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Re: [gaydads-87] Parenting Question

From: Bobby H.
Sent on: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:06 AM
Mark, Chris and everyone, 

Lots of great advice! Consistency is absolutely the key. I have not been consistent in this area. My 8 year old, 4 year old, cat AND dog all pile into my bed. It's not even really my bed anymore. It's theirs. My 8 year old will not sleep anywhere but with me, and this has been the case since she was almost two years old. My four year old has started climbing in bed in the middle of the night, letting the dog and cat in. It's become a bit of a zoo. 

A little background: I'm a single parent (an "only" parent or a "sole parent"), and went into parenting on my own. I had always wanted to be a parent, and was in an 8 year relationship with someone who said he wanted to be a parent at the beginning but after a few years changed his mind. Fair enough. When that relationship ended, I waited a year and then decided to move forward with what I had wanted for so long. So it was just me. Single. Brand new parent. Night time feedings, everything, it's all been me. I haven't slept in for over 8 years, nor have I had a day off. I am not trying to complain. But I hope this background provides some context. 

I started out strong and consistent. With a newborn, I was (and remain) totally against co-sleeping due to the potential dangers. But as my daughter neared two years of age, began to have sleeping issues.  she had night terrors (I think). The only thing that would help is if I walked the floor holding her. The second I put her down, she would scream her head off. This would go on for hours! 

She trained me well (obviously I let her), and within a few weeks she was sleeping quietly in my bed, allowing me to sleep too (finally!!!) after weeks and weeks of the most terrible sleep deprivation I could ever imagine. I was so sleep deprived I was terrified I would drop her as I walked the floor holding her so eventually I would go sit on the edge of the bed, rocking her, holding her. Within days of that, we were both just falling asleep right there. The battle was lost. 

I finally succeeded getting her transitioned back to her bed two years later, and it was awesome. She slept beautifully each and every night in her own bed. A few weeks later, her sister was born, and she immediately decided she would not sleep anywhere else but my bed, and being sleep deprived from being the only parent to a then 4 year old and a newborn, with all the night time feedings, etc…I went into survival mode and losing more sleep trying to keep my four year old in her bed just wasn't a possibility for me then. I strategically decided to just give up on that battle. And here we are today. She's 8 years old. She WILL NOT sleep anywhere but with me. I even bought a day bed for my room hoping I could get her to sleep in it, so I could have some space in what is supposed to be MY bed…but she crawls back into my bed, refusing to sleep in the day bed. Now my youngest (who is now 4) sneaks in and piles in. As she leaves the door open, the dog and cat join us all too. 

Thank goodness my 15  year old (niece who I am parenting full time) likes her space! With three kids, I have an awesome work schedule for parenting as I am a college professor. I wouldn't trade any of this for anything, although I do want to eventually be able to have my space in my bed back and not sleep in the most contorted positions due to the bed being packed with people and animals. And, as you can imagine, I've been kicked and injured more times than I could ever begin to count. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining at all. I love my children more than anything. Sleep (deprivation) and sleeping arrangements have been the one real struggle though.  

But it's all worth it a million times over to be able to be the the lucky parent of the most amazing, incredible, miraculous people I know. 


From: mark russell <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, May 28,[masked]:51 AM
Subject: Re: [gaydads-87] Parenting Question

Hey Chris,

Consistency is key no matter what your evening routine is, just be
consistent and a little bit relentless and you will be fine.

Kids function better with routines but certain personalities just want more
control over their lives (bless their little hearts) and they need to be
reminded with love and compassion who is in charge, over and over and over
again. If you give in and let them have there way, just like wild animals
they will sense your weakness and pounce!

My daughter has tried it all to get out of bed time agreements.  I have had
to give her time outs to reinforce routines. The tears get hugs and "I am so
sorry you are sad I love you, now go to bed" so she knows I love her but
that she still needs to get her butt to bed.  Now she gets it finally and
doesn't even try to sneak out of bed anymore, for water or anything. But it
took a lot of ground work when she was 2-5 years old.

Keep at it and good luck!


On 5/25/13 11:48 AM, "Chris Armijo" <[address removed]> wrote:

> Dads,
> I'm having a rough time getting one of the twins to sleep in her own bed.
> (Twins are three and a half).
> I'd like to find out if any of you had the same problem and what methods
> worked for you.
> Thanks
> Sent from my iPhone
> --
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> Area Gay Dads Meetup.
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