March 30, 2011


For the most part, I try to keep this blog fairly light. I truly believe that you make your own happiness; that if you expect happiness and joy to come from external things, people, situations, you will never be happy. It is up to each of us as individuals to find the best in everything and it is up to us to make ourselves happy, hopefully making others happy along the way.

That said, there are of course days when I have difficulty finding the positive in a situation. As a mom, there are days that I feel entirely defeated and just want to curl up in a ball and sleep until the day has passed. I think it's normal to have days like this; you can't appreciate the good without experiencing the bad. But, for the most part, I try not to broadcast these days. Whining gets one nowhere, when you really think about it.

However, this is a blog I initially set out to write for my children, thinking that maybe someday when they have little ones of their own, they can read about my experiences in parenting and find some advice, some laughter, some solace. So, if I write only about the good, I feel like to a degree I am selling them short. Parenting, while the best job in the world, is also hard work. And there are days that I feel highly unqualified. Like today.

Audia's been sleeping in her toddler bed since September. The transition went much more smoothly than expected, and for the most part she's been a good sleeper. There were a few weeks at the beginning of the year where she was waking up wanting to get into bed with us a couple of times a night, and also a week where she wouldn't stay in bed when we put her to bed, but she seemed to get over both situations quickly once we found the 'solution' to both. The past week and a half, however, has been rough. Beyond rough. Maybe (probably) it's because I'm pregnant, but I am having a much harder time this go-round than I did the past couple of times.

Audia's been waking up 5+ times a night asking for "one more kiss and hug" or for her ocean to be turned back on or for us to fix her blanket. If we don't respond, she escalates to the point of screaming bloody murder, which in an apartment is not an option to let her do. So we have to respond to some degree, and it seems the only thing to get her to go quietly back to sleep is to do what she's asking for. I know...spoilage, right? Thing is that even if we do what she asks, she wakes up anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half later asking for something else. I am at my wits end. "They" say not to make bedtime a battle or a negative thing by getting upset or punishing, but I am really at a loss for what else to do at this point. None of us are getting the sleep we need, and the less sleep I get the less tolerant I am during the day of typical toddler misbehavior. The less sleep Audia gets, the more she misbehaves. It's an endless cycle that is essentially making me feel like I am losing my mind.

I read somewhere a while ago about how mothers (though I am sure some fathers do this, too) tend to blame their child's misbehavior on themselves but attribute good behavior to the child. Essentially, they tend not to take credit for good behavior but still blame themselves when things go awry. I certainly find this to be the case. Audia is one of the sweetest kiddos I know; she has so much love to give, and expresses it constantly. She is (most of the time) well-mannered and considerate and not to mention a total smartie pants. But I see this as her. It's who she is. But as soon as she misbehaves, I wonder what I'm doing wrong and where I can improve. And I know that all kids misbehave. I know it's just a part of learning and growing. But I still can't help but feel like I am failing at parenthood when she has an ongoing issue such as this bedtime battle we've been having. And it certainly makes me question how the heck I am going to manage TWO children.

As a side note, I must say that through it all I feel so incredibly lucky to be married to a man who is as amazingly supportive as Chris. He has been the first to get out of bed to tend to the munchkin almost every night, regardless of the fact that he has work the next day. Every evening and for a good portion of our weekends, he essentially takes over parenting duties to give me a break. And he does it because he wants to, not because I've ever asked him to (I've never had to.) He fully embraces his roll as daddy. I couldn't be more proud to be married to such an amazing man.



I agree 100% that happiness does not come from external things in life. It comes from inside. :)

And I'm not a parent, but it sounds like you're trying your best! I've heard that is a big factor in itself....soooo, yeah! Good job!

And Chris is obviously amazing...tell us something we don't know.


Hang in there, sweetie! We went through this a few months ago, so this must be a normal phase for a toddler to go through. I know what "they" say about dealing with this, but really the only thing that worked was eventually punishing her and making it really unpleasant when I had to go to her in the middle of the night so she didn't crave my company so much. She eventually learned that I was more that happy to have her company during the day, but nighttime was for sleeping and that it was not acceptable for her to keep calling for me and waking up the rest of the house. Maybe some don't agree with punishing at nighttime, but I know the difference between when she REALLY needed something and when she didn't. Do what in your gut feels right. "THEY" don't know everything, you know:-) It will get better, friend.