Just do what works, until it doesn’t

do what works


A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how we manage sleeping around here.  If you missed it, I wasn’t sharing a revolutionary secret that will get your kid to sleep in three nights, it was more about how I’ve found not stressing about it and knowing it will end eventually, keeps me sane.


Basically I was saying – just do what works, until it doesn’t. 


Okay, so basically… now it doesn’t


We’re going through that epic two year old cling stage and Rory’s sleeping habits have become ridiculous.  


He only wants me to put him to bed and will not even lay down with Andrew and Eamon for the story (it’s like he thinks we’re going to try and trick him into sleeping without me).


Sometimes it will take him two hours of tossing and turning to actually go to sleep. While this happens I either fall asleep or spend the time battling internal rage over why this kid won’t just go the F to sleep. Yes yoga teachers have rageful thoughts too 😉


Then… once I do eventually creep out, if I don’t go to bed right away, he’ll wander out squinting at me an hour or so later and insist on sleeping on the couch next to me.


If I even bother taking him back to his own bed before I go to bed, he’ll be back in again before the sun rises.


Whilst I appreciate all the love, I’m starting to feel a little bit claustrophobic by his constant attention.  Even just a couple of hours without him between bedtime and me going to bed would make it okay. Or even if he went straight to sleep without a battle so I didn’t have to spend those precious few hours between him sleeping and me going to bed either groggy or annoyed.


do what works


I do vaguely remember this stage with Eamon, (my memory is hazy and unfocused from sleep deprivation and too much coffee.)  We were all still living downstairs and his bedroom had a single bed and spare double in it. I remember I changed from cuddling him to sleep, to ignoring him while pretending to go to sleep myself on the other bed.  I don’t know how  it works, maybe just them getting used to not having to be touching you to sleep, but I remember it improved sleep for Eamon and by 3 we could just walk out and say ‘good night’.


So I’ve been sitting on the floor beside the bunk and patiently wait out Rory’s acrobatics. (which is no exaggeration – this kid is often literally hanging off the slats from the bed above by his feet).


I have to admit, the anger still rises while I sit and wait.  I feel like by that stage of the day all my patience is done and I’m just craving some time alone, or you know, some time to actually talk to Andrew without having to stop and ‘looooook at meeeeeee’ or attend to wee on the floor, on the rug, on the couch, etc. Clearly toilet training is also going excellently, but that’s another whinge-ful story for another day.


So rather than spending that half and hour or so (I’m happy to report the time is getting shorter each night) feeling angry that he won’t just lie down and sleep, I’ve started using that time to meditate instead. I sneak in my phone and earphones to listen to a guided meditation (Deepak and Oprah’s free meditation experience is hitting the spot. Seriously, I would marry that man for his voice alone).  This little change has taken me from feeling resentful to actually looking forward to that time of day.


It’s not a life-changing shift by any means but so far it’s feeling better and things seem to be improving.  The way we used to roll, worked, until it didn’t.  This too will probably be the same.  Currently, I’m feeling less rage-y about the whole bedtime thing and Rory seems to be getting to sleep faster. I think sometimes we want to look to the absolute solution. Like if we are going to bother doing anything we want a guarantee that it’s 100% going to work, which often ends up being something drastic and overwhelming.  It feels like it has to be all or nothing.  When actually sometimes just a couple of small changes can make a big difference. Especially when those changes involve a shift in how you think about the whole thing.


So… tell me. Your kids – are they terrible go-to-sleeperers too?*


*If you have a good sleeper I don’t want to hear it.  Lie to me.

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