When a Mommy Feels Defeated…

As we continue to prepare for the arrival of baby #2, there have been some changes in our household.  One recent adjustment has been transitioning my darling daughter from her crib into a big girl bed. 

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The first couple nights were rocky, but I feel fortunate that within a weeks time she seemed happily established in her new dwelling.  There have been some hiccups here and there, but for the most part I’ve been content knowing that my sleep struggles could be linked to pregnancy symptoms and not a restless toddler. 

Until last night…

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Somewhere around 1:50 am my Alexandra comes bounding into our room like sleep was the last thing on her mind.   I wasn’t entirely surprised because earlier in the day she decided to end her boycott against the potty (WOOHOO!), and I figured this new experience, among other things, had her little adrenaline pumping and her mind racing.  As I wiped the sleep out of my eyes I gave myself a pep-talk.

I am far too exhausted for this tonight, but I CAN DO IT.  I will find out what she needs, be mommy-to-the-rescue, and before too long we’ll both be in dreamland. 

It was a great plan, and didn’t seem too lofty at the time, but little did I know my sweet angel had her boxing gloves on and wasn’t going down without a fight!

photo credit: childpsych.co
photo credit: childpsych.co

Back and forth and around and around we went.  The clock now displayed 3:30 am and I was finally convinced that she was down for (what’s left of) the night.  I gave myself permission to (attempt) to go to sleep, and within a few minutes I realized I was wrong. Here she comes again! This night has suddenly turned into a nightmare comedy of errors and all I have left in me is to say “come on kid, let’s go hang out in the family room.” She immediately reaches for her noisy Vtech computer, asks for a T.V. show, opens her Bible to do some reading, and I’m left shaking my head at the fact that this girl really thinks it’s playtime?!!

4:00 am: Are we finally there? Have I worn her out enough?  NOPE!  She goes a couple rounds of putting her baby doll and friends in bed while she continues to act as if sleep is beneath her.

4:15 am: This exhausted preggo mommy is about to lose her marbles!!!  How can I possibly be the only one ready to collapse?  Why won’t you just give it up child?!!  I somehow remain stern but (relatively) calm as I march this girl back to her room for the final, please Lord Jesus let it be the final, attempt.  She names all of her friends, finds a random ball, reads a book (in the dark) and finally lays down with her beloved thumb in her mouth. This is it.  This has to be it!

Alas, minutes later I’m escorting her back to her room for the 3200th time!

At this point I’m feeling utterly insane.  Between the numerous requests for milk, books, music, blankets, nightgown on, nightgown off, etc., I wonder if I should’ve thrown in the towel hours ago.  Maybe I should’ve caved in.   Although she doesn’t usually sleep well in our bed, perhaps I should’ve tried it anyways if it meant I could salvage some sort of functioning brain cells for the day ahead.

NO!!  I thought.  That’s not how we operate and I WILL SHOW HER WHO’S BOSS!!!  I can’t guarantee that same resolve every night, but for tonight I shall bask in the glory of showing her I’m too tough to give up now!!

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4:40 am: Yesssss, she’s asleep!  Now maybe I can close my eyes…just in time for the sunrise. Wait.  What’s that noise?  This girl is up AGAIN. I can’t take it anymore.  Into our bed she goes. :/

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Ultimately, being in our bed didn’t change anything.  I became a jungle gym, and in the midst of her planting random kisses on me and her baby sister in my belly (moments I did cherish in spite of the madness 😉 ), I knew that she emerged as the triumphant one.

5:30 am:  I moved her back in her bed and she finally went to sleep.

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From that point on it was all a blur, and even now I’m struggling to stay mentally present.  I’m struggling to keep my cool where I feel my patience is wearing thin due to lack of sleep.  There’s a part of me that feels defeated and is resisting the urge to figure out what I could’ve done differently.  But the truth is, I’m learning and she’s learning.  The truth is it was only one night, and even though it wasn’t the first of it’s kind and likely won’t be the last, this is all a normal part of the mommy walk! I’m a human mommy with a human daughter and some days will be more challenging than others!

Oh the adventures of parenting never cease to amaze me, but at the moment I have a pee-pee accident to clean-up so I’ve got to keep moving.  Just keep swimming, right?  😉  I am praying that tonight will entail more sleep and less excitement, and in the meantime I hope we are all reminded to cherish our babies even in the tough times!

CAN ANYBODY ELSE RELATE?  WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE DURING THE TODDLER YEARS?

LOVE YOU ALL DEAR FRIENDS!  BE BLESSED!!

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6 thoughts on “When a Mommy Feels Defeated…

  1. In the midst of restless nights and 24 hour cycles of mommy-dom remember that this is a (blessed, messy, joyful, tear-filled, rewarding) season. Know that you are doing the most important work and that Our Father is watching and cheering you on! Be encouraged !

  2. I really appreciated when you said, “…I figured this new experience, among other things, had her little adrenaline pumping and her mind racing.”

    Sometimes we forget that their little minds are processing things just like ours, only possibly even more so at that age. They share the same kinds of emotion as we— fears, excitement, pride in accomplishments.

    The biggest struggle during toddlers years? Wow… that was so long ago, but as I now have opportunities to care for my granddaughters, I think I would say one of the biggest challenges is discerning between surface needs and heart needs, and reigning in their will and training them to develop self-control. I never want to break their will per se, but help them to direct it in positive directions.

    I hope you’re able to get some rest. ((hugs))

    1. Hi Rene! I don’t know how I missed this response, but you have so much wisdom and experience that I truly value your thoughts! Things have improved tremendously in the sleep department, and we’ve practically mastered potty training as well! I continue to pray for direction, as the adjective ‘strong-willed’ definitely comes to mind during this phase, but through it all we are so blessed!!

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