This blog started life as a bit of a rant about sleep. Without stripping too much of the rant away I wanted to write down where we are at and almost re-evaluate my therapeutic writing process. Ultimately the rant was about me and my ability to let go, forgetting that you need a team to make parenting work…
Ever since the Robot came into my life I’ve been there for him Morning, noon and night. 24 hours a day. Being pregnant was hard work, tiring and exhausting at times and over the last year Dave has stepped up in his Daddy duties.
Saying it like this almost makes it sound like he never did anything before. So not true, but what comes with the Robots age comes the ability to function without Mummy. Walking, talking, eating, independence. He no longer needed Mummy milk all the time so could go on day trips with Daddy, leaving me at home to basically sleep!
This is all great and I’ve really enjoyed watching their bond flourish to the point where it’s not always me he wants. Something’s changed though and I found it hard to let go.
Bedtime. I’ve always done bed time but towards the end of pregnancy, those last 2 weeks it all changed. Dave had to help me and all of a sudden the Robot stopped wanting our usual routine.
A book, a cuddle, some boob milk and sleep, all night long. That was our thing. It worked for us. You’d think I’d be ecstatic that I no longer had sole responsibility to doing bedtime. I’m not. We’ve got our 2nd child CABS now and I’m very aware I have pretty much sole responsibility to her welfare. Especially in the evening when she’s cluster feeding and more needy. I need Dave to help with bedtime, I’m just finding it hard to let go and trust him to do it. Find his own way and their own routine.
Where I probably got complacent at the ease of getting the Robot to sleep, Dave has struggled. I have a 2 year night time bond that hasn’t always been a breeze. I want it to be easy for Dave. He is our provider and works bloody hard and where he might not be physically exhausted he’s often mentally exhausted. I worry he’s suddenly got no time to rest and unwind.
Letting Dave take on bedtime with the Robot looks like hard work. I think the boy thinks its playtime, he runs around, hides, screams, crashes, bashes and it just doesn’t work. Where I suggest quiet bedtime mood lighting, story and a cuddle, Dave gets hiding under covers, den building, lights on bouncing.
This resulted in something that I struggled with. The buggy, a night time sleep inducing stroll. It was a bit of a necessity while I was about to pop and then while recovering from birth. We talked about how it was not a long term solution. It was getting colder, then it’d be getting lighter and it wasn’t going to be feasible for Dave to keep up with that routine!
Even doing this ended in change, the Robot resisted the buggy, it ended with me fighting him in. The Robot had rejected me at bedtime, he was just rejecting bedtime full stop.
Going back to what I said at the start, Dave and I are a team. Also parents, being dictated to by our 2 year old! We’ve found a solution, one that’s working for now. It took a lot of hard work and screams too. Not so much crying it out but persistent back to bed, declarations of love and eventual hand holding, threats of the other parent. He sleeps.
We share bedtime. We know both of us can get the Robot to sleep alone but it’s easier as a team. The Robot will stay in his bed and often fall asleep while we tag team swap. Dave reads books while I feed baby CABS, we swap the Robot sleeps after a cuddle from me. It’s working.
Now we just need to fix the new phase of nighttime waking! We swear it’s just a phase combined with a bit of illness… it totally is.