We're having some sleep issues over here and I'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Judah and Samuel were always great sleepers or, maybe, with two babies after them I didn't have time to give into their desires. Silas was my baby that would ask to go down for a nap and to bed at night, but he's recently reverted to coming into our bed every single night. And, Finley, oh Finley, that girl is sending me over the edge.
Let's start with bedtime...both Silas and Finley want me (and only me) to lay with them as they fall asleep every night. Whoever I lay first is happy, but the other screams and cries for me. Eric is usually in charge of the screamer/crier and I end up getting frustrated with him for not being able to handle or soothe them. Of course, he's doing the best he can and I'm sure he feels really frustrated with my frustration towards him. The child I'm laying with also has a hard time falling asleep because of the loud tantrum of the other one. Sometimes one will settle for Eric laying with them, but that means we still have to lay with them to fall asleep.
After everyone is asleep at night Eric and I have a few hours with our bed to ourselves. The rest of our night is spent with me shifting Silas around, so that he doesn't kick, bother, or wake up Eric. Finley has always slept through the night, but lately she's been waking up one, two, three, even four times in the night. She wants me to lay with her until she falls asleep and, let me tell you, sleeping in a toddler bed with a toddler isn't very comfy.
Nap time is my least favorite time and the time each day when I consider a) checking myself into a mental hospital, b) leaving and letting the kids fend for themselves, or c) eat a pound of chocolate. Ok, I'm (mostly) joking about those, but I really do go a little crazy each afternoon and end up calling Eric in tears. Sometimes I yell at or get frustrated with the kids and I feel SO guilty after. Not only do I have to deal with their exhaustion, but also my own I'm-a-terrible-mom syndrome.
In our old house Finley's door was such that we could pull it shut and it would get a little stuck. She couldn't open it herself, so she'd usually play and little and eventually fall asleep in her room. (Sometimes on the floor, like the photo.) Now, her door opens easily, so I'll lay her down and she'll walk right out. I lay her down again and she walks right out again and over and over and over. Discipling her doesn't really do much except for make me more frustrated. Rewards don't really work except for her expecting them even though she didn't stay in her room.
When she skips naps she either spends the rest of the afternoon crying, whining, and screaming or she falls asleep for a little bit at 4 or 5 and stays up until 10 or 11 at night.
So, do you have any advice for me? Help a tired, stressed out, overwhelmed, crazy mama, will you? Or, at the very list, show me some compassion.