I’m so happy, proud, ecstatic, and amazed today. After 6 years, countless attempts (and failures), guilt trips, crying fits, etc, BG1 has FINALLY slept through the night in her own bed in her own room! Now that is a milestone!
I know what you’re thinking, she’s 6! She should have been sleeping on her own, but in my family we’ve always been quite lenient on that part of the parenting field. Why even my little brother slept with my mom until he was 8 (good thing she doesn’t read this or she’d smack me for saying so, haha) and my sister had to train him to sleep in his own room by sleeping on the floor of his room to prevent him from creeping into my mom’s room in the middle of the night!
Even though the “experts” are against it, BG1 has been sleeping in my bed since she was a baby and we’re both so used to it that it’s become a hard habit to break. But with the new baby on the way and the fact that she’s getting older, it was time to break the habit and make good use of her room, especially since she’s back to living at our house (my mother is even MORE lenient than me and basically spoils her, as a grandmother should of course, so she would just let BG1 sleep with her until forever haha).
We’ve tried doing the whole “sleeping alone” thing in the past, but she always wakes up in the middle of the night, cries a little because she feels alone and I being too tired and feeling sad for her, let her crawl into my bed and sleep happily. Well, I decided to give this process another try starting last week since she had that four day weekend and it wouldn’t hurt her to lose a few hours of sleep if she couldn’t sleep and let me tell you, it was a bust. She woke up in crying fits and walked over to our bedroom with her sad face on, I tried to be firm on some days, which broke my heart because I hate making her feel like I don’t care, and on other days I just gave in and let her sleep with me. I can’t tell you all the times I felt so guilty for pushing her away and letting her cry it out and yelling at her for not staying in her own room, parenting sure can break your heart sometimes.
But I was determined to see this thing through and after a nice break from it all, because she was staying with my sister, I sat her down before bed last night and asked her why she cried at night and woke up wanting to sleep with us. She said she was afraid of monsters and got scared and I explained to her that there are no monsters, but that if she does see one, don’t cry, just call out “Mommy” or “Daddy” and we’ll come protect you. I told her there’s no need to come over to our bedroom and that she’s a Big Girl and Big Girls sleep alone in their own room (I explained that to her plenty of times before, but I guess kids just need to hear it over and over again, and this time I used a firm, but caring and nurturing tone, I hope, haha).
All night I kept looking out into the hall to see if she’d come over, BUT SHE DIDN’T! I heard her squirm in her bed a few times at night but NO TEARS OR CRYING and NO GETTING OUT OF BED! Boy, was I surprised! In the morning I went over to her room to wake her up for school, crawled into bed and hugged her, and she opened her eyes and said to me, “see mommy, I stayed in my bed all night”. What else could I do but hug her, kiss her, and praise her for such a job well done. It really made me so happy and proud that she’s finally getting the hang of this and that, hopefully, the hard part is over. Sure it’s only one night, but I know my girl, she won’t disappoint me. Love really doesn’t describe it at all.