 9) SMH.
Guilt Version: “You should take advantage that I want to lay with you because when I grow up you will not see me at all.” Yes, I’m dead serious she said this… I have the screen shot to prove it.
And my all time favorite. The Mean Version: “I HATE YOU MOMMA, YOU’RE SO MEAN!”
Whew? You think I’m kidding? I literally deal with this every. single. evening. I’m still in the beginning stages of transitioning her back to her own bed, but I find that every time she goes to her dads, or a friends house where she gets to co-sleep with someone we start the excruciating process all over again.
I’m really trying to stand my ground. To Stay firm. Stay consistent That’s what all the advice from moms and articles and doctors recommend. Consistency. But damn if it doesn’t take a lot of Grace to stay consistent when your child sounds like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Sometimes I laugh and shake my head. Sometimes I’m so tired and cranky that I have to lock myself in the bathroom and run a bath to drown out the drama. Sometimes I’m patient and I quietly remind her of the rules every 30 min after bedtime.. And tonight, I’m writing, because if I don’t I might lose my mind.
We’ve finally gotten to the point where after all the drama she’ll fall asleep – but guess who I roll over to in the morning? How frustrating to spend night after night doing this only to feel like it failed every morning after morning. It almost doesn’t seem worth it. Battle of the wills I suppose.
I’m hanging in there for now. Any advice or similar stories out there? All the moms I’ve talked to sound horrified when I tell them about my 9 year old still acting like a toddler transitioning from the crib to big girl bed.
One Flawsome Momma