Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Middle of the Night Parenting

For the record....what I'm about to talk about is NOT something I'm proud of.  In fact, it points out a glaring flaw in my parenting.  BUT, I do feel the need to talk about it, and see if anyone else out there suffers this issue.

Let's get something straight from the get go here.  I do NOT claim to be the best parent, or even a great parent for that matter.  I claim to be a human, a deeply flawed human and one trying to figure out how to take care of these little people entrusted to me and do as little damage as possible.

I'm just gonna talk about one of my biggest flaws for a moment.  'Cause, well, it's just not rational I think, and maybe by talking about it...I'll get better at it.  It's called...middle of the night parenting.  You know, when you're DEAD asleep and then suddenly there is a kid in your face crying about something, or there is a kid screaming out from their bed, or whatever.  And in my case, said kid is Miss Sassy pants and she is particularly demanding in the middle of the night. 

Generally she wakes up telling us her leg hurts.  But that is usually accompanied by A LOT of crying.  Mostly because she's really still asleep and therefore, there is NO amount of reasoning or consoling that does any good.  She just bawls uncontrollably and demands you do things JUST HOW SHE WANTS it.  There is a request for an icepack, which I will go get, but then it's not the right ice pack, or I haven't put the towell on correctly.  This will make her yell at me.  To which I usually yell back.  Then, I don't put the icepack in the right place, or on her leg in the right way.  Or, she insists I lay next to her on her bed, where there is literally not a sliver of space for me.  But she WON'T hear it from me.  Herein is where my great flaw lies.  I become totally irrational myself.  I react to this child like she's somehow aware of what she's doing and also NOT 4 but 24.  I get so angry and frustrated by her yelling, crying and demands that I yell back.  I feel total ICK toward her and can't deal at all.  It turns into a ridiculous battle of wills that goes nowhere.

I hate that I do that.  And even in my half asleep stupor and my total irrational brain, I know it's so wrong.  Yet, I can't seem to fix it.  Does ANYONE else ever have this problem?  Am I the only sucky parent out there that does this?

Because let me tell you...Jere, for all his patience struggles during waking hours is downright magical at middle of the night parenting.  Something takes over him and he becomes this quiet, soothing, loving, smooth talking daddy that can get Maggie to calm down in an instant.  He's so good it even makes me wanna snuggle up and calm down.  In truth...he's FAR better at dealing with Maggie on all levels of discipline and calming than I ever am.

What brings this up is...the other night Jere was out with some friends.  I was sound asleep, when at Midnight Maggie showed up at my bedside, crazy, crying, snarling and uncontrollable that she was afraid, oh and also her leg hurt.  I pulled myself out of my stupor and tried to have her come in bed with me to calm her down.  But, because she's crazy town and really asleep, she wouldn't have it.  She just cried and screamed at me louder.  Then I left her and went to her bed, because I'm mature like that, and also irrational.  She came following into her room and yelled at me more.  So, I got her an icepack, which of course I didn't do the towell right, and I didn't place it on her leg right, etc. etc.  By this time I was at my, "I'm gonna completely lose it level."  So, I got my phone and texted Jere a message somehwere along the lines of...."Where the hell are you?  Maggie is losing her freaking mind and I'm NOT dealing well.  GET HOME NOW."  After which I may or may not have told Maggie to just be quiet.  Then she cried harder and started to ask for her Daddy. I was asking for him too, and then we were both crying.  To his credit, he came right home.  I went to bed, he talked to her for a minute and then she fell asleep.

Seriously.....the rule at this house shall forevermore be....Mom is NOT available middle of the night.  Take it to Dad.

Am I really the only horrid, sucky parent out there that can't deal with thier kid in the middle of the night?  Please...do tell.

Sleepless and sorry,



WhisperingWriter said...

I don't think that's bad. Maybe because I yell too if one of my kids wakes me up at night. If it's not serious, I don't want to hear about it until the morning..

jen said...

Ok, first I'm so glad you posted, since I thought maybe the cockroaches were in complete control over there.
Second, I had this EXACT experience last night (minus the ice pack and crying and texting, but still). Lily came to me and told me that she'd just thrown up. What did I do? "Sorry, sis. Go back to bed." How's that for a great mom? Then, Hyrum came in about 5:45, and asked if he could snuggle with me because he was afraid. "No, it's almost morning. Go back to bed."
This was one of my good nights where I restrained myself from yelling and acting irrationally. I am a completely different person in the night.
So, sister, I'm sure it's all just normal. We can't BOTH be crazy town, can we?

Master P said...

I second jen - I was all where is the Als, huh? ANywho, YOU. ROCK. Really, I try hard during the daytime hours, but at all times, I lose it and act like a baby when I'm pushed. I'll just outright scream at her to stop being so mean to me, and go on a tirade about how she's hurting my feelings. Is that mature? Maybe not, but for goodness sakes, if they want me to be nice, they need to treat me nice too. I've been sick for 2 weeks now and I'm just a pile of FAIL. Husband even hung up on me today when did his daily lunch call because I wouldn't stop complaining and whining. What else can I say to let you know you are in good company? Your kids are so lucky to have the TWO of you (and I know my kids are lucky to have the husband's rational side to be nicer to them in the middle of the night while I'm being a friggin' saint ALL DAY LONG... kinda) :)

Joel said...

Growing pains hurt everyone in our house too. Will Maggie take some Tylenol? That coupled with some groggy leg massaging, seems to do the trick around here...but nobody's ever really happy about the situation, until we're all settled back in our beds and sleeping again. I'm OFTEN annoyed and angry to have to deal with something like that in the middle of the night even though I know I shouldn't be. ANY nighttime request seems like a HUGE request and, at best, is completely irritating. I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone.

alison said...

i am a total danger to society when awakened in the middle of the night. i'm irrational, hateful, grouchy, and liable to go on a rampage. and that's on a GOOD night ;) i am with you 200% on this one. and p.s....sometimes i'll just lay there pretending to be asleep until austin gets up and handles the situation. so, i get to add crappy wife to the mix as well!! at least that way the kiddos are getting the "nice" parent. see? i can rationalize near about anything!

Lene said...

I don't deal well with my girlies when they cry and scream in the middle of the day, let alone in the middle of the night. If they need something in the middle of the night they go to Big Daddy's side of the bed. But I can deal fine with Ham. I think it's because he doesn't scream and cry.

LadyCarma said...

Most parents are sleep deprived! Hence, the irrational behavior in the middle of the night. That said, remember this and repeat often: I am normal. This happens to other parents in the middle of the night and the parents act irrational (because they are sleepless and too tired).
I hated to be awakened loudly, so I told my children hundreds of times that if they wanted a grumpy mother, just yell me out of sleep! If you want a happy mommy, wake me with love such as soft voices and soft hands. They got the message. Maggie will do, someday, maybe when she is a teenager!

Kristina P. said...

I'm pretty sure if you read her the scriptures more, she would fall right to sleep. Always works for me. Thou saith....zzzz.....

Amanda said...

maybe you could turn her door knob so she can't get out at night?

LanaBanana said...

Apparently Livy did this too for a long time--ask Dixie--maybe she still does. But just crazy loud, buggy screaming and crying. Tatum would do that when she was sick until she was about six. But seriously, I think it was when Crew was a new baby and the crib was in her room that she figured out that she had to be quiet and come get me without all the nonsense. Probably cause I threatened death, demons and destruction on her if she woke up Crew. But now she is perfectly rational at night...so Maggie will grow out of it...someday. :( Not much help now, huh? But in the meantime, I don't know much to do other than sometimes having to be kinda mean cause they obviously can't understand reason in their crazy state.