Bad Parenting

25 Mar

Oh my God, I am so exhausted.  Evi woke up yesterday morning at five and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless I held her.  Last night, she went down at 9:30, woke up crying at 10:30, woke up again at 11:30, and finally ended up sleeping next to me in the Boppy on the couch from 12:15 on because it was the only way she would stop screaming.

I am totally exhausted because, obviously, I don’t really sleep when she’s not in her crib.

I talked to several parents, including my own mother, who said they think my habit of letting her nap on the couch next to me is to blame, so I am now trying to get her to nap in her crib.  She started getting sleepy around 9:30, so I tucked her in with her stuffed manatee and left the room.  She screamed for five minutes.  I went in, laid her back down, gave her the pacifier and manatee, and left again.  She screamed again.

Rinse and repeat.

For a solid hour.

Until I gave up and brought her out to the couch, where she is now finally asleep.

I have clearly spoiled her or something, and now I am so paying the price for it.  I feel like an idiot for the million times I declared that letting her nap on the couch was fine, since she was obviously sleeping through the night so well.  I feel bad for myself; I am so tired that I can barely think and I will almost definitely miss my workout today and will either eat nothing or entirely too much thanks to the exhaustion/stress combo.  I feel bad for Aaron, who will likely have to stay up with her tonight so I don’t actually die, and then will still have to function properly at work tomorrow.

I feel worst for Evi, who is now having to go through an extremely stressful naptime experience because I didn’t do things the right way from the beginning.


Did I further screw up today?  Should I not have given up after a solid hour of desperate crying?

Today sucks, and something tells me it will only get worse.


8 Responses to “Bad Parenting”

  1. Rasee March 25, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    So I do think you need to change her sleeping, but you have to be ready for it because it is hard. You have to wait until you’re feeling a bit stronger and then…just do it. You have to be in a place where you can take the crying, and it doesn’t have to be right this second, but soon. Try and get some sleep and let her sleep, then just pick a day/week and do it.

  2. hillary March 25, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Oh Heather! I kind of said this on Facebook too, but it bears repeating. I don’t think this is your fault. As much as people want to act like every little thing a parent does shows up precisely in their child’s behavior, I think we are neither blessed nor cursed with this level of control. I’ve done everything “wrong” with G’s sleep — from co-sleeping to purposely skipping naps because it’s convenient for me. And plenty of the time he sleeps like a dream. And sometimes he’s gone through periods where he wakes a lot. And the exact same thing is true for many parents I know who did everything “right.” Kids have their own internal patterns. You don’t need blame, you just need support, understanding that raising young kids is tough, and to give yourself a big hug for doing such a good job getting through it! Try whatever you need to try to get some sleep. And skip the beating yourself up.

  3. Jaime March 25, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Parenting is so hard and there so many opinions on what is right and wrong. I am pretty sure according to many I am doing everything wrong. I sleep with my babe cause it’s what turned out to be easiest for us all. I let her nap in her swing. At 2 months old she has never been in a crib but once. I do want to move her there around 6 months of age when I feel more comfortable being in separate rooms and I just know I am in for a battle with sleep training. I dread it already but I am making a concienscious decision to proceed this way anyhow. Sometimes parents have to make decisions that work best for the family at that moment. I think it’s good parenting not bad. You sound like your doing everything right to me, you just need the energy to push forward with the sleep in the crib training when your rested is all.

  4. a March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Can you move her when she’s asleep? Maybe waking up in her crib would get her used to napping there.

    Regardless, you haven’t broken her, or ruined it for yourself. Babies sleep when and where they want to sleep…not when and where it’s convenient. They don’t like change, so you may have to ease into it (sitting in her room with her while she naps in her crib, put her in the boppy and try to take it away once she’s sleeping), but you’ll figure out what works.

    However, if her pattern is to sleep in her crib and nap on the couch, then there’s probably something else going on to keep her up at night. Check for teeth, growth spurts, indigestion, ear infections – any of those can make her not want to sleep.

  5. missing_one March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Have you considered teething? Or maybe she missed you while you were gone and is a little out of sorts?
    If she was sleeping fine in her crib, but now is not I don’t think that has anything to do with napping on the couch. You ‘sleep trained’ her to sleep at night in the crib.
    Sure if you want to break her of that habit of sleeping on the couch, fine, but I don’t know if it’ll solve the problem, which I have hunch is probably temporary.
    My first son got his first tooth around 8 months and every time he’d start to get a new one (molars were the worst) he would be super clingy and wake up during the night in her crib (when previously he would be a super sleeper in the crib)
    Try giving her some tylenol or motrin for the night. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then maybe it isn’t teething. But it could be a million things, none of which have to do with sleeping on the couch.
    Motherhood motto is, : just when you think you’ve figured it out…the plan goes to shit and you start over again.

    You’re doing fine mama. Don’t doubt your Mama lion-ness, k?

  6. Beautiful Mess March 26, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    I don’t think it’s bad parenting at all! You held your baby while she slept, whats wrong with that? I did the same thing with both of my kids and while it was tough when I switched to them sleeping in their own bed, I don’t regret it for a second. They felt safe and I loved holding a sleeping baby.

    I do hope you’re able to get some sleep, it sucks to be running on empty. Hang in there, love. You’re doing just fine!

  7. Coggy March 26, 2010 at 4:55 am #


    I just wanted to echo what other mama’s have said here. You are not a bad parent at all. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year there is no ‘correct’ way of parenting, there is just your way. You know what’s best for you and your family so trust in your own judgement.

    Em has slept with us, had naps with us, in the car, in her cot pretty much anywhere. She has never been a good sleeper regardless of where she’s napped. We too go through periodical sleep disturbances with her. Sometimes teething, colds, maybe headaches. They tend to be short phases that we get through and her sleeping then returns to normal. I just think you’ve been extremely lucky up till now not to have had a phase ;o)

    As one mama pointed out, it is important that if you decide to do something about it you have to follow through, no matter how hard it gets. We found using the Ferber controlled crying worked better for us than the plain cry it out method.

    I’ll have my fingers crossed that this phase passes quickly for you all.
    x x x


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