Bedtime Battles

Oh, another bedtime that ends in Mommy (me) apologizing for screaming and yelling – mostly directed towards Brayden these days. I hate it. I hate feeling angry when it’s supposed to be all loves and cuddles and tucks into bed. Bed-time has become Battle-time.

I try to stay calm – because I know they feed off of my energy. I try to be fun and silly to distract from whatever is happening that shouldn’t be. I try… that’s all I can do, right? I’m a good Mom, I really am. But tonight I am just TIRED of yelling at bedtime! It isn’t fair to me, it isn’t fair to Brayden, and it isn’t fair to Zackery (who unfortunately gets to hear everything that – as mentioned above – is mostly directed at Brayden).

They are both in bed now, and bless Zackery for understanding it’s not all him (partially, yes, but minimal – at least tonight’s battle), and calmly climbing into bed and going to sleep. Brayden is still squirming around in his crib. I can hear the creaking of his mattress springs. He wants to be rocked some more. But I already did that!

I know it won’t last forever – me having to rock him – but I’m getting tired of that too. The one thing that I tell myself is that he won’t want to be rocked in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years – so I better get my rocking in now. At least I was conscious enough to have us all take deep breaths (mainly so I could calm myself down) before lights went off and I sat down in that perfectly worn-in sage green rocking chair, with Brayden’s head nestled into my left shoulder, his arms tucked under his tummy. Okay, yes, this image… is making me feel better. Another deep breath…

Bedtime battles. I know I’m not the only one who has them. And I KNOW they won’t last forever. Zackery is my example of hope. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect, he still knows how to press my buttons, but compared to last year, or 5 years ago when we had to sleep on the floor next to him just for him to go to bed – yes, I have high hopes!

It’s quiet now. Just the clicking of my keyboard as I type this and the gentle humming of my outdated laptop. I think I’m going to go prop my feet up and finish off the last little bit of Chardonnay. Cheers!

Oops… spoke to soon…


About pamelazimmer

Pamela Zimmer is a #1 bestselling author and speaker, transforming her personal pain and experience of Postpartum Depression into her purpose and passion. Through her #1 bestselling book, Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood, and her mentorship program, The HAPPY Mommy Method™, Pamela guides mothers on a healing journey from battling their own Postpartum Depression to embracing motherhood with joy.

Posted on November 19, 2012, in General Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. You’re focusing on the right things–especially about missing this stage once it’s gone–but also the part about planning to prop up your feet and finish off the last of the Chardonnay!

  2. OOoo bedtime battles are the worst, and you probably don’t want to hear this, but the way they go is 100% in your control. You have to remain strong and firm, and not allow yourself to rise to the challenge as it were and resort to shouting – as soon as you shout you lose. Try and go the opposite way – the more angry you get the quieter and more softly but seriously you speak – better still say nothing! Put them to bed, do the story thing, a kiss and a cuddle and walk away.. It is hard to do at first, but it is so worth it and I am saying this with the voice of experience with a 22yr old a 14yr old and a 13yr old.

    You are in control – you are the adult, and you can do this…don’t make the mistake of thinking this time won’t last forever, because the more you feed it the longer it will last, and the control over bedtimes will extend to the control at meal times, the control over behaviour etc and before you know it – you are the Mum of those kinds of children that just make you cringe when they walk into a room because they are so unruly…….

    I know, I just know you can take control back at bedtime…..Start early with a calm down time, a warm bath and a cuddle before bed time – keeping the run up to bedtime calmer with a warm down from playing will help.

    Sorry – I don’t want to sound like the voice of doom…but I just know you can’t let them do this to you night after night.

    Be extra firm for a few weeks and reap the benefits for a lifetime. It really is THAT simple.

    Good Luck

    Lou 🙂

    • Thanks for the insight Lou. It’s a fine line and it’s hard to always do what I know is right – to not scream. I never want to be “one of those Moms” and I definitely don’t want my kids to become “one of those kids” – which I KNOW they will not be. I always get such wonderful compliments about their demeanor and manners when we’re out and about. It’s rare they act up, except at home, which is where they’re comfortable. I do have a nightly calm down routine which starts after dinner. We play quietly, no tv, they get their jammies on, we read stories and have milk, brush teeth and then into a nice quiet room. Tonight, was a great bedtime. It feels nice to have that back!
      Thanks again for the motivation and encouragement. 🙂

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