Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things we struggle with, part 2


Bedtime.

Candace and Sarah are great sleepers... once they fall asleep. From day one at home, however, we have struggled with bedtime. Sometimes we have had out and out tantrums. Sometimes we have struggles getting the routine started. Usually we have multiple trips downstairs after tuck-in and ALWAYS we have resistance of some kind.

We've done all the normal things. We have a well-defined bedtime routine.

The one thing I didn't do was lay down with them until they fell asleep. I have never done that with any of my kids; I have always been one of those moms who wants her kids to be able to fall asleep on their own, and until now that has worked out well.

Until now.

One night after going through the usual rigamarole, I just climbed on Emily's bed and brought the twins up with me, one on each side. Candace pulled the bottom of my shirt up, laid her cheek on my stomach and was asleep in five minutes. Sarah snuggled into the crook of my arm and quickly followed her twin into dreamland. I put them each into their own beds and we were done for the night.

We snuggle like this every night now after Daddy finishes reading a story. I'm giving up twenty or thirty minutes of my precious alone time in the evening, but I'm gaining an amazing feeling of closeness with Candace and Sarah. Okay, they aren't soothing themselves to sleep... probably someday they will. Right now I feel like we are bonding in a way similar to the bond I had with my older kids when they were nursing babies. It's nice and I like it.

The moral of the story is that many of the strategies used to parent my bio kids need to be modified some to work with these girls. And also... you can teach an old dog new tricks.


8 comments:

Lori S said...

That's awesome! You really do have to try new things!! Bedtime was always a hassle for us too. Even when I would lay down with the girls, they would get jealous because my face was turned the other way or one had to sleep on the outside (since I have 3 little ones!)... Bedtime is much better now. Somehow, things do settle down...

Jennifer said...

I do the same thing, Paula. The best of both worlds. I get my own bed, but we all get the cuddling and closeness we all need. It works out great. I would do co-sleeping but I really enjoy my sleep and S's elbows and knees always seem to be in my ribs.

Jen Stutzman said...

That is so precious to have this time with them. I bet you are really bonding with them. Enjoy it mama!!

Susan O said...

I found the opposite. I tried lying down with her at first, and it totally prolonged the process. I think the two of us in the bed made her very aware of the fact that she was in bed. Now I just rock and sing her to sleep in the rocking chair and bring her to bed once she's hard asleep. It's SO MUCH less stressful for both of us. I guess the moral of the story is keep trying stuff until something works...we've both learned that!

Emily said...

I am with you about wanting kids to learn to fall asleep on their own, but so neat that you're meeting their comfort and bonding needs in this way! What a sweet time that must be for all three of you!

Becky and Naing said...

Whatever works for you and them. It is a challenge to find what works and meet their needs. Even Haven and Alec are so different in needs.

Kristen said...

You are an amazing Mom, Paula.

Kristen said...

How this tugged at my heartstrings....
What a lovely bonding time.